Posted by: amechad1 | July 23, 2010

Motivation!

Why do you do what you do?

Why do you get up in the morning? Is it because you have to survive thru another day? Do enough to get by, so you can get up tomorrow and do it all again? So you can make it to Friday and have a great time all weekend? So you can pay the bills? Isn’t there more to this life than mere survival? More than recreation? More than pleasing ourselves?

Why worship G-d? Why pray? Why read your Bible? Why resist the urge to sin? Is it out of fear? Fear of punishment or disapproval? Fear of hell’s fire? Is that why we serve the L-rd? Is it why we share the Gospel of Y’shua/Jesus? To save our family an friends from hell? If so, my friend, you are completely missing the point! While we DO want to save people from punishment, it shouldn’t be our main motivator.

Why do you serve people? Why help the hurting and bind up the wounded? Why comfort the mourning? Is it because it’s our duty? Because G-d says we have to? NO!

If you are a child of G-d, He has created you, called you and enabled you to work WITH HIM to bring His holiness into a broken and hurting world. He has called YOU to be a light – to shine in the darkness. He has called YOU to be His feet as you go where help is needed. He has called YOU to be His hands – to bandage the wounded, carry the load, to hug the mourning and comfort them as He has comforted you.

G-d can and does do miracles in this world…but those are rare and awesome occurrences. Most of the time, He uses His Body that already exists here to accomplish His purposes. That means He uses PEOPLE – you and me – to be His partners. Does that mean we should all quit our jobs and run off to the mission field or the orphanage? Not necessarily. If G-d is calling you to a special service, you will KNOW and there will be no mistaking it! But most of us are called to be serving right where we are – among our friends, neighbors and co-workers.

What good is salt if it’s all in the same bite of the casserole? Or light, if it is only in one corner of the room? Salt and light both need to be diffused to be truly useful. We need to be out there “in the mix” to do our “preservative” thing.

You may think your job has nothing to do with serving others – and you may be right! BUT, what about the effect you have on your co-workers and customers? What about the kind words spoken to a hurting friend in the lunchroom or smile and good attitude that was able to calm a tense situation? Those are all small ways of serving as salt and light right where you are.

G-d is asking YOU to serve as His partner to help bring His holiness and love to a wounded, broken and dying world…one small action at a time. Are you up to the task? Are you willing to be a partner in G-d’s plans for this world? He wants us to be full participants in what He is doing. Rise to the challenge and serve Him TODAY – right where you are!

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Posted by: amechad1 | June 25, 2010

Who we REALLY, TRULY are – our essence…

I found this article on Jewish World Review today:  (article link)

While the article referenced above is written to a Jewish audience and uses Jewish terminology, it is true for ALL of humanity, most especially for those who claim to know and worship the Creator of All Things, the Holy One of Israel.

The point of the article (and the book it refers to) is that we are a part of the image of G-d in this world. We are not our bodies, our jobs, our position in the community, our weight, our ethnic identity, our bank balance or anything else that is not US. The Image of G-d housed in the unique being G-d created as YOU – THAT is your essence!!  We are all windows – with the Light of the World shining thru. Notice in the picture how the building is illuminated from inside. That’s what we are as G-d’s house – the edifice of of “living stones, being built up into a spiritual house”. (1 Peter 2:5)

Y’shua/Jesus said in John 9:5 “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” After He left the world, He left US as the light of the world. We are also lanterns – containers holding G-d’s light in this world. He tells us in Matt 5:14-16:

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

It is instructive that Y’shua/Jesus says this right before He addresses the issue of the Law and the Prophets:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. “ (Matt 5:17-19)

In the book, a story is told of the author having been sent to a concentration camp. He was stripped of all he had – naked. He clung to his papers, the results of his entire life’s work. He tried desperately to talk the guards into letting him keep those papers.

“You don’t understand. This is my life’s work! It’s just meaningless paper to you.” But the Nazi just repeated, “Throw it into the pile!” Frankl obeyed the order. He, too, was left with only his naked existence. All he was is that he was. “

Then, he was given a uniform that had been worn before in the camp – the last wearer had just been sent to the gas chamber. He put on the torn, filthy uniform and reached into the pocket to find a crumpled piece of paper.

“He took it out and saw that it was ‘the Shema,’ the Jews’ daily declaration that G-d is the absolutely one and only reality. This little piece of a prayer book that another Jew had managed to keep was Frankl’s exchange for his collection of manuscripts. Frankl realized that when he gave up his life’s work, he got the Shema. “

It is the same with us – when you have nothing left – after the job loss, the stock market crash, the crippling accident, the fatal fire that took your family and all that you owned – you are still YOU. You still have G-d…and if you will allow Him, He will show Himself thru you in ways you couldn’t have imagined when you were still wrapped up in the “stuff” we’re told matters.

