To Fear? Or Not To Fear? And Whom?

You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name.~Deuteronomy 6:13

 


But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!
~Luke 12:5


And the LORD appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake.”~Genesis 26:24

 

Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. ~Luke 12:32

So which is it? Guess what, it's both. Sin is serious business and Satan and Hell are real. All of us have sinned and the consequences of sin is eternal conscious death. BUT GOD, in His grace, mercy and love made a way for us to be righteous before Him through the sacrifice of His one and only Son, Yeshua/Jesus. And though we cannot live, being in constant dread of punishment, our initial reaction to God should very well be a healthy humbling fear, because otherwise no one would ever repent.

Fear Of Man

The fear of God is both complex and simple, but before we ease our minds about being God fearing, we should be real and clear about worldly human fear. Since this world is full of sin and trouble there is plenty to be fearful about, anything from what our friends, family and coworkers think about us to physical harm, loss of loved ones, health, possessions, and/or life. It can be a daily struggle that steers our choices, many times based on our own understanding. BUT GOD tells us to not trust the world which leads to destruction, BUT to trust HIM and follow His Way which leads to life, with the help of the Holy Spirit. (Proverbs 3:5-6, John 14:26, Matthew 7:13-14)

Do not be afraid of them (people), for nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing is secret that will not be made known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light, and what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the housetops. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” ~Matthew 10:26-28

Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned; I have indeed transgressed the command of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice. ~1 Samuel 15:24

When there is a conflict between choosing the way of men (the way of the world) versus the Way of God, as believers, we must choose the way of God. When we choose out of fear of what people or government will say or do to us, it is sin.

Make no mistake, If you are not covered by the redeeming blood of Yeshua, then you do have everything to fear. As we are moving closer to the end of days, “There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars. And upon the earth nations will be confused by the roaring of the sea and its waves. People will lose heart from fear and anticipation of what is overtaking the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, stand straight and lift up your heads, because your salvation (Yeshua) is near!” ~Luke 21:25-28

Therefore, since we have these promises, loved ones, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of body and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. ~2 Corinthians 7:1

Fear Of God

However, we are not meant to live, being always dreadful of punishment. Like any loving parent, God wants us to enjoy His company, loving, living, laughing, singing, dancing, playing, working, studying, etc. He tells us not to be anxious or afraid about the necessities of life, He knows what we need and makes provision for it. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. ~Matthew 6:33

God desires for us to know and be known by Him so that we can live to our full potential in love, in joy and in peace. What the enemy, Satan and the world, has for us is a lie that leads to our ultimate destruction. The ways of God are for our protection, like fences and guardrails. And when we learn about Him and begin to love Him, His ways become easier for us. “Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and ‘you will find rest for your souls.’For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” ~Yeshua, Matthew 11:28-30

 

Yirah יִראָה

So, keeping in mind the vast complexity of the meanings in Biblical text, let's take a look at the word, fear. The Hebrew word is yirah יִראָה (yod, resh, aleph, hey - Hebrew reads right to left). The spectrum of meaning ranges from anticipation of punishment, dread, that which strikes terror to awe, reverence, amazement, worship, teachings, flowings. We will take the following verse and rephrase it to make it clear:

The fear (yirah) of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding ~Proverbs 9:10

The flowings (Yirah - the teachings (torah) and character (ru'ahh)) of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom Hhakhmah - the ability to distinguish between good and evil.): and an intimate relationship with the special one is understanding. More on this lesson in the following helpful link: The Living Words: Fear

In other words, being mindful of the teachings and character of Yahweh is merely the beginning of the ability to distinguish between good and evil. A child of God lives to please Him and therefore desires to be free from sin. We learn His ways by studying His Word so we can know what sin is and how to avoid it and we pray for His help through the Holy Spirit when it gets difficult.

Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands (prayer in fellowship with other believers). For God has not given us a spirit of fear (concerning the world), but of power and of love and of a sound mind (through the Holy Spirit). ~2 Timothy 1:6-7

Did you get that last part? A sound mind, unafraid and at peace. Shalom Shalom

Another helpful study on fear: The Awe Of The Lord

One of my favorite songs: Chris Tomlin - Whom Shall I Fear [God of Angel Armies] [Lyrics]

Photo by Christian Burri on Unsplash

We Will Never Forget.

The Lord Is My Shepherd
A Psalm of David.
 
 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
  He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name's sake.
 
 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
 
You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
 
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.
 
(Psalm 23 ESV)

The Problem of Evil and Suffering: Part Three – Why Does God Allow Suffering?

“Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does” (1 Peter 5:8-11 MSG).
As photos begin to emerge of the catastrophic impact of hurricane Dorian on the Bahamas and her people – and as Georgia and North and South Carolina brace for the storm’s arrival – it’s a struggle to find words that won’t in any way minimize the fear, shock and devastation that many thousands are experiencing right now. I assure you that our hearts are crying with you, our prayers are constantly with you, and that God has not abandoned you – and he never will.
It is during times of extreme suffering that God’s grace and mercy are most present. These are the times when he most yearns to comfort us. These are the situations where he most desires to pour the balm of his healing presence into the chaos of our circumstances.
Why does God allow suffering? If God is all-loving and all-powerful, why doesn’t he stop suffering before it starts? Is there any value in our suffering, or are we just random victims of fate? Where is God when we suffer? Can we trust a God who allows so much evil and suffering to exist in the world? Is there any hope?
Dear Friends, one of the things that suffering teaches us is that we are not in control. That can be a bitter pill to swallow and a difficult lesson to learn, but it is an essential component in establishing of our faith.
Hebrews 11:1-3 says “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (NKJV).
These verses tell us that the same God who formed the heavens and the earth and all that is in them is always working behind the scenes – in ways that for us are invisible. And that our faith is the the evidence that we do know and believe that God – and nothing but God – is in control of the universe and all creation, even though we cannot begin to understand the magnitude of his plan.
Jude, a half-brother of Jesus, encouraged us to build ourselves up in faith by praying in the Holy Spirit (1:20), and the author of Hebrews stated that “… without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (11:6 NKJV).
This world is full of suffering, and the suffering we experience is painful and real. In fact, Paul writes that “… we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering” (Romans 8:22-23a NLT).
God knows that because of the effects of sin in this world, we all experience suffering. And he knows that his entire creation is groaning, like a woman in labor, waiting for the pains to be over – and for the joy of new birth to arrive.
Paul said that after long, considered study, he had come to the conclusion that even though the sufferings that we experience are extreme, he was convinced that the glory that would be revealed in the fullness of God’s plan for us will demonstrate beyond any doubt that it has all been worth it (Romans 8:16-39).
Beloved, God knows who you are, and God knows everything that you’ve suffered. And Almighty God, who stepped down from his throne in heaven to become fully human like each one of us, and who experiences every suffering with us, will not allow one moment of our suffering to be wasted.
“You haven’t received the spirit of slaves that leads you into fear again. Instead, you have received the spirit of God’s adopted children by which we call out, ‘Abba! Father!’  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. If we are his children, we are also God’s heirs. If we share in Christ’s suffering in order to share his glory, we are heirs together with him” (Romans 8:15-17 GW).
We share in Christ’s suffering, because he shared in our suffering. His suffering is our suffering, and our suffering is his suffering. That is what he took upon himself when he became not only fully God but also fully human, and bore the punishment for our sin and the pain of ALL our suffering, at the cross.
The prophet Isaiah witnessed this in the spirit when he said that the Suffering Servant who was to come would be a man of sorrows who was acquainted with grief:
“He certainly has taken upon himself our suffering
        and carried our sorrows,
            but we thought that God had wounded him,
                beat him, and punished him.
 He was wounded for our rebellious acts.
        He was crushed for our sins.
            He was punished so that we could have peace,
                and we received healing from his wounds” (Isaiah 53:4-5 GW).
Therefore Beloved, whenever we suffer, we can be completely assured that Christ is with us and he will bear our burdens and wipe away every tear from our eyes. Not only in the kingdom that is to come but here now, where the suffering still exists. We are not alone, and although we do suffer, we do not suffer alone. Because Jesus was willing to go beyond all comfort, he is with us and he will comfort us. His assurance in the presence of our suffering is the basis for our faith.
You know the story of bold, brash Peter, who walked on water – for just a minute or two; and who insisted that no matter what happened he would stick with Jesus through thick and thin – only to deny him three times. Friends, I can imagine that Peter’s suffering before the cross was unbearable. But listen to what one of Jesus’ closest disciples says to encourage us in him: “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world” (1 Peter 4:12-13 NLT).
Scripture tells us that in this world we will experience suffering, but that in our suffering not only are we partners in Christ, but he is partners with us. He is the stronger and we are the weaker partner. Because we understand that we are weak and he is strong, it is important for us to cast our cares onto him and not try and bear the burden of suffering on our own.
Peter said this about our relationship to Christ in suffering, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time, casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]” (1 Peter 5:6-7 AMP).
Beloved, God watches over us very carefully. If you are experiencing any kind of suffering today, please be assured that God is standing by to help.
“’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’” (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT).

