Seed of Ishmael & Isaac

Seed of Ishmael & Isaac

SEED OF ISHMAEL AND SEED OF ISAAC

THE TALE OF TWO BROTHERS

 

We live in a time of unprecedented evil. Good is being called bad and bad, good. Terrorists murder people every day. There are wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, and famines. Christian and Jewish persecution is at an all-time high world-wide. As we witness these end-time “birth pains” (Matthew 24:8) our focus must be on the Word of God.

As a Jew who lives in Israel, we are constantly on the brink of war; war with the Palestinians, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, and of course ISIS, as it moves through Iraq and Syria seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). In general, the people who come against us are of Arab descent.

It’s interesting that Arabs and Jews are brothers, the seed of Ishmael and Isaac.

Where did this hatred and conflict come from, and how can we combat it today?

Let’s look at passages from the book of Genesis to try to unravel the conflict.

In Genesis 12 the Lord said to Abram …. I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, I will curse those who curse you, and all the peoples on earth will blessed through you.

 

In Genesis 15 God says to Abram: Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield; your reward will be very great. But Abram said, “Lord God, what can You give me, since I am childless… Abram continued, “Look, you have given me no offspring, so a slave born in my house will be my heir.” Now the word of the Lord came to him: “This one will not be your heir; instead, one who comes from your own body will be your heir.” 

 

When we get to Genesis 16 Sarai had born no children to Abram, so she came up with a plan for her servant Hagar and Abram to have a child. When Hagar conceived she became proud and hateful to Sarai. I believe this is where the struggles began.  Sarai began treating Hagar so harshly that Hagar ran away. The angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar in the wilderness with these instructions:

The angel said, “Go back to Sarai and be her slave. 10-11 I will give you a son, who will be called Ishmael, because I have heard your cry for help. And later I will give you so many descendants that no one will be able to count them all. 12 But your son will live far from his relatives; he will be like a wild donkey, fighting everyone, and everyone fighting him.”

This prophecy is exactly what we see today. Not only do the Muslims (the religion adopted by most Arabs) fight Christians and Jews, they fight each other!

 

In Genesis 17 God reiterates His promise that Abram would be the father of many nations. It was then that God changed his name to Abraham and promised to also give him the whole land of Canaan. Canaan was the name of a large and prosperous country (at times independent, at others a tributary to Egypt) which corresponds roughly to present-day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Israel.

 

Continuing in Genesis 17 when Ishmael was 13 God changed Sarai’s name to Sarah, with the promise that she’d become the mother of nations.  God promised her a son, Isaac; and God would make an everlasting promise with him and his descendants.

Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah the following year.

In Genesis 21 we read: The child grew and was weaned, and Abraham held a great feast on the day Isaac was weaned. But Sarah saw Ishmael making fun of Isaac. 10 So she said to Abraham, “Drive out this slave with her son, for the son of this slave will not be a coheir with my son Isaac!”

What a scene! This entire story from the book of Genesis reads like a modern-day soap opera. Can you picture it?

Let’s continue in Genesis 21:11 Now this was a very difficult thing for Abraham because of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be concerned about the boy and your slave. Whatever Sarah says to you, listen to her, because your offspring will be traced through Isaac. 13 But I will also make a nation of the slave’s son because he is your offspring.”

 

So here we read God’s verdict in the situation. God would make a covenant with Isaac.

In ancient middle-eastern culture the firstborn son was the one who normally received a double inheritance and he was the one who’d inherit the father’s role as head of the family.

Here God was telling Abraham to turn Hagar and Ishmael away and that the inheritance would fall on Isaac; surely a root to the jealousy and hatred we see today.

But what was this all about? I’m sure God didn’t love Isaac any more than he loved Ishmael. Ishmael was going to father 12 tribes just like Isaac.

The real promise God was making to Abraham through Isaac’s lineage involved the “seed of the woman” we read about in Genesis 3:15. Through Isaac’s line one day the Messiah (Jesus/Yeshua) would be born. He would fulfill God’s promises to crush the head of the seed of the serpent. Yeshua/Jesus, that seed, would set mankind free from the power of sin and death (Romans 8:2); and therein through Abraham all the nations of the earth would be blessed.

