Saturday, October 22, 2016

Morning Prayer and Stealing from God Psalm 66:16-20

Come listen all you who fear God; let me tell you what He has done for me. I cried out to Him with my mouth; His praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me!     Psalm 66:16-20 
Have you talked to the Almighty today? Have you told Him what is on your heart. We who believe pray in Y'shua-Jesus' name knowing that God answers our prayer... doesn't he? 

Most of us know that Y'shua-Jesus chose us when he chose to go to the cross. We could not pay for our own sin. We owe our life, meaning we gave up the right to eternal life because we are "in Adam" and we sin. Y'shua-Jesus NEVER sinned, so his death was not a payment for his own sin. He chose to pay for YOURS. 

Because He paid for your sin, He owns them. When you keep some sin in your heart, something to play with, maybe something that defines you, then you are stealing from God. You are enjoying something that you stole from Y'shua-Jesus. 

If we confess our sin He is faithful, and just and forgives us our sin, and leads us in The Way.     1 John 1:9 
He hears us when we pray, he powerfully answers our prayer, but He loves you and makes a clean heart His priority. Don't steal from God, give him what he paid for.... then pray and see what He does! 

Mrs. Hagerty; September 21, 2016

Friday, August 19, 2016

Be a door...

When He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them. And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. Mark 2:1-4 nasu

I am continually surprised by Mark. For instance, today's passage. I have taught the story of the man who was let down through the roof to Y'shua countless times. It is one of our basic Sunday School and Children's Church stories. I really did not expect to see anything new in this reading. I may have even mentioned that sad detail in my prayers for open eyes before reading the passage.

...and many were gathered together, that that there was no longer room, not even near the door...

The apostle John lets us know that Y'shua is the door, I get that. He is the only way to the Kingdom (John 10:9). I also understand that Y'shua stands at the door and knocks, desiring that we answer. I sort of get that. But in this passage four friends bring someone who is unable to come to Y'shua and stop at nothing to get him to Y'shua. But what is the point? Is it their faith? (their "amen" or standing firm on the Word?). 

Here is the place where knowing a tiny bit of Hebrew throws open a window on the passage. There were four friends. There is nothing coincidental or casual about Scripture. Four friends is very specific. Four is the number of the Hebrew letter Dalet. Dalet is symbolic of a door. Read that again, The four friends are symbolic of a door. They made a way to get the paralytic to Y'shua. Dalet is also symbolic of a choice to enter into hope. 

We cannot "save" anyone, but we can be the door that Salvation (Y'shua) uses. We know the firm hope that the Almighty is for our life. We know the hope that the hopeless have no vision of. We are to make a way for the hopeless and helpless to come to Y'shua, the door, the way to the Kingdom of God. Be that door, don't let anything from this earth keep you from being the door to hope! 

Mrs. Hagerty
August 19, 2016

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Why don't we know his name? Mark 1:10-45

Mark 1:40-45

And a leper came to Jesus, beseeching Him and falling on his knees before Him, and saying, "If You are willing, You can make me clean." Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed."  Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. And He sternly warned him and immediately sent him away, and He said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them."  But he went out and began to proclaim it freely and to spread the news around, to such an extent that Jesus could no longer publicly enter a city, but stayed out in unpopulated areas; and they were coming to Him from everywhere. NASU
Par ici et par la
Why don't we know "the Leper's" name? The first time I read this passage I was moved to tears with the realization that we are often known by our labels, not by our name. For instance, we may have been a liar, but in Y'shua (a.k.a Jesus) we are cleansed from that label. Now we are know as a child of the Almighty! Once we were a drug-addict, an alcoholic, a thief, adulterer.... or any other label but once we encounter Y'shua and are cleansed, we become "a child of the Almighty". That is what being born again is all about.

