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Posts Tagged ‘faith’

As a gentile being raised in a Christian church, I have been taught that I am not “under the Law”, but “under grace”.  Within the past few years, I have been drawn to discovering the Hebrew roots of Christianity and decided that it was important to find out exactly what “Law” I’m no longer under.

To my surprise, I found that the wonderful Law given to Moses on Mt. Sinai is the same Law/commands/teachings that Jesus (Yeshua) taught in the New Testament!  This totally blew me away!  All these years my pastors and others have said I don’t have to follow the moral guidelines of the Old Testament (the Scriptures that Jesus and the Apostles taught from) when in reality these are exactly what Jesus said to follow.

The confusion comes in when the Christian church lumps all “laws” into one group.  Jesus attempted to abolish the rabbinical, man-made opinions and traditions that kept people in bondage. Neither He nor His apostles ever spoke against the Law given to Moses nor suggested that after Jesus’ death the Torah/Law was to become null and void.

By being grafted in because Yeshua’s (Jesus) redemption, we are expected to be Christ followers. Jesus would have observed all of the 613 Mitzvot because these were written by God. Since being written by God, this is how God would have lived if He was living on earth, and He was living on earth as Jesus. Therefore, Jesus would still be living by His own commandments today.

The Apostle Paul said, “Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.” (Romans 3:31) Paul understood that the Law/Commandments given to Moses were never intended to provide salvation through works. That came through trusting in God in the Old Testament (Romans 4:3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”) Our salvation comes today by trusting in Jesus and His resurrection recorded in the New Testament.

God gave 613 mitzvot (also called laws or commandments, but actually a better understanding is teachings) to Moses for the Hebrews to follow, thus enabling them to become holy people in His sight. 248 were positive Mitzvot / Commandments (“the Do’s”), and 365 were negative ones (“the Don’ts”).

The following list shows most of the positive mitzvot applicable to the Jewish people today (taken from ttp://mussarleadership.org/mitzvot/mitzvot_list.html). Many of these are also being followed by Christians based on New Testament teaching or the moral law we instinctively have been taught. (Each mitzvah retains its original number from the list of 613 mitzvot at http://gods-word-first.org/bible-study/613commandments.html)

The Positive Mitzvot / Commandments: “The Do’s”

RELATIONSHIP TO GOD
1 Exodus 20:2 – To believe in God.
I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Mark 11:22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.

John 5:24 Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.

John 14:1 Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me.

John 17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Additional verses: Gal. 3: 6, Titus 3:8, Heb. 10:2, 1 Peter 1:21,

2 Deuteronomy 6:4 – To acknowledge the Unity of God.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:

Mark 12:29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

John 17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

Eph. 4:5-6 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Gal 3:20 A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.

1 Tim. 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,

Additional verses: Matt. 19:17, Mark 12:32, Romans 3:30, 1 Cor. 8:6, James 2:19

3 Deuteronomy 6:5 – To love God.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Matt. 22:37 Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

Mark 12:33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

1 Cor. 2:9 However, as it is written: What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived the things God has prepared for those who love him.

1 Cor. 8:3 But whoever loves God is known by God.

Additional verses: Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27, Luke 11:42, James 2:5, 1 John 4:19,21, 1 John 5:1

4 Deuteronomy 6:13 – To fear God.
Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.

Matt. 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Acts 9:31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.

2 Cor. 5:11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others.

2 Cor. 7:15 And his affection for you is all the greater when he remembers that you were all obedient, receiving him with fear and trembling.

1 Peter 2:17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

Additional verses: Luke 12:5, Luke 23:40, Phil. 2:12, Rev. 14:7, Rev. 15:4
5 Exodus 23:25; Deuteronomy 11:13; 13:4 – To serve God.
And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.

Luke 4:8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”

John 12:26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

1 Thes. 1:9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,

Hebrews 9:14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death,[a] so that we may serve the living God!

Additional verses: Matt. 4:10, Matt. 6:24, Luke 16:13, Romans 7:25, Romans 12:11
6 Deuteronomy 10:20 – To cleave to God.
Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.

John 15:4-5 Remain in me as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Acts 11:23 When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.

Acts 14:22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.

Additional verses: John 15: 7, 10, 2 Thes. 2:15, 1 John 2:27, Rev. 14:12

7 Deuteronomy 10:20 – On taking an oath by God’s Name.
Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.

Matt. 5:34-35 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.