Having this understanding, we need to embrace the Arabs, show them love and acceptance, and pray for them to understand that they too are blessed through the Messiah of Israel. By prayer we need break off all evil forces stemming from jealousy and rejection that the enemy has tormented them with all these centuries.

Let’s not be afraid to share our faith with them and show them the love of Christ that is their’s for the asking.

 

A Loving Foundation

A Loving Foundation

In the summer of 1998 the Lord had me memorize 1 Corinthians 13. I called it “the summer of love.” It was the time when God began to teach me about His love and the importance of it in my life, as a “believer” and disciple.

Take some time to read the passage and really “chew on and digest” its message. It teaches us about the excellence of love. Without having its message written on the tablets of our hearts we miss the very heart of what God wants to communicate to us about His eternal plan and will for our lives.

In essence it teaches us that without love all spiritual gifts and religious acts are meaningless.

In verses 4-7 God gives us a clear model of what love looks like. It outlines how God loves us and how He expects us to love one another:

“Love Is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Cor. 13:4-7)

This is a beautiful plumb line for us to see if we’re truly obeying God’s call on our lives. Are we patient? Are we kind? It’s not always easy. We all come from imperfect childhoods, imperfect parents, imperfect relationships and imperfect ideas and notions of what love is.

Thankfully, the Bible also teaches us in 1 John 4:7 that love is from God, because God is love.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:7-11)

In this passage we learn that love is from God and He wants us to experience His Love, and share it.

Through our faith in Jesus/Yeshua’s sacrifice, God’s life, which emanates from His Love, lives inside of us. God’s eternal life is not only measured in duration, as life that goes on forever. It is also quality. To the extent that we receive God’s Love for ourselves then we can, in turn, share it with each other. When that happens we experience the joy that comes from the abundant, “quality” life that Jesus promised us in John 10:10.

“…I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

Just like two people in love spend time together enjoying the experience of that love, God wants us to take the time to bask in His endless supply of perfect and limitless Love.

He wants us to go higher and deeper. He wants us to be rooted and grounded in love. He wants to impart to us more of who He is through His divine Love. (Ephesians 3:17-19)

This happens through meditation and reflection on what the Word says about Love.  It happens through times of prayer and times of silent worship of God with the goal of simply declaring our love for God, and receiving His Love for us.

We need to repent of wrong perceptions of God’s Love that have been passed down to us from our parents and other relationships. God’s Love is perfect Love.

As we make room in our hearts and minds for more of God’s Love, vital foundations will be built up that enable us to share that love with each another.

Then we’ll be able to obey what Yeshua told us are the two most important commandments; to love God and to love one another (Matthew 22:36-40).  When we begin to do this we’ll see God work fantastic miracles in and through our lives and we’ll get a taste of eternal joy in our lives on earth now.

God’s Love is so awesome and multi faceted. From my experience, knowing His Love is a life long pursuit and progression, but as we do, not only are our insecurities and wrong attitudes melted away, but we’re drawn into the beauty of God’s other attributes. His awesome Holiness, Wisdom, Goodness and Perfection are all found within His Love. None of God’s attributes can be separated from each other. In light of this truth, when we walk in God’s Love with reverential fear and thanksgiving our lives are certain to mirror the life of Messiah, and isn’t that what it’s all about in the long run.

Oh, that we may reflect the glory of our beloved Savior!

Father, I pray that as people read this, their hearts and minds are flooded with the truth of Your magnificent love for them. Help them receive more of Your love and in turn be holy vessels who carry that love into the lives of the people around them. Teach them, by Your Holy Spirit, to choose to live loved and “love” and to recognize when they’re experiencing or displaying “not-love” and repent. Do this Lord so that greater blessings fall on their lives and so that You receive greater glory. It’s in Yeshua’s precious and holy name that I pray.