I am pretty sure that is what happened to this man. In case you have not seen my earlier posts on the book of Mark, I will remind you that I believe the word "immediately" is mistranslated. It should be translated from the Hebrew word YASHAR meaning, upright in relationship to YHVH (the LORD). The Leprosy left him (he was cleansed) putting him in a right relationship to the Almighty, Next, Y'shua sent him on his Way in a right relationship to the Almighty with a command.

  • See that you say nothing to anyone; 
  • but go, show yourself to the priest 
  • and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.
In Greek, the first part of the command is for him to "slink away" to go on his Way in secret. He is not to SHOW himself to ANYONE, not a single soul! (the Greek repeats "anyone" as emphasis that he is not to show himself to ANYONE) ...until he gets to Jerusalem where he is to show himself to the priest. Why the priest? He is to be Torah observant in making the offering to the priest that Moses commanded. Leviticus 14 He had the privilege of being a "Christian" witness to the priest. That was his purpose in life. I do not think that anyone since the gentile Naaman 2 Kings 5:1-14 had been cured of Leprosy, and being a Syrian, he was sent on his Way instead of to the priest. This would have been HUGE if the man had obeyed! But our un-named man disobeyed. He told EVERYONE instead of no one. There is no indication that he even started on The Way to Jerusalem.

Is that important? Was the compassion of Y'shua wasted on this man? No! He was restored. In all likelihood, his family was also restored. The people of Galilee knew that Y'shua is the only hope for the hopeless. But that is not what he was told to do as one who is Upright in his relationship to the Almighty. We never learn his name or anything he ever did for the Almighty except for making Y'shua's ministry difficult.

What has he asked you to do? Have you done it?

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you 
  • to do justice, 
  • to love kindness, 
  • and to walk humbly with your God?         Micah 6:8

Mrs. Hagerty, August 13, 2016

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Power of Love (Amy Carmichael)

We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16 nasu

What I specially want to bring you is this: young children and all who do not know our Lord have only one way of knowing how loving He is. They look at us. If there be any flaw in our love, if we fail them at any point, we make it just so much the harder for them to see, to know, to apprehend, His love. Do not let us fail our children. "Love through me, Love of God".

Miss Amy Carmichael
Edges of His Ways,
August 4

Photo: Jenny e il Piccolo...

Monday, August 1, 2016

Love Through Me by Amy Carmichael

Isaac Gautschi Photography
Love through me, Love of God,
     There is no love in me;
O Fire of love, light Thou the love
     That burns perpetually.

Flow through me, Peace of God,
     Calm river flow until
No wind can blow, no current stir
     A ripple of self-will

Shine through me, Joy of God,
     Make me like thy clear air
That Thou dost pour Thy colours through,
     As though it were not there.

O blessed Love of God,
     That all may taste and see
How good Thou art, once more I pray,
     Love through me, even me.

Miss Amy Carmichael
Edges of His Ways
August 1

Sunday, July 31, 2016

One (ECHAD) is Coming (part 2), Salvation Came

Mark 1:4-11 Part 2
In Part 1 we were introduced to the man, John the Baptist. Part 2 is about John's ministry and the introduction to "The One - ECHAD - our Salvation.

John's ministry

John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. Mark 1:4-5 nasu

  • The miracle baby had become a man: 
  • Luke 1:66  All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, "What then will this child turn out to be?" For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him. 
  • Luke 1:76-77  "And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on BEFORE THE LORD TO PREPARE HIS WAYS;  To give to His people the knowledge of salvation (from the Hebrew word Y'shua)  By the forgiveness of their sins, 
  • Luke 1:80  And the child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel.
...and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River.

How do you preach baptism? If it were me, I would preach repentance but John preached baptism. He also baptized. The baptism we are familiar with means, to immerse, to put under water. It communicates the Hebrew idea of washing. But to "preach" baptism is to overwhelm emotionally instead of physically immersing. He could preach baptism because baptism has more then one facet of meaning, depending on how it is spelled in Greek.  To overwhelm and to immerse are similar ideas but communicate different actions.

