“Let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband fulfill his obligation to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband”—1 Corinthians 7:2-3
Marriage is not always easy! Not so profound a statement, is it? But why is marriage often so difficult? After all, we’ve had thousands of years to perfect it. Aren’t we supposed to be this evolved being that learns to adapt to and concur the environment within which we find ourselves! We may be able to give many reasons to the above question, but let’s look at it from a Biblical perspective.(more…)
“Loved ones, though very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I felt it necessary to write to you urging you to continue to contend for the faith that was once for all handed down to the kedoshim (Saints)”—Jude 1:3
We live in a time when the mention of spiritual warfare and talk of angels and demons sound more like a science fiction movie than reality; especially in the western world. But this is exactly how the devil would have it. Someone once said, “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled off is to deceive the world into thinking he doesn’t exist.” After all, if the devil doesn’t exist, neither does spiritual warfare, and the bible is nothing more than fiction.
Rest assured that while we are busy living this deception and paying no attention to scripture, the devil remains focused on his one goal—destroying everything God created and dragging us to the pit with him.
The writer of the Proverbs said, “Two things I ask of You—do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me. Give me neither poverty nor riches, but feed me with my allotted bread, lest I become satisfied and deny You and say, “Who is Adonai?” Or lest I become poor, and steal and profane the Name of my God” (Proverbs 30:7-9). He is asking God to deliver him from the deception of the enemy and to protect him against the temptations of the world.
The devil tries to throw us off course in our riches by drawing our attention to the object of our wealth instead of staying focused on the Source of our wealth—God. The other end of the spectrum is to bring us to a place of desperation where he can tempt us to take matters into our own hands, instead of waiting for God to deliver us.
This is why Yeshua (Jesus) warned us to “be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Nations have had their wealth swept away and their faith trashed because they didn’t “contend for the faith” (Jude 1:3). This nation is no different! While are spend our days arguing over trivial issues and seeking to gain more riches, the enemy is gaining more ground against our souls. He remains focused and the plot continues to thicken. Don’t be a victim! “Stay alert! Watch out! Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, searching for someone to devour” (1Peter 5:8).
But, we should also never forget that we have a mediator sitting at the right hand of God. For, “Yeshua has obtained a more excellent ministry, insofar as He is the mediator of a better covenant which has been enacted on better promises” (Hebrews 8:6). We should never fail to rejoice in this, “For there is one God and there is one Mediator between God and men—a human, Messiah Yeshua, who gave Himself as a ransom for all—the testimony at the proper time” (1Timothy 2:5-6).
“”Then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Anointed One, for the accuser of our brothers and sisters—the one who accuses them before our God day and night—has been thrown out”—Revelation 12:10
Our adversary is called by other names in scripture. He is the Satan, the Adversary, the Deceiver, and the Accuser of the brethren. He has one goal, that is, to destroy God’s creation and those who are faithful to Him. Satan continues to leave a trail of death and destruction in his path without any plan to stop until all God’s people are destroyed; if that was possible.
The book of Revelation is a prophetic look at the consummation of our long betrothal to Adonai and the gathering of His people to Him. It also tells us what will happen to our accuser, whose goal is to rip us from the loving arms of Yeshua. Yes, Satan, too, has his lot. His days are numbered, and he knows it well.
Still, we do not have to wait until then to silence him and to mount a defense against his assaults. We must stand “strong in the Lord and in His mighty power” every day and “put on the full armor of God, so that you are able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10-11). We must never forget that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the worldly forces of this darkness, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesian 6:12).
At the same time, we can rejoice, knowing that we have the power to silence the enemy and send our accuser fleeing—”Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He may lift you up at the appropriate time. Cast all your worries on Him, for He cares for you. Stay alert! Watch out! Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, searching for someone to devour. Stand up against him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being laid upon your brothers and sisters throughout the world” (1 Peter 5:6-9).
Finally, remember that “the accuser of our brothers and sisters—the one who accuses them before our God day and night—has been thrown out” (Revelation 12:10).
“A healing tongue is a tree of life, but a deceitful one crushes the spirit”—Proverbs 15:4
Our words can either comfort or sting like a furious hornet. Stinging words are often aimed at soliciting either a similar response or to cause the recipient to shrink back in fear—they can either start a war or subdue a nation. Even the most “perfect” of us believers may fail to tame our tongue at some point, more so when we are the frequent target of another person’s cruelty.(more…)
“Yes, you yourselves planned evil against me. God planned it for good, in order to bring about what it is this day—to preserve the lives of many people”—Genesis 50:20
You’ve probably heard the statement, “It’s all about perspective”! We often say this when we are trying to console ourselves and/or others. Our situation may not seem so bad if we compare it to others in far worse situations that our own. Some may go so far to call it a “reality check” and a sort of “down-to-earth moment”. How often does this make you feel better about your situation, and if it does, how often does that feeling last?
There’s truth to the statement that perspective matters but there’s another perspective that we should consider more often—God’s perspective.(more…)
“Therefore, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also get rid of every weight and entangling sin. Let us run with endurance the race set before us, focusing on Yeshua, the initiator and perfecter of faith”—Hebrews 12:1-2a
The nation, and other nations of the world today seem to be in a constant state of chaos. One may say the world is a jumbled mess which is getting messier each day. The advent of “fake news” has undermined decency and truth. We have thrown truth to the ground and trampled upon it for our own selfish gain. We read and listen with cautious skepticism because what we once hold to be true is under assault from those who seek power and influence. One could go on talking about the atrocities people are committing against truth, decency, and justice but that would take too much time and energy.
This should not come as a surprise to anyone who have spent any amount of time reading Scripture. Neither is the encouragement to keep our eyes on Yeshua as we go about this life, looking to and learning from the Patriarchs. God’s promise to us is that “Because he has devoted his love to Me, I will deliver him. I will set him securely on high, because he knows My Name” (Psalm 91:14).
In other words, no matter the chaos that is raging about is we must never take our eyes off the Lord. He must be the focus of our attention in all things and at all time. It doesn’t matter what man is doing, it only matters what God is doing. The nations may plot and conspire together, but they are instruments for God to use as He so chooses. God told us about these days long ago when He said, “Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples mutter vanity? The kings of earth set themselves up and rulers conspire together against Adonai and against His Anointed One. He who sits in heaven laughs! Adonai mocks them” (Psalm 2:1-2,4).
Keep your eyes on the Lord and seek His purposes. He will fulfill every word of prophecy and nothing that He said will fall to the grown or return to Him empty. The storms will rage and people will plot to gain power and wealth but God will be glorified. Keep your eyes on the Lord! Do not be too concerned with the actions of the world. Everything we need is in Him and through Him and everything that sets itself up against Adonai will fall away. Keep your eyes on Him, and He will deliver you!
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day”—2 Corinthians 4:16
Our life in Messiah is one of constant and of putting off the behaviors, attitudes, and thoughts that are not proper reflections of the glory of God. Yeshua promises to remove the dead branches—those that produce no fruit for the kingdom and may well work in a manner that is threatening to the kingdom. These dead branches are sometimes manipulated by the enemy to make us shrink back from our purpose. Yet, we have no need to cower in their shadows. Yeshua tells us that these dead “branches are picked up and thrown into the fire and burned” (John 15:6).(more…)