 

The Warrior Bride

The Warrior Bride

Today a friend asked me if I’d ever heard any teachings about the “warrior bride.”  I said “no, I haven’t”, but agreed to share my thoughts. Here they are:

Everyone who is truly the Bride of Christ/Messiah must be a warrior. We each have our unique battles to fight, based on our God given assignments. Fighting those battles takes great courage, strategy, perseverance and faith.

Rev. 21:8 states that no cowards enter the Kingdom of heaven. The letters to the churches in Rev. 2 & 3 state that only those who overcome and are victorious obtain the promises of God. These are the warriors.

I believe that only the warriors who are victorious will be the “Bride of Christ.” Victory in God’s eyes is probably very different than victory to our human eyes. God judges by the heart. (1 Sam. 16:7) All our battles truly belong to the Lord and victory comes from Him! 2 Chronicles 20:15; Proverbs 21:31   The warrior bride knows and walks in these truths.

In the parable of the wedding banquet in Matthew 22, the Lord tells us the Kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. We read in Matthew 22:10 that this wedding banquet was full of guests. Who are the guests? The guests are not the bride; nor are the servants.

I believe the bride is one who has a deep and intimate relationship with the Lord. She is a warrior; and her weapons are her diligent study, meditation upon, speaking out and application of the Word of God (the sword of the spirit). (Eph. 6:17)

The warrior bride walks in love, grace and humility, yet knows, and is not afraid to exercise her God given authority on earth as Messiah’s Ambassador (2 Cor. 5:18-20).

She herself is continually being purified (sanctified) as she walks through life.  She’s not afraid to face the demonic realm that has influenced her life; and the lives of those around her.  Not only does she help others walk in the reconciliation and promises of the Kingdom of God, the warrior bride humbly renounces evil influences and life patterns; and finds greater levels of victory as her own life progresses.  As she longingly awaits her groom, she lives a life of total surrender and worship.  Her mind is being renewed and she is being transformed into the image of her groom, as she seeks first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness. (Rom. 12:1-2; Matthew 6:33) In her honesty and transparency, the warrior bride is being made into a suitable match for her King. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

There’s another category of people Scripture talks about.  These people drive my passion with regard to Mission Discipleship. These are the people who profess Jesus/Yeshua as Lord, yet they’re not doing the things in their lives that will allow them to qualify as the Bride of Christ/Messiah. They are lawless, unsubmitted and self-willed. According to Matthew 7:21-23 many who call on the name of the Lord will be thrown away from His Presence.

God make us all people who come up higher by laying down lower. Keep us hungry for You, desiring to learn more about You and the things of the Spirit; and lead us in finding the victory of the true warrior bride.

 

In Heavenly Realms

In Heavenly Realms

“Our Father in heaven. Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will  be done on earth as it is in heaven…”

That’s how we’re to pray, right? God is King over a Kingdom. When Messiah was here on earth He preached and demonstrated the blessings of the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 4:23)

God wants everyone to experience His Kingdom, which at this point in time exists mainly in heavenly realms, and is our responsibility to call down, and demonstrate on earth. God’s love for people makes Him want them to know Him and the blessings of His Kingdom. And, because it is God’s will, deep inside each of us is a hunger to know God, who is Love (1 John 4:7-8); whether we recognize it or not.

God wants us (Messiah’s disciples)  to represent and introduce people to His love and His Kingdom because He knows that’s how people’s longings are fully satiated. Sadly, most people seek to fill their hunger and thirst in ways that will not truly satisfy them. Even those who are “religious” do not receive the fullness of what God has for them, without a personal relationship with Him through the Messiah.

Yeshua/Jesus’ disciples have the power and authority to walk and live in God’s Kingdom, and see its manifestation on earth; but how many of us actually do that? (2 Cor. 5:17-20)

God help us!

This week the Lord showed me that I got a “software upgrade” in the spirit realm.  Wow!  Exciting stuff. I certainly need that being in the middle east and navigating my faith here amid persecution, and the intense spiritual climate of the area.

