Friday, February 23, 2018

Seek Justice or Do Justice?

Micah 6:8 (NIV)

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly[a] with your God.

My Scripture writing for today was this, Micah 6:8. Since it's in the Old Testament, I grabbed my Jewish Bible.

Guys! This is translated directly from the Hebrew. To me, it means something different from all of the English versions I've read.

Casting Crowns and Steven Curtis Chapman have songs with this Scripture in it.

I have always heard, "SEEK justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God."

You see in the NIV I posted above, it says to ACT justly.

Here is the Jewish Bible:
"He has told you, O man, what is good, And what the LORD requires of you:
Only to do justice, And to love goodness, And to walk modestly with your God."
Honestly, the King James is the closest: Micah 6:8 (KJV)
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
To SEEK means:
verb (used with object)sought, seeking. go in search or quest of:
to seek the truth. try to find or discover by searching or questioning:
to seek the solution to a problem. try to obtain:
to seek fame. try or attempt (usually followed by an infinitive):
to seek to convince a person.
To DO means:
verb perform (an act, duty, role, etc.):
Do nothing until you hear the bell. execute (a piece or amount of work):
to do a hauling job. accomplish; finish; complete:
He has already done his homework.
To ACT means:
1.anything done, being done, or to be done; deed; performance:
a heroic act.
2.the process of doing:
Honestly, I can't even find a version that uses the word SEEK. So, I'm not sure where that came from. I know I have heard it more than just that song. Seek and do are verbs, act is a noun.

What I want us to see here is that we need to really pay attention to God's Word.

It is our road map for life.

We can really mess so folks up telling them to SEEK justice. That sounds like they have to do something to earn their salvation.

We can not do anything to earn our salvation. Jesus died on the cross for us, and that will never change.

I believe the Golden Rule always applies to everything in life... treat people the way you want to be treated.

If you don't want people telling you that you are doing everything wrong, then don't tell them they are. Pray for people. Do justice. Love Goodness. Walk modestly with your God.

God bless you today and always!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

2 Reasons We Should Be Obedient

"Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess." Deuteronomy 5:33 defines Obey like this: comply with or follow the commands, restrictions, wishes, o rinstructions of:
to obey one's parents. comply with or follow (a command, restriction, wish, instruction,etc.).
3.(of things) to respond conformably in action to:
The car obeyed the slightest touch of the steering wheel. submit or conform in action to (some guiding principle, impulse,one's conscience, etc.).
verb (used without object)
to be obedient :to agree to obey.
I have had a couple of conversations recently about how some people feel certain things are sin for them, while others do not consider them as sins.
Take drinking alcohol for an example:
Some people say a drink here and there is ok. Others think it's a sin to drink ANY alcohol.
James 4:17 NIV says, "If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them." 
I read a devotional today and this one sentence grabbed me:
Obedience inspired by faith will lead you where knowledge and intelligence would never dare to go.

What this all boils down to, is if you are obedient to what you feel is right.... AND if you are obedient to the things in the Bible that are CLEARLY sin these things can happen:
1. Your life will change!
2. You will be blessed!

In Luke 11:28 Jesus said: 28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

These are just 2 reasons why we should be obedient in my opinion. Do you have any reasons to add to it? I'd love to hear them.

God bless you today and always!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Birthright or Beans: A New Way to Make Decisions

29 One day when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau arrived home from the wilderness exhausted and hungry. 30 Esau said to Jacob, “I’m starved! Give me some of that red stew!” (This is how Esau got his other name, Edom, which means “red.”)
31 “All right,” Jacob replied, “but trade me your rights as the firstborn son.”
32 “Look, I’m dying of starvation!” said Esau. “What good is my birthright to me now?”
33 But Jacob said, “First you must swear that your birthright is mine.” So Esau swore an oath, thereby selling all his rights as the firstborn to his brother, Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew. Esau ate the meal, then got up and left. He showed contempt for his rights as the firstborn. Genesis 25: 29-34 NLT