8 Deuteronomy 28:9 – On walking in God’s ways.
The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways.

Mark 8:34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Acts 24:14 However, I admit that I worship the God of our ancestors as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets,

Romans 7:12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.

Eph. 4:1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

Eph. 5:1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children

Col. 1:10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,

1 John 2:17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

1 John 3:24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

Additional verses: Matt. 23:2-3, Matt. 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 9:23, Luke 16:17,John 12:26, Acts 21:24, Romans 2:13, 1 John 4:16

9 Leviticus 22:32 – On Sanctifying God’s Name.
Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the Lord which hallow you,
Matt. 6:9 This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

Luke 1:49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name

Luke 4:8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.

2 Cor. 7:1 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

1 Tim. 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.

Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,

1 Peter 1:16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Additional verses: Luke 11:2, Eph. 5:21, Hebrews 13:15, 1 Peter 2:9, Rev. 4:8, Rev. 15:4

TORAH
10 Deuteronomy 6:7 – On reciting the Shema prayer each morning and evening. 

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

11 Deuteronomy 6:7 – On studying and teaching Torah.
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Matt. 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Matt. 5:17-19 “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. 18 For truly I tell you, 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.

Col. 1:28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.

1 Tim. 4:13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.

2 Tim. 3:15-16 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness

2 Tim. 4:2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

Titus 1:9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

Additional verses: John 5:39, Acts 5:42, Col. 3:16, 2 Tim. 2:15, 2 Tim. 2:24, Titus 2:1, 1 Peter 3:15

18 Deuteronomy 31:19 – On that everyone should have a Torah scroll.
Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.

John 5:39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me.

1 Tim. 4:13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.

2 Tim. 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

19 Deuteronomy 8:10 – On praising God after eating, Grace after meals.
When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.

Matt. 26:26-27 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.

Luke 9:16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people.

Acts 27:35 After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat.

Additional verses: Matt. 14:19, Mark 6:41, Mark 8:7, Mark 14:22-23, Luke 22:17,19, Luke 24:30, John 6:11

TEMPLE AND THE PRIESTS
20 Exodus 25:8 – On building a Sanctuary / Tabernacle / Temple for God.
And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.

1 Cor. 3:16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?

1 Cor. 6:19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

2 Cor. 6:16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

1 Peter 2:5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

21 Leviticus 19:30 – On respecting the Sanctuary.
Ye shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.

Matt. 21:13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”

32 Leviticus 21:8 – On honoring the Cohanim (Priests).
Thou shalt sanctify him therefore; for he offereth the bread of thy God: he shall be holy unto thee: for I the Lord, which sanctify you, am holy.

Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

Heb. 13:17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.

54 Deuteronomy 16:14 – On rejoicing on the Festivals.
And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates.

73 Numbers 5:6-7 – To confess one’s sins before God and repent from them.
Speak unto the children of Israel, When a man or woman shall commit any sin that men commit, to do a trespass against the Lord, and that person be guilty; Then they shall confess their sin which they have done: and he shall recompense his trespass with the principal thereof, and add unto it the fifth part thereof, and give it unto him against whom he hath trespassed.

Matt. 3:2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Matt. 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Luke 13:3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.

Luke 15:7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Acts 3:19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Additional verses: Matt. 3:6, Mark 1:5, Mark 6:12, Luke 24:47, Acts 5:31, Acts 19:18, Acts 20:21, Acts 20:26, James 1:21, James 5:16

VOWS
94 Deuteronomy 23:21 – On that a man must honor his oral vows and oaths.
When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.

Matt. 5:33-35 Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.

James 5:12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.

CONCERNING ANIMALS FOR CONSUMPTION
147 Leviticus 17:13 – Covering with earth the blood of slain fowl and beast.
And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust.

148 Deuteronomy 22:7 – On setting free the parent bird when taking the nest.
But thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, and take the young to thee; that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days.

149 Leviticus 11:2 – Searching for prescribed signs in beasts, for eating.
Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth.

Matt. 5:17-19 “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. 18 For truly I tell you, 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. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly 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.

Acts 15:20-21 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”

Acts 21:25 As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.”

150 Deuteronomy 14:11 – Searching for the prescribed signs in birds, for eating.
Of all clean birds ye shall eat.

Matt. 5:17-19 “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. 18 For truly I tell you, 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. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly 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.

Acts 15:20-21 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”

Acts 21:25 As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.”