Yesterday I was traveling by bus to Be’er Sheva to go grocery shopping at the health food store.  More about health in another blog post, as I believe what I’m eating is tied to my “upgrade.”

Friday is an important day for Muslims.  They say it’s more significant and more beneficial than any other day of the week.  It’s the day they gather together to pray in congregation. Before prayer they listen to lectures designed to empower them with knowledge about Allah and the religion of Islam. From the traditions of their Prophet Muhammad they learn that “the best day in the sight of Allah is Friday.”

I believe the Muslim nations were born out of the relationship between Abraham and Hagar (Genesis 16) and their child Ishmael, who was born before Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah.  It’s interesting that Muhammad chose the day before the God ordained Shabbat (Saturday) as the weekly Muslim ‘holy day.’ It seems like he was trying to supersede God’s relationship with Isaac and the nation of Israel, by having the Muslim Sabbath come first. Sadly, I do see the struggle between the descendants of Ishmael and Isaac as fueled primarily by jealousy, and that’s something to pray into.

Anyway, because Friday is their weekly ‘holy day’, Thursday is a big shopping day for Muslim women; and that’s what inspired this blog post.

I got on the bus and along the journey many Muslims got on board.  Three Muslim women occupied the seats on my row and I noticed them taking out prayer beads.  That was new to me. Come to find out that no one knows exactly when or how prayer beads entered their religion. Scholars believe they were adopted from Buddhism. Muslims use strings of 33 or 99 beads with one “leader” bead, which represent the 99 names of Allah found in the Koran and the one essential name.

The woman next to me had hers out for 20 minutes or so and then put them away.  All the while I was reading this Psalm in the Passion Translation (my favorite morning devotion right now) and meditating on various verses.

Psalm 138
THE DIVINE PRESENCE
by King David

“I thank you, Lord, and with all the passion of my heart, I worship you in the presence of angels!
Heaven’s mighty ones will hear my voice as I sing my loving praise to you!
I bow down before your divine presence and bring you my deepest worship,
as I experience your tender love, and your living truth.
For the promises of your Word and the fame of your name have been magnified above all else!
At the very moment I called out to you, You answered me!
You strengthened me deep within my soul, and breathed fresh courage into me.
One day all the kings of the earth will rise to give you thanks when they hear the living words that I have heard you speak.
They too will sing of your wonderful ways for your ineffable glory is so great!
For though you are lofty and exalted, You stoop to embrace the lowly.
Yet you keep your distance from those filled with pride.
Through your mighty power I can walk through any devastation, and you will keep me alive, reviving me.
Your power set me free from the hatred of my enemies.
You keep every promise you’ve ever made to me!
Since your love for me is so constant and endless,
I ask you, Lord, to finish every good thing that you’ve begun in me!”

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As I read the Psalm I found myself literally in heaven worshiping God in the presence of the angels. It was a glorious experience. You know we have that privilege right? Psalm 16:11; Hebrews 4:16; James 4:8; Ephesians 2:4-7

Yeshua/Jesus is the door that gives us access to heavenly realms.  John 10:9; John 14:4-6; Ephesians 2:17-18

Traveling by bus through the Negev desert I found myself worshiping God in spirit and in truth. I was experiencing the Presence and Glory of God in a profound way. There was such joy and peace in my soul. I know there was also a smile on my face. I looked at the woman beside me and snapped the picture on this post. Did she look content and full of joy with the Lord’s Presence after praying with her prayer beads? No! To me she looked dissatisfied and bored, or was I just reading into her countenance and body language?

Oh how I longed to be able to talk with her.

“God help me learn Hebrew to the extent that I can openly talk to these precious people about you.”

Precious?  Yes, precious!  All people are precious in God’s sight.  Like their Jewish brothers, these people have a zeal for God without knowledge of the truth about Him. (Romans 10:1-3) They’ve grown up in their traditions, and that may be all they know, or have been exposed to.