Shane Willard's 2nd message on Saturday night was just as good as his first.
This one is about how to make decisions.
First of all, Shane said to stop looking at decisions as if it's right or wrong.
What we should do, is think of, "Is this WISE to do?"
For example, is it wrong to eat 3 pieces of cake in one sitting? Nope.
Is it wise? Nope. I think this is a great way to look at life decisions.
In the Scripture I posted above, we see Esau selling is birthright to Jacob for what he thought was hardy beef stew. When Jacob gave it to him, after, he'd agreed, it was only beans.
Esau did something profane in the eyes of the Jews. Your birthright was one of the most special things about you. The writer of Hebrews even calls him "godless" Chapter 12, verses 16-17, "16 Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. 17 You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears."
Esau was treating his birthright as though it was a common thing.... when in reality it was not.
Birthright for them meant:
  1. Carrying on the family name for survival.
  2. Image for everything your family stands for.
  3. Entitled a person to an inheritance.
  4. Essentially, a summary statement of your destiny. 
Esau traded everything he could be for a momentary urge.
Shane asked these questions:
  1. Do we live as though there is no higher purpose which profanes our destiny? This pattern leads us to simply go from urge to urge. What seems so great (the red stuff) ends up being a cup of beans.
  2. Is the story of your life going to be a pursuit of the birthright or a summation of living from urge to urge?
Luke 9: 23 23 Then He (Jesus)said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow Me."
Live for your birthright with everyday decisions to destroy the bowl. Don't choose beans over your birthright!
God bless you today and always!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

This Is For Your Delieverance

For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance. Paul, in Philippians 1:19

Shane Willard was at my church over the weekend. This was his 7th year joining us. I absolutely LOVE his teachings. He learned under someone with Rabbi training. So, he knows a lot about the Jewish culture, history, and Hebrew. 
Saturday night we had 2 sessions. This post is about the first one.
Paul, who used to be Saul, was in prison during most of the letters we read in the Bible. When someone was in prison back then, if people who loved them did not bring them food, they died.
The church at Philippi decided to care for Paul while he was in prison.
Spoiler alert! Paul dies. So, when he wrote here in Philippians 1:19 about his deliverance, he was referencing Old Testament Scriptures. Job was one of them. King David the other. The truth here is that God will deliver you through whatever you are struggling with. 
Job 3: 15-16 says, "15 Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;
    I will surely[a] defend my ways to his face.
16 Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance,
    for no godless person would dare come before him!
These two men are going through a loss, but how they respond is inspirational!
In Psalm 34, David had just pretended to be insane to protect himself from someone. In verse 8 he says, "Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him."
We can take these examples and say this...
When life is hard, and there will be hard times, say, "This will be for my deliverance."
Shane said, "Struggle doesn't mean your faith is weak. In the middle of whatever is happening, no matter how it turns out, always have clean hands, pure hearts, and taste that's good." 
Life your life in a way that others see clean hands, a pure heart, and taste that's good.
No matter how big the stress gets, stay focused on God and keep saying, "This will be for my deliverance." 
No matter what, praise God.
No matter how it turns out, keep your ways clean before God.
When you struggle, if you share your life with clean hands, pure hearts, and tastes that's good, you will be an inspiration to many!
God bless you today and always!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