151 Leviticus 11:21 – Searching for prescribed signs in locusts, for eating.
Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth;

Matt. 5:17-19 “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. 18 For truly I tell you, 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. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly 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.

Acts 15:20-21 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”

Acts 21:25 As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.”

152 Leviticus 11:9 – Searching for the prescribed signs in fish, for eating.
These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.

Matt. 5:17-19 “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. 18 For truly I tell you, 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. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly 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.

Acts 15:20-21 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”

Acts 21:25 As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.”

FESTIVALS
154 Exodus 23:12 – On resting on the Shabbat.
Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.

Luke 23:56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.
155 Exodus 20:8 – On declaring Shabbat holy at its onset and termination.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

156 Exodus 12:15 – On removal of chametz (leaven), on (Nisan 14th) Pesach (Passover).
Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.

Matt. 26:17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

Luke 22:7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed.

Acts 12:3 When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread.

Additional verses: Mark 14:1, Mark 14:12, Luke 22:1, Acts 20:6

157 Exodus 13:8 – Tell of Exodus from Egypt 1st night Pesach (Passover), (Nisan 15th).
And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt.

158 Exodus12:18 – On eating Matzah the first night of Pesach (Passover), (Nisan 15th).
In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.

159 Exodus 12:16 – On resting on the first day of Pesach (Passover).
And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.

160 Exodus 12:16 – On resting on the seventh day of Pesach (Passover).
And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.

161 Leviticus 23:15 – Count the Omer (Counting) 49 days from day of first sheaf, Nisan 16.
And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete:

162 Leviticus 23:21 – On resting on Shavuot (Pentecost).
And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.

163 Leviticus 23:24 – On resting on Rosh HaShannah (Head of Year).
Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.

164 Leviticus 16:29 – On fasting on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).
And this shall be a statute forever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you:

165 Leviticus 16:29 – On resting on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).
And this shall be a statute forever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you:

166 Leviticus 23:35 – On resting on the first day of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles).
On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

167 Leviticus 23:36 – On resting on Shemini Atzeret (the 8th day of Sukkot).
Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.

168 Leviticus 23:42 – On dwelling in a Sukkah (Booths) for seven days.
Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:

169 Leviticus 23:40 – On taking a Lulav (the four species) on Sukkot.
And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.

170 Numbers 29:1 – On hearing the sound of the Shofar on Rosh HaShannah (Head of Year).
And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you.
COMMUNITY
172 Deuteronomy 18:15 – On heeding the Prophets.
The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

Matt. 10:41 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.

Luke 4:21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Luke 16:29 Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

Luke 24:25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!

Luke 24:27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

John 5:39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,

Acts 24:14 However, I admit that I worship the God of our ancestors as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets,

2 Peter 3:2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

Additional verses: Matt. 22:40, Mark 14:49, Luke 24:44, John 2:22, Acts 1:16, Acts 28:23, Romans 3:21, Romans 15:4, 1 Cor. 10:11, 1 Cor. 15:3-4,2 Peter 1:19

175 Exodus 23:2 – On in case of division, abiding by a majority decision.
Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:

177 Leviticus 19:15 – Treating litigants equally / impartially before the law.
Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor.

John 7:24 Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”

1 Tim. 5:21 I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.

James 2:1 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.

178 Leviticus 5:1 – Anyone aware of evidence must come to court to testify.
And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity.

179 Deuteronomy 13:14 – The testimony of witnesses shall be examined thoroughly.
Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you;

184 Deuteronomy 22:8 – Build fence on roof, remove potential hazards from home.
When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence.

IDOLATRY
185 Deuteronomy 12:2 – On destroying all idolatry and its appurtenances.

Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree:

1 Cor. 10:7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.”

1 Thes. 1:9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,

1 John 5:21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.

WAR
192 Deuteronomy 23:14 – Prepare place beyond the camp, so to keep sanitary and…
For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.

193 Deuteronomy 23:13 – …so include a digging tool among war implements.
And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee:

SOCIAL
194 Leviticus 6:4 – On a robber to restore the stolen article to its owner.
Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found,

Luke 19:8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Romans 13:9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Eph. 4:28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

195 Deuteronomy 15:8 – On to give charity to the poor.
But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.

Luke 19:8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Acts 10:2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.

Romans 15:26 For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem.

Gal. 2:10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.

