Friday, January 12, 2018

Matthew 9

 There is so much going on in this chapter, it is easy to miss important details. Like verse 1, He got into a boat and crossed over. It is almost insignificant, yet when I see that phrase, I know what it means. 

Everyone who crosses over are Hebrews. What else do you want to show me Abba? 

- The paralytic: it isn't his faith that brings him to Yshua-Jesus, it is the faith of others. 
Joshua, in Josh 1, is told to "cross over" (1:2) and to be strong and courageous. (Connect to the Almighty and be alert.) 

Did you notice that Y'shua didn't heal the body? The apostle Paul said, "...I am well content with weakness, ...for Christ's sake; for when I am weak,then I am strong." (2Cor 12:10) There is no shame in weakness UNLESS the outward things are more important then the heart.

However, the writers of religious books (scribes) were scandalized! In all their years of writing "How to books" they never once wrote of forgiveness of sin by any Rabbi (teacher). It was such a foreign concept that they accuse Y'shua of blasphemy. But Jesus who loves them, demonstrated his power and healed the man before their eyes. Who are you praying "in faith" for? 

(10-12) the Pharisees could have been called Methodists. They believed in a method of life that makes righteous. They had a strong "us and them" religion. They may have hoped Jesus would join them but are horrified by the company He keeps. To them He said, "learn what it is to be COMPASSIONATE." (Mt 5:7). 

If ever there were "sheep without a shepherd" it would be John's disciples. Trying to carry on without him, looking to other teachers for guidance. To them He taught about the heart (I think the wineskin teaching is about our heart). They knew that Messiah is coming, One who would speak truth to Israel. They kept Torah to the best of their ability yet they had no power, no life in their religion. Y'shua tells them, don't try to fix (patch) what is wrong, don't confine the new life in the old teaching... Be born again, walk by the Spirit, looking to Jesus, the author (of Torah) and finisher.

"Take courage, your sins are forgiven!"

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Psalm 116

  •  "I love YHVH (the LORD) because...
    Psalm 116:1a

    When I over-viewed my Psalm Of The Day it seemed simple and straight forward. And it is. Simple, in the same way that a chocolate mousse is simple and yet, at the same time, rich and complex. It is written in three parts that easily blend into one, though they could all stand on their own (sounds just like the Christian concept of the Trinity)

    116:1-4 Call upon the Name of the LORD... save my life.
  • Most of us came to Salvation because we came to a cross road in our life. We knew that we had to choose between life and death. We knew that if we chose life it was a package deal that involved our lifestyle and future choices, even if we were not clear on the details. All we may have known is that we had to have Jesus.

  • I remember as a young mother, the feeling of being unequipped for the job. Church seemed like something I should take my 18 month old son to (For his good... Praise God for the nursery lady!!!) That was where I first called on the Name of the LORD. Finding out that the Creator listens to my prayers amazed me, I am nobody in this world. How, you may wonder, do I know that God hears me? He answers my prayers! Hallelujah. Test Him on this for yourself. It starts with "save me!" 
  • 116:5-11 "The LORD preserves the simple..." This verse seems to describe growing in grace. God is described as COMPASSIONATE, a verb translated from Hebrew that shows us that God loves deeply with mercy. Gracious and righteous are the adjectives that fine tune our understanding of the Almighty. Gracious means "shows favor" and Righteous is strict Torah observance. When we were saved we were set free from the penalty of Torah. The Way of Life is choosing The Way of the covenant of Life, not for Salvation, not even for righteousness. We have both of those in Jesus. The bottom line for me is that I want to walk as Jesus walked and he was faithful to Torah. In point of fact, He is the Word of God, which is Torah.
  • "I shall walk before YHVH in the land of the living." 116:9
  • "I believed when I said, I am greatly afflicted" 116:10
  • How can I walk before Him (As ambassador, Ps 116:9) yet live any way I see fit at any given moment? Who am I representing? Do you find yourself bristling at the thought of being Torah observant? 
  •  I said in my alarm, "All men are liars."  Psalm 116:11
Do you find yourself bristling at the thought of being Torah observant? I understand. Psalm 116:11
Go back and look at Psalm 116:5b
Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yes, our God is compassionate. 
This is not a salvation issue. Now go back to 116:2b
 Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live. 
Call on the Name of YHVH. Ask Him and no one else about this issue.