If you really think about anyone who is “religious,” whatever their religion may be; they are hungry for spiritual things. That makes them closer in kin to true disciples of Messiah than someone who is ruled and driven exclusively by their mortal flesh, and has no belief in spiritual things.

These kinds of thoughts are new to me as I navigate this place.  In the west we’re so quick to see people of other faiths (especially Muslims) as the ‘enemy’; and quite frankly I don’t think this is how God wants us to view them.

As I sat enthralled with the Presence and Glory of God on the bus I did pray.  I prayed that the women next to me would receive a touch from God and they’d be drawn into an intimate relationship with Him through the knowledge of the truth about Yeshua/Jesus.

Isn’t that what God desires; that they too would come to worship Him in spirit and in truth?

Certainly that is how we would see the manifestation of God’s Kingdom  “on earth as it is in heaven….”

Oh, Lord may it be so!

Join me in that prayer….

Fear of Failure

Fear of Failure

Have you ever had God give you a vision of something that’s too big for you to accomplish?  Well, He’s certainly given me one.  He’s shown me how He wants the MD website to help disciple people all over the world and help bring unity to the Body of Messiah world-wide.  He’s shown me a retreat center (MD-HQ a.k.a. Rehovot) that He wants to establish to help people experience deliverance and be able to walk in more peace and fruitfulness in their lives.  I’ve bathed every bit of the ministry in prayer and put the Lord first in everything. Yet still I’ve seen no fruit from my labors, or at least fruit as I would count it.

Yes, God has done amazing things to sustain the ministry these past four years.  He gave me inspiration, tools and the ability to create what I thought was a great discipleship program that very few people used. He gave me the wisdom to create a website containing teachings that He’s given me personally that have brought me through extreme darkness and into the light in my own life.  To my knowledge I’m not sure if those same teachings have blessed anyone else. I am blessed when I receive positive comments on this blog and that reassures me that people are touched and blessed by what I write.  Keep commenting! 😉

I’m being honest here not to gain your sympathy, but to show you some real struggles we face when we follow things the Lord tells us to do.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.” This is the Lord’s declaration.  “For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

This morning in prayer, the Lord was encouraging me regarding moving forward in faith for the things that I believe He’s shown  me about this ministry. He revealed that deep down inside of me at this junction was a fear of failure; and that was one reason my soul was feeling downcast relative to the current state of the ministry. God is so faithful to help us navigate through our own human frailty. Here are some other things He revealed to me that I pray help you as well.

Fear of failure is a lie. There’s no such thing as failure when we’re in Messiah and submitted to Him wholeheartedly.

Success isn’t as related to achieved results as it is to how we go through the process of what we’re doing.

All true results are fixed by God.

“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.”(Romans 8:28-30)

We’re not to measure success in our life’s ministry by comparing it to another’s because each of our callings are unique.

Our real failure would come by not becoming conformed to the image of God’s Son through and in the daily struggles and trials of life, as we pursue our life calling and ministry.

“Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day.  For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

And so I press on in faith, reaching out for the manifestation of the things the Lord has shown me about this ministry. I’m trusting Him to lead and guide me daily. I’ll choose not to fear anything but God – in a healthy way – that motivates the dedication and repentance necessary for my life to be conformed to the image of His Son.

I’m going to continue to believe and speak, trusting God for the outcome. (2 Corinthians 4:13) (Hebrews 11:1)

This is His ministry.  I’m His child and my life is part of His story! These three things remain: faith, hope and love. 

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Here are some worldly quotes about fear of failure to encourage you:

  •  “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
  • “Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic.” – Anonymous
  • “Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It’s OK to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing.” – H. Stanley Judd
  • “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho
  • “You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky
  • “Forget about the consequences of failure. Failure is only a temporary change in direction to set you straight for your next success.” – Denis Waitley
  •  “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up” – Thomas Edision
  •  “Remember that failure is an event, not a person” – Zig Ziglar
  • “I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.” – George Burns
  • “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” – Theodore Roosevelt
  • “There is no failure except in no longer trying.” – Elbert Hubbard
  • “If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative” – Woody Allen
  • “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley
  • “One who fears failure limits his activities. Failure is only the opportunity to more intelligently begin again.” – Henry Ford
  • “Most people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.” – Napoleon Hill
  • “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one.” – Elbert Hubbard
  • “Failure is success if we learn from it.” – Malcolm Forbes 
Breaking Away From “Religion”

Breaking Away From “Religion”

In this new season, the Lord has instructed me “Come out of religion and refocus on Me.”