1 Tim. 6:18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.

James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

1 John 3:17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?

Additional verses: Matt. 5:42, Romans 12:13, 2 Cor. 8:13-14, 2 Cor. 9:7, Eph. 4:28, Heb. 13:16

197 Exodus 22:25 – On lending money to the poor without interest.
If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.

199 Deuteronomy 24:13 – On restoring a pledge to its owner if he needs it.
In any case thou shalt deliver him the pledge again when the sun goeth down, that he may sleep in his own raiment, and bless thee: and it shall be righteousness unto thee before the LORD thy God.

Matt. 5:42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

200 Deuteronomy 24:15 – On paying the worker his wages on time.
At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the LORD, and it be sin unto thee.

James 5:4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.

201 Deuteronomy 23:24 – Employee is allowed to eat the produce he’s working in.
When thou comest into thy neighbour’s vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel.

202 Exodus 23:5 – On helping unload when necessary a tired animal.
If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.

Luke 6:27 But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you

Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, …

James 4:17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

1 Peter 3:9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

203 Deuteronomy 22:4 – On assisting a man loading his beast with its burden.
Thou shalt not see thy brother’s ass or his ox fall down by the way, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt surely help him to lift them up again.

Matt 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Additional verses: Romans 15:2, Philippians 2:4, James 2:8

204 Deuteronomy 22:1 – On that lost property must be returned to its owner.
Thou shalt not see thy brother’s ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt in any case bring them again unto thy brother.

Mark 10:19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.

1 Peter 4:15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.

Additional verses: Matt. 19:18, Luke 18:20, Romans 13:9

205 Leviticus 19:17 – On being required to reprove the sinner.
Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him.

Matt. 18:15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.

Luke 17:3 So watch yourselves, If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them.

Eph. 5:11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

1 Tim. 5:20 But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning.

2 Tim 4:2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

2 Thes. 3:14-15 Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.

206 Leviticus 19:18 – On love your neighbor as yourself.
Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the LORD.

Mark 12:31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[a] There is no commandment greater than these.”

John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Rom. 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Gal. 5:14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

1 John 4:21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

1 John 5:2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.

Additional verses: Matt. 22:;39, Luke 10:27, Romans 13:9-10, Eph. 4:2, 1 Thes. 4:9, 1 Peter 1:22, 1 Peter 2:17, 1 Peter 3:8, 1 John 2:10, 1 John 3:11, 1 John 3:23

207 Deuteronomy 10:19 – On being commanded to love the convert / proselyte.
Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Luke 24:47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

John 15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

Acts 10:34-35 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.

Acts 15:3 The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad.

Romans 3:29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too,

Romans 11:11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.

Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Eph. 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Additional verses: Matt. 12:48, John 13:34, Acts 9:15, Acts 13:47-48, Acts 28:28, Romans 3:22, Eph. 2:11-13, 19, 1 Thes 3:12, 1 Peter 1:22

208 Leviticus 19:36 – On the law of accurate weights and measures.
Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.

1 Thes. 4:6 and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before.

Romans 12:17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.

Additional verses: Mark 10:19, 2 Cor. 8:21, 2 Cor. 13:7, 1 Peter 2:12

FAMILY
209 Leviticus 19:32 – On honoring the old (and wise).
Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.

1 Tim. 5:1-2 Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

1 Peter 5:5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble”.

210 Exodus 20:12 – On honoring parents.
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Matt. 15:4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death’.

Matt. 19:19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’

Luke 18:20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’

Eph. 6:2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—

211 Leviticus19:3 – On fearing parents.
Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.

Matt. 15:4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death’.

Matt. 19:19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’

Luke 18:20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’

Eph. 6:2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—

212 Genesis1:28 – On to be fruitful and multiply.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

215 Genesis17:10 – On circumcising one’s son.
This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.

JUDICIAL (today we carry out the punishment for this offense through our civil and criminal judicial system)
226 Exodus 21:20 – On punishment of transgressors of certain commandments.
And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.

TORTS (today we carry out the punishment for these offenses through our civil and criminal judicial system)
236 Exodus 21:19 – On the penalty for a person inflicting injury.
If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed.

237 Exodus 21:28 – On the law of injuries caused by an animal.
If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit.

238 Exodus 21:33 – On the law of injuries caused by a pit.
And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit, and not cover it, and an ox or an ass fall therein;

239 Exodus 22:1 – On the law of punishment of thieves.
If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.

240 Exodus 22:5 – On the law of a judgment for damage caused by a beast.
If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man’s field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution.