As so many thru the millennia who have been imprisoned for their faith and their witness have testified even unto death:

“You can’t take G-d away from me
You can take my life, my land, my liberty
Lock me up, I’ll still be free
’cause you can’t take G-d from me”

(Can’t Take G-d Away – Audio Adrenaline)

Again, from the article:

“Even when you are freed from your disorders or addictions you are still not yet free to be the total you. To be all that you can be you need to know who you really are, who is your eternal root, what is your divine purpose and service on earth.

Living the mitzvas (commandments) empowers you to connect with G-d and be your true godly self. At first you may feel that obedience to G-d and the disciplinary life of mitzvas is submissive and restrictive. Ironically, however, submission and obedience to G-d becomes a source of empowerment and freedom. Through the mitzvas you can experience G-d as the essential power within you; seeking to become expressed through you. At this point, you no longer experience the commandments as acts of obedience, but rather as the free expression of your true inner divine self as an aspect of G-d.

Remember, the GREATEST commandment is to LOVE! (Matt 12, Mark 12). You express the power of G-d thru you when you LOVE. You show His light in the world when you love. You show the world who you are and Who you belong to. You shine His light and become His hands and feet in this world. (That is the subject of an upcoming blog post.)

You demonstrate your sojourner status in this world when you keep the other commandments, as well. You demonstrate your “otherness” – you are in the world, but you are not of it. (1 Peter 1:1, 2:11) Your citizenship in is heaven (Phil 3:20)…remember that! Resurrection life – ETERNAL LIFE – started the second you accepted G-d as the ruler of your life!  More on that later…

Posted by: amechad1 | June 24, 2010

This is YOUR life – TODAY!

When I got up this morning, this song (This Is Your Life – Switchfoot) was going thru my head:

Yesterday is a wrinkle on your forehead
Yesterday is a promise that you’ve broken
Don’t close your eyes, don’t close your eyes,
This is your life
And today is all you’ve got now
And today is all you’ve ever had
Don’t close your eyes

This is your life, are you who you want to be?
This is your life, are you who you want to be?
This is your life, is it everything that you dreamed
that it would be when the world was younger,
and you had everything to lose?

Yesterday is a kid in the corner
Yesterday is dead and over

This is your life, are you who you want to be?
This is your life, are you who you want to be?

So, I hunted it up in my music library and played it a couple of times while I was getting dressed for work. I was thinking about how yesterday is over and gone – nothing can be changed or “fixed” if we feel like we didn’t get it “right”. “Today is all we ever have”! I finished getting ready and headed out the door. I got in the car and turned the key. THIS SONG was on the radio! Apparently, G-d was trying to tell me something. So, I prayed about it…and decided to share what He showed me.

When the Israelites were preparing to enter into the Promised Land, G-d set before them a choice: Obedience and life or disobedience and death. (Dt 30) It is a choice we make EVERY DAY! In the same way we choose our physical clothing to wear for the day, we choose to clothe ourselves in the Messiah and CHOOSE LIFE! (Romans 13, Dt 30)

We cannot change any part of our pasts. Some of us have more regrets than others. Paul had some HUGE regrets – and yet he said “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:13) Lamentations 3:22-23 reminds us that G-d’s mercies are “new every morning”.

Worrying about the future is also a worthless, futile activity – it shows a lack of trust in G-d, your loving Father who WANTS to give you good gifts (Matt 7, Luke 11) and fill your every need (Matt 6, Luke 12). When Y’shua/Jesus taught his disciples to pray, He told them to say “give us today our daily bread” (Matt 6, Luke 11). He taught us that we needn’t chase after the things of this world (Matt 6, Luke 11), but that the Father would provide for us just as He does the birds of the air. Psalm 37 illustrates how the righteous are taken care of and provided for. Proverbs 30 says:

7 “Two things I ask of you, O LORD;
do not refuse me before I die:

8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.

9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the LORD ?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.

We can be content to have our food clothing and housing needs taken care of on a daily basis. G-d knows our needs and fills them just as He gives all the animals their food, provides rain for the plants, etc. (Psalm 104)

Making grand plans for the future is also a worthless activity. While it is wise to plan and provide for our needs and those of our families from what G-d has given us, we need to remember that we are only mists and that G-d holds everything in His hands. (James 4:13-15)

Where does this leave us? Right where we started: TODAY! Let’s return to the lyrics of the song: “This is your life, are you who you want to be?” If so, AWESOME!!! Thank G-d and carry on. If not, why not? What can you see in your life that you want to change? Start TODAY! Take it to the L-rd and ask what He would have you do differently. BUT…don’t get too hung up on trying so hard that you lose your joy. Ecc 7 says:

15 In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these:
a righteous man perishing in his righteousness,
and a wicked man living long in his wickedness.

