VIDEO The Messiah

Apr 28, 2017

The Messiah is a very well done film as a educational religious drama. The story takes place approx. one year after the death and resurrection of Yeshua (Jesus). Rabbi Yehudah, who was once a skeptic of the gospel of Christ, comes to believe and realize that Jesus is truly the long awaited Messiah as foretold in the Old Testament scriptures and shares his revelation of this truth at a gathering with his traditional Jewish family for the yearly observance of Passover.

Pants on Fire!

Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Proverbs 6:27 (NIV)

Miami lawyer Stephen Gutierrez was defending a client accused of arson. As he made his closing arguments, he made a quick exit as his pants caught fire. The culprit was an e-cigarette battery, which ignited at the worst possible moment. Gutierrez was unharmed, but his client was convicted.

Allowing a bad habit to reside in the pockets of your mind or heart is dangerous, for you never know when it will ignite in shame, harmful consequences, or judgment. The apostle James warns about this twice. James 3:6 says, “The tongue is a fire.” When we allow the wrong words to slip into our conversation, it can burn up our testimonies. James later also warns against the selfish accumulation of wealth, saying, “Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will … eat your flesh like fire” (James 5:3).

Likewise, Proverbs 6:27 describes sexual immorality as taking fire into our laps, hoping not to be burned. Wrong words, covetousness, and sexual sin—these and other hidden sins—will come back to burn us. If you’re tolerating anything in your life that could flare up into sin, confess it to God. Don’t let Satan fan temptation into a flame.

Sin is like fire, because if you wait too long before you attempt to bring it under, the attempt is useless. The time comes when fire gets the upper hand. E. A. Gillett

Take My Yoke

Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus invites all burdened individuals to come to Him for rest, yet so often we misunderstand what He is offering. When stresses and problems weigh us down, the most natural response is to ask God for relief: “Lord, I can’t carry this anymore. I’m going to leave it here with You.” Having dumped the burden like a bag of garbage, we walk away but remain unchanged inside.

God doesn’t operate that way. Christ’s invitation is to join Him in the yoke so you can walk and work together. He doesn’t want just your burden; He wants you. The yoke of Christ is a symbol of discipleship, characterized by submission and obedience to Him. God’s goal isn’t simply to give relief by removing a weighty trial or affliction; He longs to draw you to Himself in a close and trusting relationship. Those who take Him up on His offer will turn from their old ways and be transformed.

The process of lightening the load begins with learning to know and understand the Lord. The burden is not necessarily removed, but our thoughts and responses are changed as we begin to love Him, trust Him, believe His promises, and rely on His power. Then, as the weight of the affliction shifts from our shoulders to His, we will discover relief, although the situation may remain unchanged.

Being yoked with Christ results in rest for your soul. Life’s pressures may not lessen, but if you are intimately linked with Jesus, your soul is free from churning anxiety, and His peace is ruling in your heart. You have nothing to lose—except your weariness—and much to gain.

His Son’s Name

“Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his Son’s name, if thou canst tell?” (Proverbs 30:4)

The obvious answer to these rhetorical questions must center in God, the Creator of all things. But the fascinating revelation in this Old Testament passage is that God has a Son and that both have names.

When Moses asked God His name, “God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am . . . . This is my name for ever” (Exodus 3:14-15). Later, Moses, in his song of deliverance, said: “The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name” (Exodus 15:3). The name Lord (Hebrew Jehovah or Yahweh) means, essentially, “I am, the self-existent one.”

As far as His Son’s name is concerned, it is revealed in Scripture in many ways. In the Old Testament prophecy, “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). How remarkable that a “Son is given” who is also named the mighty God and everlasting Father!

In His incarnation, the angel commanded Joseph, “Thou shalt call his name Jesus” (“Jehovah saves”), but he also said, “They shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:21, 23).

There are many other titles by which the Son of God is identified, but perhaps the most significant are noted in connection with His final return in triumph. “His name is called The Word of God” (Revelation 19:13), identifying Him as both eternal Creator and incarnate Savior (John 1:1-3, 14). As our eternal King, “he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords” (Revelation 19:16). HMM

“The Lord recompense thy work.”

Ruth 2:8-23

Boaz having asked his servant concerning Ruth, he approached the damsel and addressed her most kindly.

Ruth 2:8-17

Boaz’s chief and special reason for doing good to Ruth was that she was a guest in Israel, a dove nestling beneath Jehovah’s wings. Religion was uppermost in his soul, and therefore he rejoiced in the woman who had left all to fallow the living God. Meanwhile Ruth behaved in the most modest and humble manner, never ceasing to be herself. She toiled on happily all day, supported by the love which she felt towards Naomi at home, for whom she esteemed it to be a great pleasure to work. When children are kind to their parents they are in the way of blessing. Little did Ruth imagine that she would one day be married to the owner of the fields in which she gleaned: there are good things in store for those who walk before God aright.

Ruth 2:18-23

Matthew Henry from this passage has drawn the following lessons. “Ruth finished her day’s work, (verse 17.) She took care not to lose time, for she gleaned until even. We must not be weary of well-doing, because in due season we shall reap. She did not make an excuse to sit still, or go home till the evening. Let us ‘work the works of him that sent us while it is day.’