Psalm 116:12-19 seems to be all about the falk of faith, of being a woman (or man) for whom trust is no longer an idea or theory. It is simply something we do. We've learne d the secret of asking "in Jesus Name" --I shall lift up the cup of Y'shua Jesus) and call upon the Name of YHVH.
I shall lift up the cup of Salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. Psalm 116:13
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father. "And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:12-15
We have come to know that The Way of Life is not easy but steep and narrow. We know the freedom of being a slave whose only bonds are the Lof of God through Y'shua (Jesus).
O LORD, surely I am Thy servant, I am Thy servant, the son of Thy handmaid, Thou hast loosed my bonds.  Psalm 116:16
We happily give Thanksgiving... in all things and for all things, remembering that we are part of a body of believers... The body of our own King Y'shua Jesus.

Debs in Everett, Washington
December 26, 2017

Monday, December 25, 2017

Psalm 115

 "For "Whoever will call upon the Name of YHVH will be saved." Joel 2:32, Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13

My Psalm Of The Day is 115, a Psalm of contrasts between worshiping the Creator and any other bene' elohiym. Oden is a popular god (bene elohiym) this time of year. You may know him as Santa Claus. 

The glory of believers in Y'shua (Jesusis in the Name of YHVH. Glory is the manifestation of deity. Let that sink in. (Selah)

What is it about the Name? It represents His lovingkindness (grace) and Truth (Jesus is the Truth). What about Oden? Though he is adorned with bling, it is still man made. Under that long white beard he has a mouth but cannot speak 115:4-8
Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man's hands. They have mouths, but they cannot speak; they have eyes, but they cannot see; They have ears, but they cannot hear; they have noses, but they cannot smell; They have hands, but they cannot feel; they have feet, but they cannot walk; they cannot make a sound with their throat. Those who make them will become like them, everyone who trusts in them.  Psalm 115:4-8 nas
Everything Oden does is the work of a man's hand.... except for one thing, he is very good at stealing the love in our heart for Y'shua (Jesus). I want to cry every time a child looks with loving expectation for Santa's sleigh the way we should be looking for the soon return of Y'shua. I watched with agony as a parent recorded their little boy with his big, moist eyes proclaim his love for Santa. Heartbreak. No matter what we say, it turns out that Jesus is NOT the reason for the season.

But trust in YHVH 115:9-13
He is our help and our shield. 
He blesses believers beyond the wealth (or credit) of the family 115:13-14 
But as for us, we will bless YHVH from this time forward (no batteries required)
Hallelujah (bless the LORD)

Debs in Everett, Washington
December 25, 2017

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Psalm 113

 "Who is like YHVH our God?#Psalm 113:5a

From first light to starlight, YHVH is worthy of praise. From now until all of eternity I will bless His Name, to kneel as I adore Him is a delight to these old bones! Not because my LORD is a tyrant who might cut me down if I do not (He is never that way) but because of His love for creation. That is why I praise Him!

In my Psalm Of The Day, 113, the singer testifies what he knows about the Almighty. His throne is above all else (113:5b) yet he humbles Himself to see (even me!). The poor are given His hand up, those who mourn (the ash heap) are embraced and lifted up in His loving arms. His beloved take their seat at the table of Princes, the childless become mothers in His own house! Joy!

How is it possible for we who have no importance in the world to have such an intimate relationship with the Almighty?

Praise the LORD, Hallelujah. 
As his slave (a position of joy) Bless (kneel and adore) YHVH . Bless even the Name of the Almighty.

Does that sound like drudgery? I once thought that too. But what did I have to loose by trying? Turns out the Father of Lies is the one putting it in your ear that praise is stupid. It is in His best interest that you do not Praise the LORD. I'm challenging YOU. Take time to Praise the LORD. It isn't about you, so for just a moment don't even indulge in thanksgiving, as important as that is. Sometimes it helps me to start with a couple of Pharisees to focus on God instead of what he does for me.

LORD I worship You because ______ 
(You are high above all 113:5a, You are humble 113:6a, etc)
What I love about You LORD is ______ 
(The way you see the needy and do something 113:7a, how you make nobody's somebody 113:8 etc.) 

Got the idea? Now is as good of time as any to start. It transforms us from simple beggars to PrayerWarriors!