16 Do not be overrighteous,
neither be overwise—
why destroy yourself?

17 Do not be overwicked,
and do not be a fool—
why die before your time?

18 It is good to grasp the one
and not let go of the other.
The man who fears God will avoid all extremes .

If we chose life each day and clothe ourselves in Messiah, live in obedience and press on to know the L-rd, we can look forward to our future hope. Proverbs 23 tells us:

17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD.

18 There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.

19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
and keep your heart on the right path.

What is that future hope? Peter tells us about it in 2 Peter 3: “…what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. “ Let’s live for Him with all we have and all that we are – STARTING TODAY!

Posted by: amechad1 | June 23, 2010

Good News!

I don’t know if you would call this THE Good News, but I certainly call it good news of a sort. I hope you understand it as good news for you.

_YOU_ are a special, handmade, individually created Masterpiece of G-d! You were created in His own image. (Gen 1:26-27) He formed you in your mother’s womb before you were born. (Psalm 139:13-15) He already knows all the days of your life. (Job 14:5) He placed you exactly where you are. (Acts 17:26f) He works ALL things together for your good if you love Him and seek to serve Him. (Rom 8:28) He gave you talents and abilities and gifts. (Rom 12:6, 1 Cor 7:7, 12) He means for you to enjoy your work and your life. (Ecc 3:12-13) He gave you a specific role to play in His body. (Rom 12, 1 Cor 12, Eph 4:16)

So, what does all this mean? It means that you are where you are for a purpose. Your gifts can be used to glorify G-d and build up His Body. You don’t have to try to be something you are not. Remember this: If G-d had wanted you to be XWZ, He would have created you XWZ. He didn’t, He created you PDQ instead. Therefore, be the BEST PDQ you know how and leave the rest to Him. Go thru your day looking for ways to use your gifts and share His love. You’ll be much happier and more relaxed – I promise!

Posted by: amechad1 | June 22, 2010

Do we love G-d? How do we demonstrate that love?

We can SAY we love G-d, but do we TRULY LOVE HIM?  If so, how do we demonstrate that love in our daily lives?

Thruout the Scripture, love for G-d is bound up with obeying His command and walking in His ways.  (Dt 7:9, 10:12, 11:1, 11:12, 30:16, Josh 22:5, Neh 1:5, John 13, 14 & 15, 1 John 2:2-3, 2 John 1:6)  He says over and over that love for Him is shown thru keeping His commands.  Jesus said “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15, 21, 23-24, 15:10)  In Matthew chapter 5, He says to us:

17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Another way we can show love for G-d is to love our brothers.  (1 John 4:7-5:3)  Jesus taught us that the way the world would KNOW we are His is by our love for one another.  (John 13:35)  He said:  “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34)  But was it REALLY a new command?  The command to love has been at the root of showing G-d’s love since the beginning.  Why were we told to “love your neighbor as yourself (Lev:19:18)?  Because “I am the LORD your God.”  This is repeated over and over as the reason we are to love one another, give to the poor, the widow and the fatherless (or allow the poor to gather in dignity), etc. etc. (Lev 19)  These are all ways of being holy, as the L-rd, our G-d, is holy.

Posted by: amechad1 | June 19, 2010

What’s the “REAL” name of “Jesus”?

This article from Dr. Michael Brown’s website says it better than I EVER could.  So, check it out:

What’s the “REAL” Hebrew name of “Jesus”?

Posted by: amechad1 | June 18, 2010

Tradition!

Shed Traditions – The L-rd is calling His people to RETURN TO HIM in pure worship and living (Zech 1:3f, Joel 2:12-13, Mal 3:7b). He wants to be worshiped in Spirit and Truth (John 4:23). Man-made traditions are not only a source of distraction and friction among His people, but often they come from the worship of other gods and offend the L-rd. In Exodus, while Moses was up on Mt. Sinai receiving the commandments, Aaron, the High Priest declared a feast “to the L-rd”, but the people were worshiping the golden calf in the way they had learned in Egypt. They had created a hybrid religion – and G-d reacted with great anger and offense! (Exodus 32) Even traditions seeking to follow the commands G-d has given us can get in the way of true worship. This is what Y’shua/Jesus condemned among the Pharisees (Matt 15, Mark 7, Col 2:8). Legalism and man-made rules have no place among the people of G-d.