She scarce used, much less did she abuse the kindness of Boaz, for though he ordered his servants to leave handfuls for her, she continued to glean the scattered ears. She took care not to lose what she had gathered, but threshed it herself that she might the easier carry it home, and might have it ready for use. ‘The slothful man roasteth not that which he look in hunting,’ and so loseth the benefit of it; ‘but the substance of a diligent man is precious.’ Ruth had gathered it ear by ear; but when she had put it all together, it was an ephah of barley, or about four pecks. Many a little makes a great deal. It is encouraging to industry, that ‘in all labour,’ even that of gleaning, ‘there is profit;’ but ‘the talk of the lips lendeth only to penury.’ When she had got her corn into as little compass as she could, she took it up herself, and carried it into the city, though had she asked them, it is likely some of Boaz’s servants would have done that for her. We should study to be as little as possible troublesome to those that are kind to us. She did not think it either too hard or too mean a service, to carry her corn herself into the city; but was pleased with what she had got by her own industry, and careful to secure it. And let us thus take care that ‘we lose not those things which we have wrought,’ or which we have gained.”

 

O Lord how happy should we be

If we could cast our care on thee,

And glean our portion day by day

In fields where thou dost bid us stay.

 

O teach us this choice way of life,

Serenely free from anxious strife,

To do our heavenly Father’s will

And trust his love and bounty still.

 


Jesus, spotless Lamb of God,

Thou hast bought me with thy blood,

I would value nought beside

Jesus—Jesus crucified.

 

I am thine, and thine alone,

This I gladly, fully own;

And, in all my works and ways,

Only now would seek thy praise.

 

Help me to confess thy name,

Bear with joy thy cross and shame,

Only seek to follow thee,

Though reproach my portion be.

 


Jesus, our Kinsman and our God,

Array’d in majesty and blood,

Thou art our life; our souls in thee

Possess a full felicity.

 

All our immortal hopes are laid

In thee, our surety and our head;

Thy cross, thy cradle, and thy throne,

Are big with glories yet unknown.

 

Oh, let my soul for ever lie

Beneath the blessings of thine eye;

‘Tis heaven on earth, ’tis heaven above,

To see thy face, and taste thy love.

 


Thou, who a tender Parent art,

Regard a parent’s plea;

Our offspring, with an anxious heart,

We now commend to thee.

 

Our children are our greatest care,

A charge which thou hast given:

In all thy graces let them share,

And all the joys of heaven.

 

Meekness and Temperance

Galatians 5:22, 23

Few people think of “meekness” as a desirable attribute. Most assume that if a person is “meek,” he must be “weak.” To these people, a meek person is one who is timid, shy, bashful, or perhaps introverted.

But this a grossly incorrect view of the New Testament word for “meekness.” In actual fact, “meekness” is one of the strongest attributes a person can possess, with a unique strength that has a dramatic impact on all it touches. In Galatians 5:22 and 23, meekness is listed as one of the fruits that the Holy Spirit produces in our lives. These verses tell us, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness….”

Meekness:

So what is “meekness?” The word “meekness” comes from the Greek word prautes, which depicts the attitude or demeanor of a person who is forbearing, patient, and slow to respond in anger; one who remains in control of himself in the face of insults or injuries. In the Greek language, the word prautes (“meekness”) conveys the idea of a high and noble ideal to be aspired to in one’s life. Although an injurious situation may normally produce a rash or angry outburst, a meek person is controlled by kindness, gentleness, mildness, or even friendliness.

The word “meekness” pictures a strong-willed person who has learned to submit his will to a higher authority. He isn’t weak; he is controlled. He may in fact possess a strong will and a powerful character; he may be a person who has his own opinion. But this person has learned the secret of submitting to those who are over him. Thus, he is one who knows how to bring his will under control. In rare instances, the word prautes (“meekness”) was used to describe wild animals that had become tame because it correctly conveyed the idea of a wild, fierce will under control.

This means when the Spirit is producing meekness in your life, you are controlled even in difficult circumstances. Rather than fly into a rage and throw a temper tantrum, you are able to remain silent and keep your emotions and temper under control. If you find yourself in a situation that you fiercely believe is wrong, you are still able to stay silent until the appropriate moment to speak or until you have been asked for your opinion. You know how to control yourself and your emotions.

In addition to these meanings, the word “meekness” was also used in a medical sense to denote soothing medication to calm the angry mind. A meek person doesn’t project the countenance of one who is offended, upset, angry, or reactive to insults or injuries. Instead, he is so gentle and mild in his response that he becomes soothing medicine for the angry or upset soul, or for a troublesome or unsettling situation.

So take a moment to examine the way you respond to insults, injuries, or volatile situations. Do you find that you are often a contributor to a heated and potentially explosive atmosphere? Or does your presence bring peace into the midst of the conflict? When others say or do something that could offend you, do you quickly retort with a harsh answer, or are you able to control your emotions and temper, remaining silent until a more appropriate time to speak?