241 Exodus 22:6 – On the law of a judgment for damage caused by a fire.
If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith; he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.

242 Exodus 22:7 – On the law of an unpaid guardian.
If a man shall deliver unto his neighbor money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man’s house; if the thief be found, let him pay double.

243 Exodus 22:11 – On the law of a paid guardian.
Then shall an oath of the LORD be between them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour’s goods; and the owner of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good.

244 Exodus 22:14 – On the law of a borrower.
And if a man borrow ought of his neighbor, and it be hurt, or die, the owner thereof being not with it, he shall surely make it good.

245 Leviticus 25:14 – On the law of buying and selling.
And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbor, or buyest ought of thy neighbour’s hand, ye shall not oppress one another:

Mark 10:19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.

1 Thes. 4:6 and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister…

246 Exodus 22:9 – On the law of litigants.
For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing, which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbor.

247 Deuteronomy 25:1 – Save life of one pursued.
If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.

248 Numbers 27:8 – On the law of inheritance.
And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter.

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I’ve been studying the book of John and had an interesting thought while meditating on the following verse: 

Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.”  John 6:11

Jesus was faced with the need to feed 5,000 men, as well as women and children.  During a discussion with His disciples about how to feed all these people, only Andrew actually brought something to Jesus that He could possibly use:  five small loaves of bread and two small fish.  Jesus took the bread and the fish, blessed them, then distributed them to the people.  After everyone had eaten, the disciples collected twelve baskets of leftovers.

What struck me was that Jesus didn’t wait to bless the food until He knew He had enough.  He blessed it before He gave it away.  God’s blessings on us multiply our resources and talents.  He can take a nobody by the world’s standards and do amazing things through them when they are offered to Him to use as He wills without any preconditions.

The loaves and fish did not say, “It’s impossible to feed 5,000 plus people with us.  We’re much too small.”  They made no objections and applied no rules or limits to their use.  We, on the other hand, try to talk Jesus out of using us to our fullest extend by placing limits on our capabilities.  We complain, “I’m too young, too old, not educated enough, too shy, too poor, don’t know enough Bible verses, can’t get my spouse’s approval, too busy, too sick, etc.”

Lord, please help me to offer myself to you without reservations — fully surrendered to Your use in any capacity.

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As I was waking up yesterday morning, I began thinking about Creation and the Holy Spirit started showing me how my “new birth” in Christ is in sync with it.  I’d like to share these thoughts with you.

Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

When we are formed in the darkness of our mother’s womb, we are formed by God.  Isaiah 44:24  “This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself.  He brings us forth from a shapeless form of egg and sperm and creates a new, totally unique individual, breathing life into us.

Genesis 1:3-5  And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

Having a body, but no spirit leaves us living in darkness.  So God placed a spirit, our “inner man” or “spirit man” within each of us.  This spirit gives us the ability to communicate with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  It is this “inner man” that is “born again” or becomes a “new creation” or “new man” in Christ          (2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!).  This inner man is our conscience that tells us right from wrong, light from dark.  Before becoming a new creation in Christ, this inner man does not have the full capacity to know the right way to go.  After becoming a new creation, we have full access to the Holy Spirit, who will lead us and teach us how to live pure and righteous lives.

Genesis 1:6-8 and God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.”  So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so.  God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.  And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so.  God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

Not only does man have a spirit and a body, but he also has a soul.  The soul in the determining factor in so many of our decisions.  It represents our will, mind and emotions.  I believe the “sky” represents the soul.  The “dry ground” is our physical body.  Jesus is represented by the water above the sky, the “living water” from heaven that our spirit man so desires to connect with (John 7:38 Whoever believes in me (Jesus), as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”) .  The seas represent our emotions.  The Bible speaks of this in James 1:5-8 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

Our spirit man or inner man knows that there is a higher power outside of ourselves that is to be worshiped as our Creator.  Look at people groups from all over the earth.  Even those who have never heard of the Christian God or Jesus worship a higher power or source of life.

It is the “sky” or our minds that bring man’s logic, will and emotions into the picture.  When we want to be our own god or ruler of our universe, we control the “land” or our bodies and do whatever we want.  It is only when the “light” from the “living water”, separate from our mind, renews our our inner man that we can truly communicate with God and understand our purpose in life, and receive full and complete love and abundant life  (John 10:10 … I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).  It is our choice whether we allow our inner man or our soul to control our body.  The body can do nothing by itself.