Posted by: amechad1 | June 10, 2010

RETURN TO ME – expanded version

“Therefore tell the people: This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the LORD Almighty.” (Zech 1:3)

The L-rd is calling His people to RETURN to HIM! That is: a return to G-d’s Word and the worship of HIM! Please read and consider the Scriptures referenced below – all have been hyperlinked so that it can be done easily. All the Scriptures are referenced and linked by chapter, so that the reader is able to discern their context.

What the call is NOT:

…a call to return to traditions of men. (Isaiah 29, Matthew 15, Mark 7, Colossians 2)

Y’shua/Jesus taught against:

  • the traditions of men (Isaiah 29:13, Matthew 15:1-9, Mark 7:5-13, Colossians 2:8)
  • empty words and vain repetition (Matthew 6:5-8, Luke 20:46-47)

…a call to return to the study of theology and endless arguments. (Ecclesiastes 12, John 5, 2 Timothy 2, Titus 3)

  • Y’shua said that the study of the Scriptures does not bring life.  HE brings life! (John 5:39)
  • The Teacher taught that much study wearies the body.  (Ecclesiastes 12:11-13)
  • The L-rd’s servant must not argue or quarrel.  (2 Timothy 2:23-24)

…a call to worship created things (earth, sun, moon, planets, trees, spirits, saints, rabbis, sages, etc.) , instead of the Creator Himself. (Exodus 23, Deuteronomy, Romans 1, Colossians 2)

  • Earth = Gia worship, extreme environmentalism
  • Moon  = ancient moon god “Allah” (see here for more info)

What the call IS:

…a call to return to pure worship of G-d the Father. (John 4)

  • We will worship neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem, but everywhere.  (John 4:21-24)

…a call to worship Him, and ONLY Him. (Exodus 20, Exodus 34, Deuteronomy 5, Deuteronomy 6, Zephaniah 1, Matthew 4, Luke 4)

  • The first two of the “Ten Commandments” are VERY specific about the worship of G-d and HIM ONLY.  (Ex 20:3-4, 34:14,  Deuteronomy 5:7-10, 6:13-15)
  • G-d disapproves of worship Him AND…anything or anyone else.  (Zephaniah 1:4-6)
  • Y’shua/Jesus quotes the first commandment when tempted by the Enemy.  (Matthew 4:10, Luke 4:8)

…a call to worship G-d in HIS way, and NO other. (Exodus 32, Deuteronomy 12, 2 Kings 17)

  • Aaron declared a “feast to the LORD”, yet they were really worshiping before the golden calf.  Look at how G-d reacted to this.  (Exodus 32:5-8)
  • G-d is to be worshiped the way HE commanded, not the way other gods are worshiped.  (Deuteronomy 12:4)
  • G-d’s people imitated those around them despite being forbidden to do so.  (2 Kings 17:15)

Please feel free to comment – this blog is about unity and interaction. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Posted by: amechad1 | June 9, 2010

“Return to ME” declares the LORD Almighty!

“Therefore tell the people: This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the LORD Almighty.”  (Zech 1:3)

The L-rd is calling His people to RETURN to HIM!  That is: a return to G-d’s Word and the worship of HIM!  Please read and consider the Scriptures referenced below – all have been hyperlinked so that it can be done easily.  All the Scriptures are referenced and linked by chapter, so that the reader is able to discern their context.



What the call is NOT:

…a call to return to traditions of men.   (Isaiah 29, Matthew 15, Mark 7, Colossians 2)

…a call to return to the study of theology and endless arguments.   (Ecclesiastes 12, John 5, 2 Timothy 2Titus 3)

…a call to worship created things (earth, sun, moon, planets, trees, spirits, saints, rabbis, sages, etc.) , instead of the Creator Himself.  (Exodus 23, Deuteronomy, Romans 1, Colossians 2)



What the call IS:

…a call to return to pure worship of G-d the Father.   (John 4)

…a call to worship Him, and ONLY Him.  (Exodus 20, Exodus 34Deuteronomy 5Deuteronomy 6Zephaniah 1, Matthew 4, Luke 4)

…a call to worship G-d in HIS way, and NO other.  (Exodus 32Deuteronomy 122 Kings 17)



Please feel free to comment – this blog is about unity and interaction.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Posted by: amechad1 | June 8, 2010

Arabs and Jews in the same room?

Arabs and Jews in the same room?  United and celebrating?  Seriously?  It’s a miracle!  In Messiah, ALL things are POSSIBLE!   Check it out: http://bit.ly/dfxcJB

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