The flesh loves to rage out of control, but when meekness is being produced in you by the Holy Spirit, it will make you careful and controlled. Your very presence will become God’s soothing medication for angry, upset people, and you will impart peace to situations that hitherto were unsettling and unstable.

Temperance:

Paul goes on to mention “temperance” next in his list of the fruit of the Spirit. But doesn’t “temperance” have almost exactly the same meaning as the word “meekness”? What is the difference between these two fruits of the Spirit?

As noted above, the word “meekness” has to do with the attitude or demeanor of a person who can control his temper or emotions. But the word “temperance” comes from the Greek words en and kratos. The word en means in, and the word kratos is the Greek word for power. When compounded into one word, these two Greek words form the word enkrateia, which literally means in control and denotes power over one’s self, hence, it is often translated as the word “self-control.” It suggests the control or restraint of one’s passions, appetites, and desires.

Just as a meek individual can control his attitude, a person with temperance has power over his appetites, physical urges, passions, and desires. Because the Holy Spirit has produced temperance in his life, he is able to say no to overeating, no to overindulging in fleshly activities, no to any excesses in the physical realm. A person with temperance maintains a life of moderation and control. The word enkrateia—”temperance”—could be thus translated as restraint, moderation, discipline, balance, temperance, or self-control.

You can see how opposite temperance is to the works of the flesh. If the flesh is allowed to have its way, it will over-worry, overwork, overeat, overindulge, and literally run itself to death. But when a person is controlled by the Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit produces in him a discipline over the physical realm that helps him sustain his physical condition, stay in good health, remain free from sin, and live a life that is moderate and balanced.

Now that you better understand the meanings of the words “meekness” and “temperance,” consider how well you’re doing in allowing the Holy Spirit to produce these two spiritual fruits in your life. Do you demonstrate that you can control both your temper and your physical appetites and urges? Are you able to restrain your emotions and keep your flesh under control? Or would you have to honestly say that you have a hard time controlling your emotions and that your flesh is running the show?

Take a good look at yourself today to see if meekness and temperance are being produced in you. And if the answer is no, take some time today to ask the Holy Spirit to start producing these two powerful fruits in your life!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I am so thankful that You are patient with me as I learn to walk in the Spirit and to produce the fruit of the Spirit in my life. Every day I am becoming more aware of my need to be changed. It is very evident that I cannot change myself without Your help. I know that I need meekness and temperance in my life. When I look at myself in the mirror, my physical image even tells me that temperance is greatly lacking in me. So today I am sincerely calling out and asking You to help me move up to a higher level of life. Produce these powerful, life-changing fruits in me. Change me, I pray!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I am becoming more and more controlled in my emotions and my physical life. Restraint, moderation, temperance, discipline, self-control—all of these are becoming a part of who I am and how I behave. The nature and character of Jesus Christ are being developed in me. The spiritual fruits of meekness and temperance are changing me—bringing peace to every situation I encounter and producing health in me as I learn to be moderate in everything that I do!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Do you have the testimony of being soothing medicine for the angry or upset soul, or do you stir up anger and strife? Do others see you as having a calm and soothing effect on other people?
  2. When you look at your life honestly, do you see self-control? Do you have power over yourself, or does your flesh call all the shots? Are you able to tell your flesh what to do, or does your flesh command you?
  3. In what areas do you think you need more self-control? Why don’t you think about this question and then make a list of those areas in your life that need to be more controlled by the Spirit of God?

 

Many Of Us Live With A Certain Dread Of The Future

MANY OF US LIVE WITH A CERTAIN DREAD OF THE FUTURE. A fear that some day the bottom will fall out. A fear that the plague will eventually get us.

 

Jesus, our loving Shepherd, can lay those fears to rest. Consider His promises in Psalm 23:

 

If I am fearful of loosing my way, He offers me direction: “He leads me beside quiet waters… ”

 

If I am fearful of poverty, He offers me provision: “I shall not be in wantmy cup overflows… ”

 

If I am fearful of fatigue or burnout, He offers me rest and renewal: “He makes me lie down in green pastures beside quiet watersHe restores my soul.

 

If I am fearful of spiritual compromise, He offers me growth: “He guides me in paths of righteousness for His names sake… ”

 

If I am fearful of loneliness, He offers me His companionship and solace: “You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me… ”

 

If I am fearful of humiliation, He offers me honor: “You anoint my head with oil… ”

 

If I am fearful of calamity, He offers me His bountiful kindness: “Surely goodnesswill follow me all the days of my life… ”

 

If I am fearful of rejection or isolation, He offers me His merciful favor: “Surelylove will follow me all the days of my life… ”

 

If I am fearful of being lost, He offers me His salvation: “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

 

The only requirement on my part to receive the care and protection of this devoted Shepherd, is total surrender to His Lordship.

 

After all, the Psalmist did start the 23rd Psalm with, “The Lord is my Shepherd!

 

QUESTION: Is there an area of your life that you have not relinquished to His Lordship? Why not surrender it to Him today and begin to experience the freedom and joy of living under His sovereign and loving care?