Genesis 1:11-13 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.  The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.  And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

When Jesus renews our spirit or inner man and we become a “new creation in Christ”, the Holy Spirit works within us.  We are to bear the “fruit of the Spirit”:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).  We are to be seed spreaders.  The parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-9) speaks of  someone spreading seed on the path, the rocky places, the thorny ground and good soil.  As we live day by day, we are to be speaking to others about Christ.  Some will totally ignore us, some agree and try to follow Jesus until hard times come to them.  Others will be enthusiastic, but will get so caught up in their daily life that Jesus gets pushed out of the way.  But some will grab hold of the seed we have planted in their thoughts and will become seed spreaders themselves by coming to Christ.

You’ll notice that there were various kinds of plants and trees, each producing seed according to their kind.  We don’t all have to worship God in the same way.  If God didn’t like diversity, He wouldn’t have created such a beautiful, diverse world.  He loves all types of worship music, teaching and preaching, sitting quietly, and dancing and shouting.  He likes the King James version, New International, and on and on.  If you remember, the Bible was not written in the King James version.  It was written in Hebrew and Greek if I recall correctly.  The Holy Spirit is not limited to one type of writing.  He can speak truth to you through a child’s simple statement.  Different people are drawn to God in different ways.  We must not be so dogmatic as to think that our way is the only way to either worship the Lord or to serve Him.

Genesis 1:14-16 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.  God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.

God told Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky (Genesis 15:5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”).  Just as the stars give light in the night to show the way, so we as Christians are to be lights in this world.  We are to show others the way to Jesus, to a fulfilling and purpose-filled life.  We are to be different from the darkness around us.  Those in darkness, who cannot seem to find the good in the world, who have an emptiness in their hearts, can be drawn to the light we possess.  If we will only let the light of Jesus shine in our lives, those who are hurting and see no hope will be drawn to Jesus like a moth is drawn to the light.

We are to be signs to mark seasons and days and years.  As Christians, we should know our Bible enough to be aware of what is happening in the world today and how that corresponds to what the Bible says is coming.  As we read the Word and compare it to today’s circumstances, we can show others the way and point them toward the truth so they will not live in fear, but place their hope and trust in the Lord.

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Jesus asked a paralyzed man a curious question.  “Would you like to get well?” (John 5:6)  Sounds like a pretty crazy question, actually a stupid question.  Of course, idiot, who wouldn’t want to be healthy. 

Now let’s bring it into today, to your life now where it counts.  You have a lot of emotional baggage.  Hurts and pain from the past of words spoken to you, actions taken against you, bad decisions you’ve made.  All these things gnawing at you day by awfully long day.  You’ve heard there is someone who can help you, but you really don’t know much about him.  Some people think he’s great, some think he’s a charlatan.  None the less, he offers you hope. 

But there’s an even bigger problem than trusting him.  Can you handle the change?  You’ve had these feelings for so long.  You’ve managed to deal with them and hide them somewhat effectively.  Well, except for the sudden outbursts of anger that appear from nowhere against your family and friends.  Your inability to really get close to people has actually protected you, hasn’t it?  And who wants to appear weak, especially in front of their Christian friends who tell you “just put it all behind you” like Paul did and “run the race” (Philippians 3:13-14).  What Paul put behind him was his accomplishments, not his emotional pain (Philippians 3:4-7).  Paul let go of his achievements, but he gave his pain to Jesus. 

When we give our pain to Jesus, its not necessarily a painless process.  Often we’ve hidden it down deep within and must dig it back up to be able to present it to Him.  A lot of people don’t want to go through this process.  They would rather suffer with the “known” instead of risk facing the “unknown”.  Like the demonized man of Gerasenes, who lived in the caves, roaming around cutting himself (Luke 8:26-36) , somehow we believe Jesus will torment us and not deliver us.  Like, we’re not in torment already?  Jesus came to set us free.  Free to love.  Free to have joy and peace.  Free from guilt and shame.  He offers all of this to anyone who is willing.  Are you willing to give your pain and hurt to Jesus?  Would you like to get well?

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I love reading my New Living Translation of the Bible, but it has a unique little quirk to it.  It shows some verses found in a few translations as footnotes.  Such is the case with John 5:3-5:

3 Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches.[a] 5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years.