The question I have is, Why did the people of Judah and Jerusalem leave the comfort of their homes to go to the wilderness to be overwhelmed by their sin? Why did they submit to being immersed in the Jordan for the remission of that sin? According to Michael Rood's "The Chronological Gospels" this baptism of John took place in winter. There were no hotels or comfortable conference centers in the wilderness. No restaurants or campgrounds with showers and toilets; so why did they go? Surly there were plenty of adequate preachers and teacher in the big city of Jerusalem. The Jordan river ran close to the city where they could be comfortable on their pilgrimage. 

Was it curiosity about who Zechariah's son had become? If that was what they wanted to know then they could just ask around. How children turn out is something we like to talk about. I believe that they were not curious, but that they were supernaturally compelled to go. John was filled with the Spirit from his conception. The prophet Samson is the only other baby that was said to be special even from the womb. Everyone I've ever met who is filled with the Spirit had to repent of sin and invite the Holy Spirit into their heart before it could happen. There was something very special about John.

The Hebrew word ECHAD-One The people were supernaturally compelled to come and hear what John had to say; "After me, One-ECHAD is coming." Not "someone is coming" but One is coming. To our English speaking culture, "One" does not have much meaning beyond counting, but to people who had said the SHAMA all of their lives (Hear O Israel... ), One-ECHED, had a very specific meaning.

"Hear (SHAMA), O Israel! The LORD (YHVH) is our God, the LORD (YHVH) is One (ECHAD)!" Deuteronomy 6:4
YHVH is ECHAD (One)! Hebrews are very careful with the name of YHVH. They NEVER want to profane (take in vain) the name of YHVH. By saying "ECHAD-One is coming after me, Judah understood who John meant. They also knew that they needed to be sanctified and washed before they could be in the presence of ECHAD, just as YHVH instructed Moses in Exodus 19:10.

The LORD (YHVH) also said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate (baptize) them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments; Exodus 19:10
Confess your sins, repent and be washed. The people came to John to prepare to meet their God. They came from their comfortable homes and beds to be overwhelmed by the burden of their sin, confessing and repenting of it, being immersed in the Jordan for the remission of sin.

Remission of Sin When we talk about cancer being in remission we are saying that the horrible radiation treatment has done its job and the doctor can no longer find evidence of cancer in the body or blood of the victim. It does not mean the person is cured, but that for this season there is no evidence of cancer (which may last to the end of a person's normal life or it may be only a matter of years), the treatment can be stopped. Remission of sin is similar. When there is not evidence of sin, the treatment (confession to repentance) can be stopped... until there is again evidence. Mark tells us that all of Judea wanted to be set free and went to great lengths to find freedom from the cancer that is sin. THIS is how John was to "prepare the people for 'the One' coming after him"

 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Mark 1:9
Y'shua-Jesus came from Galilee. Judah is south of Galilee with Samaria in between them. It is almost like saying that John was baptizing in the Snake River in the wild country between Oregon and Idaho. The people came from California and Los Angeles to be baptized by John in the Snake. In those days Y'shua came from Lake Chelan in Washington to be baptized by John in the Snake River.... except that the western states cover a lot more acreage then Galilee, Samaria and Judah. The point being that Y'shua did not come from the religious center of the Promise Land, where the city and throne of his father David was located, where most Jewish people lived, but from the North. Few people even know who he was. He had not attended Yeshiva (Jewish school) or attended synagogue with any of the Judeans who came for John's baptism. John was one of the few people who had any idea who He was.

He came to be baptized, but He had no sin to repent of. He went into the water, just like everyone else, but without sin. Coming out of the water is where the difference was obvious. He did not come out of the water "immediately" (that is a bad translation), instead, He came out "YASHAR" (upright in his relationship to the Almighty). Not since the creation of the first man, Adam, had a man been YASHAR, and then only for a short time.