Debs in Everett, Washington
December 23, 2017 

Psalm 83

 I am, admittedly distracted. There are potatoes to peel, a bird to roast, candles to light. It is Thanksgiving in America. Today's Psalm is 83, an upsetting song about the silence of heaven when it seems as if the whole world is coming against the people of God. Where is the sense of thankfulness in that? 

The things that I am thankful for do not come from an easy life. The most difficult times of my life, days when I didn't have a friend, times when my family was coming appart in the most painful way, days when I lost everything... those were the seasons that brought thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a sacrifice. But what is sacrificed? Often it is my will. 

Thanking God in all things and for all things isn't always about gratitude. Sometimes it is an acknowledgement of God's Way being better then my bright idea.

After the stress of the reality of Psalm 83, the final verse states, "That they may know that Thou alone, whose name is YHVH (The LORD), art the Most High over all the earth." That is the goal of thanksgiving.

Debs in Everett, Washington
November 23, 2017.

Psalm 82

 God (Elohiym) stands in the divine assembly. He administers judgement in the midst of the gods.

That is closer to how the Hebrew translation of Psalm 82:1 reads. But what does it mean?

So many of us know Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." A simple statement that seems straight forward enough. Then I come to the account of day 2 when God creates an expanse in the midst of the waters which he calls heaven (Gen 1:8). Wait a minute! Didn't he already create heaven in verse 1? 

On day 4 God creates the sun, moon, and stars. The celestial bodies describe the night time heavens for me. So why, I wonder, does God say He created heaven on the first day? Here is what I think. Creation has two parts, I picture an upside-down Y, or the branches on a family tree. On the first day God created the spirit realm (heaven) and the physical realm (earth) but He only describes one side of the Y. We do not get any details of the creation of the spirit realm but we get an orderly account of the creation of the physical realm. There are wispy glimpses into the spirit realm: Job 1:6ff, Isaiah 6:1-4f, Ezekiel chapter 1, etc. Psalm 82 is one of the glimpses into the spirit realm.

There is a divine assembly of Ben Elohiym (son's of God, of which Adam was also created to be, Genesis 5:1 and Luke 3:38). The Creator, the Most High God is over all. I've come to understand that the Ben Elohiym are stewards of the nation's of men. Ephesians 6:11-12 confirms this idea. In Psalm 82 The Most High God is having a staff meeting to voice how angry He is with their stewardship. He does not tell the Ben Elohiym that they have a 2nd chance to make things right. He judges them
I said, "You are gods, and all of you are sons of the Most High. "Nevertheless you will die like men, and fall like any one of the princes." Psalm 82:6-7
Are we doomed with them? 

They are only stewards. The earth is YHVH's (Psalm 82:8 and 24:1 for example). But what does that have to do with me, besides knowing that the foreign God's are not sovereign over me? God has given me a stewardship. What I have is His and one day I will be called into His office to give an account of what I have done with what he has put me in charge of. How will I answer Him? How will you? Keep your eyes on Y'shua.

Debs in Everett, Washington
November 22, 2017.

Psalm 81

 A song that reminds me of finding strength in the joy of the LORD. "O that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in my Ways!" Psalm 81:13

Look at Psalm 81:14-16 to see how the Almighty rewards those who will obey Him.
"I would quickly subdue their enemies, and turn My hand against their adversaries. "Those who hate the LORD would pretend obedience to Him; and their time of punishment would be forever.  Psalm 81:14-16 nas
 He defeats what seems to defeat you. What, you may wonder, is it that God wants us to do so that we can walk in victory? "The joy of the LORD is our strength, so "sing for joy" 81:1. Sing loud. You say you're not feeling it? You don't have to feel it, just do it. Turn on praise music and sing along. God himself will give you the "feelings" all you have to do is obey. Start singing! He has even brought me there through tears.

Spend some time in the Word. Learn what pleases God. I know you hear this all the time, but do you actually do it? Have you done it today? I have a fantastic Bible program on my computer but I had to quit using it for my morning devotions. That same computer also has social media. I am embarrassed to admit how quickly I get lost in social media and do not get to the study that I planned to do. How about you? I love that you may get a jump-start or a moment of fellowship reading my humble post, but this isn't where the Almighty does His best work for you. Open your Bible and ask 'Abba (our Father in heaven) to "open the eyes of your heart" and reveal the wonders of His Word to you. You'll find yourself shouting for joy.

Debs in Everett, Washington
November 21, 2017.