Footnotes:

  1. John 5:3 Some manuscripts add an expanded conclusion to verse 3 and all of verse 4: waiting for a certain movement of the water, 4for an angel of the Lord came from time to time and stirred up the water. And the first person to step in after the water was stirred was healed of whatever disease he had.

Perhaps verse 4 was added later to the manuscripts to explain why all these people were at the pool of Bethesda.

Have you ever wanted people to read the footnotes of your life instead of what they just see?  The whys and wherefores of the decisions you’ve made.  “Why in the world would she feel that way about what was said?”  “How could she have done that?”  If only they could read the footnotes.  Then they would see the things that had happened to you in the past to cause you to think and receive input from others the way you do.  I understand why the man was at the pool now.  Otherwise, it wouldn’t make much sense to hang out with a lot of other sick people.  Why not just stay home?  Well, there was no hope at home.  Nothing there could make him well.  At least, at the pool he had a chance. 

How close to the water had he gotten in these 38 years?  Right next to the water, but never close enough to be healed.  How many people are in churches today, sitting right next to someone who was healed of this or that disease or illness, yet they are still suffering after all these years.  And what is their suffering?  Paralyzed by fear, loss of all hope, tormenting illness or pain, unrelenting grief over guilt or loss of a loved one, remorse or regret.  They come week after week, yet no relief is found.  Still there is that small glimmer of hope.  Hope that someday, somehow, relief and deliverance will come. 

One day Jesus did come for this man.  And instead of the man seeking out Jesus, Jesus sought out him.  Jesus seeks us out to save and deliver us from ourselves.  As the man looked to himself and the others around him to get him into the water, he found that man’s help is sporadic and erratic at best.  It got him to the water, but not in the water.  But now the water has come to him.  Isn’t it wonderful that Jesus comes to us?  We don’t have to go searching for Him in our own strength or rely on the spiritual strength of others.  Yes, the Living Water is standing by.  Jump in, the water’s great.

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Taking the title from an oldie, but goodie song and giving it a slight twist poses an interesting question for all of us.  Think of the ways sex is often described:  “let’s get down and dirty”, “let’s do the dirty thing”, “the nasty thing”.  Ok, this is as deep as I’m going since I’ve rated this a PG blog.  But really.  Think about it. 

Now, as a boomer Christian, happily married I might add AND to the same man for 38 years, I’m not a prude, but neither am I a “swinger”.  Unfortunately, I know a Christian “swinger” or two and just have a terrible time wrapping my head around that one.  But back to the point.  As a Christian, I believe I am (1) created by God, (2) created in God’s image (hands, feet, body, head, thoughts, imagination, feelings, desires, hopes), (3) placed on this earth to fulfill a purpose, (4) responsible for my actions and my beliefs.  Now this last item can get a little sticky sometimes because we can act in a certain way and believe certain things based upon our experiences and what we have been taught. 

Many times we are taught things that just aren’t true.  Yes, we all know that our parents screwed us up.  That’s a given for many of us.  What we need to remember is that more often than not, they did the best they could with what they had.  And don’t forget, they had parents, too.  We are also taught things by our church or religious leaders, friends, teachers, TV, books and magazines, songs we listen to, etc.  Once we believe something, we begin to base our actions upon these beliefs.  The problem occurs when we are taught an untruth and begin acting upon it.

Somewhere, way back in history, the Church and who knows who else, began teaching that sex between a husband and wife should only be for procreation and not for pleasure.  Women really had a rough time with this.  We were to go from “good girls never do nasty things like have sex” to “Ok, Baby, anytime, anywhere” after we got married.  When a person has been programmed to believe something is wrong, guilt has an easy entrance into their thinking even when they haven’t done anything wrong.  (For those of you trying to psychoanalyze me now, have fun.  I know I can use all the help I can get.) 

Now, let’s get back to God.  If (1) I am created by God and (2) I am created in God’s image, then He knows how much fun sex is – He created it!  God knows every part of my body.  He knows its function, how it works, and how it interacts with other parts.  If He made me in such a way that my husband and I can enjoy each other in a physical way, then it must be good.  Remember, when God created man, He looked at what He had made and said, “It is good”.  Sex between a husband and wife is good, clean fun and a great stress reliever. 

So, for any of you out there who have been struggling with this, I hope this helps.  I know it helped me when I realized it.  Instead of letting satan steal this wonderful gift God has given us to enjoy, we should be singing another song – “To God Be the Glory, Great Things He Hath Done”.

 

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