Immediately coming up out of the water YASHAR (in an upright relationship with God), He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; Mark 1:10 corrected
Not one other person, baptized and in remission of sin, came out of the water in a right relationship with the Almighty. Sin in remission is not free from sin. They were still carriers of the sickness of sin, still susceptible of being struck down with sin at any moment. Not so for Jesus. He did not have any sin, it was not even in his nature to sin, a concept that I have a difficult time understanding, but that I believe by faith. Being YASHAR - in right relationship with God, he went where His Father directed Him, submitting fully to Him. He came out of the water just as as He went in, YASHAR - upright in His relationship to God. He stayed the course. Philippians 2: 14-15

Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, Philippians 2 14-15 
...He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him...
Nothing is ever written "by chance" in Scripture, nor is it written poetically simply for poetry's sake. What I have learned about "like a dove" is too wonderful for me, I can only scratch at the surface. 

The Hebrew word for Dove is YWN (Hebrew letters yod-vav-nun sofit). When the Hebrew letter"hey" is added as a suffix to the  Hebrew word for "dove" it becomes Jonah. Jonah was one of the rare prophets who came from Galilee. Equally rare, Jonah's ministry was to gentiles. The Hebrew word for dove is also related to the Hebrew word for "wine". Wine is the "drink offering" that is poured out on the sacrifice and the service of the child of the Almighty. (Philippians 2:7). Being controlled by the Spirit of God is comparable to being controlled by wine (Ephesians 5:18). In a very simplistic way, Mark 1:10 tells us that the Spirit of the Almighty God was poured out like the drink offering on Y'shua the sacrifice, in the book of Mark, the servant. It descend as a dove... on the Son of God, who like Jonah, would bring Salvation to the Gentiles.

and a voice came out of the heavens: "You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased." Mark 1:11

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Epistle to Diognetus

Amidst the confusion of conflicting parties there were true teachers, able and eloquent in directing souls in The Way of Salvation. One, whose name is unknown, writing in the second century to and inquirer named Diognetus, sets himself to answer the questions asked as to the mode of worshiping God among the Christians, the reason of their faith and devotion towards God, and love to one another, why they neither worshiped the gods of the Greeks, nor followed the Jewish religion, and why this new practice of piety only so late entered into the world.

He writes:

"Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor language", living in such places "as the lot of each of them has determined, and following the customs of the natives in respect to clothing, food, and the rest of their ordinary conduct, they display to us their wonderful and confessedly striking method of life. They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners. As citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as the land of strangers... They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and the same time surpass the laws by their lives... they are reviled and bless"?

Then, speaking of God, he says:

He "who is Almighty, the Creator of all things, ...has sent from heaven, and placed among men, Him who is the truth, and the holy and incomprehensible Word, and has firmly established Him in their hearts. He did not, as one might have imagined, send to men any ...angel or ruler ...but the very Creator and Fashioner of all things - by whom He made the heavens - by whom He enclosed the sea within its proper bounds" - whom the stars obey. "This messenger He sent to them... As a king sends his son who is also a king, so sent He Him; as God He sent Him; as to men He sent Him; as a Saviour He sent Him." Not as judging us He sent Him though "He will yet send Him to judge us, and who shall endure His appearing?" As to the delay in sending the Saviour, God has always been the same, but waited in His long-suffering. He had "formed in His mind a great and unspeakable conception, which He communicated to His Son alone." As long as He concealed His own wise counsel He appeared to neglect us, but this was to make it manifest that of ourselves we cannot enter into the kingdom of God. But when the appointed time had come, "He Himself took on Him the burden of our iniquities, He gave His own Son as a ransom for us, the Holy One for transgressors, the blameless One for the corruptible, the immortal One for them that are mortal. For what other thing was capable of covering our sins than His righteousness? By what other one was it possible that we, the wicked and ungodly, could be justified, than by the only Son of God. O sweet exchange! O unsearchable operation! O benefits surpassing all expectation! That the wickedness of many should be hid in a single righteous One, and that the righteousness of One should justify many transgressors!"

An un-named Christian, to Diognetus
Late 2nd Century