NLT vs Jewish Bible Scriptures

I can't explain enough about my excitement over this Jewish Bible!
I keep coming across Scriptures that we all know and love, and seeing how it's actually written in the Jewish Bible.
Today, I thought I would share a few with you all.
Jeremiah 29: 11-14 NLT 
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
Jeremiah 29:11-14 Jewish Bible
11 For I am mindful of the plans I have made concerning you - declares the LORD - plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you give you a hopeful future. 
12 When you call Me, and come and pray to Me, I will give heed to you.
13 You will search for Me and find Me, if only you seek Me wholeheartedly.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Jewish Bible
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths smooth.
Proverbs 13:12 NLT 
12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.
Proverbs 13:12 Jewish Bible
Hope deferred sickens the heart, But desire realized is a tree of life.
Genesis 1:1-2 NLT
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.[a] The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.
Genesis 1:1-2 Jewish Bible
1 When God began to create heaven and earth- the earth being unformed and voice, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from God sweeping over the water -
Isaiah 41:10 NLT 
10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 Jewish Bible
Fear not, for I am with you, be not frightened, for I am your God; I strengthen you and I help you, I uphold you with My victorious right hand.
Ecclesiastes 7:1 NLT
A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume.
    And the day you die is better than the day you are born.
Ecclesiastes 7:1 Jewish Bible
A good name is better than fragrant oil, and the day of death than the day of birth.
These are just a few of the ones I thought of. It's cool to see how they are some times so much alike, and other times so much different.
Is there one you'd like me to look up? Get in touch with me and I would be happy to type up the Jewish one for you.
God bless you today and always!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Glory - my word for 2018

"So all of us who have had the veil removed can see and reflect the GLORY of the LORD. And the LORD-who is the Spirit- makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image." 2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT

It's the time of year again, when I ask God for a word for the year. Last year was diligent, and that turned out to be significant in my life.
This year, I felt GLORY. At first, I thought maybe that was just me, because Glory is not one of your typical yearly words. Some people have "brave", "write", or "trust". These words are usually about God or something He wants us to concentrate on this new year.
Glory didn't fit to me, at first at least.
Then, I looked up the definition: "adoring praise", "resplendent beauty", "a state of great splendor", "magnificence" or "prosperity", "a state of absolute happiness, gratification, contentment."
Giving God my glory, my adoring praise on a daily basis, is something I strive to do.
Some of the other definitions, I believe, are things He wants to do for me. He wants me to prosper this year. He wants me to live in a state of absolute happiness, by being gratified and content. That can only happen with me staying connected to Him.
In my devotional reading, I came across Philippians 4:19, which says, "And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His GLORIOUS  riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus."
Glory and glorious are written throughout the Bible. I am going to enjoy finding them and studying this word this year.
I am also going to be watchful and mindful of how God uses this word and it's meaning in my life over 2018.
I'm excited about this year! I believe something amazing is going to happen.
Do you have a word? I would love to hear it!
God bless you today and always!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Psalm 23

Let me just tell you guys, I LOVE this Jewish Bible. I think it's probably closer to the original, since it is translated from Hebrew. It's so cool to me.
Most Christians know Psalm 23. We tend to use it in times of distress, in order to encourage ourselves. We see where King David was having a tough time, and we can relate.
I do not want to start a debate here, but I want to point something out. A lot of people will only read the King James Version, because they have been told it is closest to the original Hebrew. The problem is, we can't read Hebrew OR Greek and we are just taking someone else's word for it.
I don't care for the KJV because of the "thee's" and "thous". It's not easy to read. It is how they talked in the time period they translated the Bible. Therefore, I don't understand how it can be the best version.
Here is Psalm 23 in the KJV:
23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
NOW... Here is is in the Jewish Bible:
The LORD is my shepherd; I lack nothing.
2. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads to to water in places of repose;
3. He guides me in right paths as befits His name.
4. Though I walk through a valley of deepest darkness, I fear no harm, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff - they comfort me.
5. You spread a table for me in full view of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my drink is abundant;
6. Only goodness and steadfast love shall pursue me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for many long years.
My favorite part of this is "Only goodness and steadfast love shall PURSUE me all the days of my life."
God pursues us. He wants a relationship with us. He has put people in our paths to point us to Him. 
Pursue just means something different to me than "follow". What do you think?
Anyway, I think this is pretty awesome, and I am so excited to have the chance to share what I'm learning.
God bless you today and always!