What is religion?

Earlier this year the Lord showed me that when we do anything regularly we’re in danger of doing it without any heart connection; and coming under a “religious spirit,” which is dead and lifeless. He challenged me that my weekly congregational attendance had become just that – a burden; dead and lifeless. Once I repented and put my focus back on loving God and loving People (everyone – Believer and Pre-Believer) I experienced such joy and life each time I joined my brothers and sisters in fellowship and worship.

So what does coming out of religion mean to me in this new season? I believe it refers to “…a particular system of faith and worship.” Each of us has built preconceptions about the systems of our faith and worship that have been influenced by our experiences. I think God wants to erase those experiential foundations, or at least the ones that aren’t pleasing in His sight.

The beautiful thing about new seasons, whether they come from a big move, a new year, or just a conviction in your heart, is that newness gives us the opportunity to make changes in our lives that can draw us nearer to God and His perfect plans.

Now don’t get me wrong. By “coming out of religion” I’m not talking about pulling away from the Body of Messiah in isolation. I believe it’s very important to gather as often as possible with God’s people for worship, fellowship, prayer and Bible study. By doing so we remain protected in the strength of the “flock.” And while no “flock” of humans is perfect, it also gives us opportunities to exercise real love, humility, grace and forgiveness; thereby making us more like Yeshua/Jesus in the process. But I think what the Lord is trying to show me is that there are “man made” traditions in our “religion” that actually separate us from God and People.

So what does coming out of “religion” look like? I’ve been letting God lead and teach me in that regard and here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • Coming back to the simplicity of developing a hunger for God’s Presence, Love and Voice.
  • Worship (devotion and obedience) to the Word of God as first priority; not to what we’re doing for God.
  • Cultivating true bridal love and passion for God in our souls by spending time with Him.
  • Lining up and participating with all of God’s Scriptural times and seasons.
  • Acting in obedience to God’s Voice and Word even when we’re hurt or disagree; and in so doing, laying down our own opinions, thoughts, likes and dislikes, thereby cultivating true humility.
  • Seeing/judging others through eyes of love and compassion vs. criticism and accusation.
  • Desiring to grow in God’s spiritual gifts to build up the Body and bring unbelievers to Messiah, and ultimately to God.
  • Seeking unity.
  • Continuing to grow in our understanding of heavenly things; and knowledge of God.
  • Truly being believers based on the Mark 16:17-18 definition.
  • Demonstrating our position as Ambassadors of God’s Kingdom on earth, everywhere we go.

 

This morning I was reading Psalm 135 in the Passion Translation.  Take a look at verses 15-18.  These jumped out of the page to me concerning this topic.

“The unbelieving nations worship what they make. They worship their wealth and their work. They idolize what they own and what they do. Their possessions will never satisfy. Their lifeless and futile works cannot bring life to them! Their things can’t talk to them or answer their prayers. Blind men can only create blind things. Those deaf to God can only make a deaf image. Dead men can only create dead idols. And everyone who trusts these powerless, dead things will be just like what they worship – powerless and dead!” 

God help us in the Body of Messiah to not worship what we make and idolize our work and what we do, even when we say we’re doing it for You! Open our eyes and our ears to You, God.  Restore our passion for your Presence, Love and Voice. Help us walk in the simplicity of pure devotion to You; and give us life and power, as we put all our trust in You!

Other Scriptures for consideration:

Psalm 133

Revelation 2:1-7

2 Corinthians 11:3

Mark 16:15-18

Psalm 16:11

1 Corinthians 12 – 14

2 Corinthians 5:18-20