Building A House: Journal – Part 8

Home Builders Prayer

We will tell of Your unfailing love; We praise You, Abba, for all You have done for us. You have richly blessed Your people because of Your mercy and constant love. (Isaiah 63:7)

Thank You, Abba, that You are the builder of our home, for You are the builder of all things (Hebrews 3:4), we acknowledge and praise You, so that You will keep our path straight (Proverbs 3:5-6) and so that we do not labor in vain. (Psalm 127:1)

 


 

 

It is happening. I cannot say it has not been stressful, but it is happening.  Some say, "if a marriage survives the building of a house, it can survive anything." Yep. The Lord is helping us through it though, and we are blessed to have great workers and faithful prayer warriors.

Teach us to number our days so we can apply our hearts to wisdom. (Psalm 90:12) Let Your pleasantness and favor be upon us and You establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17)

Keep us filled with your Holy Spirit so that justice will dwell in the wilderness, And righteousness remain in the fruitful field. The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. Thank You, Abba, for allowing us this home, a peaceful habitation, a secure dwelling place, quiet and restful, even if hail comes down on the forest, And the city is brought low in humiliation. (Isaiah 32:15-19)

 

In the photos above we have the construction of a basement room and here we are pouring concrete into the insulated concrete forms. Boom!

Below is the finished first section of walls, piers and a couple of pretties from the garden.

Protect us and our workers, with Your wisdom and understanding, so that we will use discretion to be mindful of the cost and to prepare accordingly in finding and securing the proper materials and labor for establishment. (Proverbs 2:11, 24:3,7, Luke 14:28) Because we have made You, Adonai, Most High, our habitation we know that no evil will cause us to fall, neither will any plague come near our dwelling, for You give Your angels charge over us to keep us in Your ways. (Psalm 91:9-11)

We know that You, Adonai shall supply all of our needs according Your riches in glory by Yeshua Ha Mashiach. Now to You, our Abba, Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Philippians 4:19-20)

The Problem of Evil and Suffering: Part Two – The Dilemma of Choice and the Beginning of Sin.

In the very first verse of scripture, Genesis 1:1, Moses wrote that God created the heavens and the earth. As the creation story unfolds, God calls forth light and darkness; day and night; the sun, moon and stars; the earth and the seas; the plants, and all the living creatures that swim, walk and fly; and he brought forth the first man and first woman.
“God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31a ESV).
In the paradise he made for human beings to occupy, God’s creation was only good.
“And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:9 ESV).
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying ‘You may surely eat of every tree in the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat…” (2:16-17a).
When God gave Adam the first rule, he also gave him the first “choice” – to obey or not to obey. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was just like any other tree in the garden, as long as Adam obeyed God’s only commandment, and did not taste its fruit. As long as Adam’s choice was to obey God, the creation surrounding Adam remained very good.
But when Eve and then Adam chose to disregard God’s commandment and partake of the only thing in the garden that was forbidden them, the paradise that God created for them was lost and they fell into another world. They could no longer live in a reality where everything was only good, because suddenly, within them now resided not only the knowledge of good, but also of evil.
As soon as Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit, they realized that they were naked, and for the first time they experienced shame, and hurried to cover themselves.
Then they heard God walking in the garden, and for the first time they experienced guilt, and rushed to hide.
When God asked them what they had done, for the first time, they pointed fingers of blame.
Scripture says that the tree from which God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat was called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It wasn’t that the tree bore “evil fruit,” but that eating the fruit from that tree would give the eater a specific kind of knowledge.
Can you see that once Adam and Eve made the choice to disobey God, the knowledge of evil entered their hearts and sin itself immediately began to multiply? 
As they moved further into sin, they moved further away from intimacy with God until it became necessary for God to remove them from their original location.
Paul wrote about his personal struggle with sin in Romans chapter 7, and The Message translation puts it this way:
“Don’t you remember how it was? I do, perfectly well. The law code started out as an excellent piece of work. What happened, though, was that sin found a way to pervert the command into a temptation, making a piece of ‘forbidden fruit’ out of it. The law code, instead of being used to guide me, was used to seduce me. Without all the paraphernalia of the law code, sin looked pretty dull and lifeless, and I went along without paying much attention to it. But once sin got its hands on the law code and decked itself out in all that finery, I was fooled, and fell for it. The very command that was supposed to guide me into life was cleverly used to trip me up, throwing me headlong. So sin was plenty alive, and I was stone dead. But the law code itself is God’s good and common sense, each command sane and holy counsel” (Romans 7:8-11).
God specifically cautioned Adam that on the day he ate of the forbidden fruit he would surely die in Genesis 2:17, and Romans 6:23 confirms that the result of sin is death.
When satan, the enemy of our souls, deceived Adam and Eve into breaking God’s only commandment, he seduced them and all the generations after them into a condition of “sin-death” that has corrupted everything around us. As a result of their choice to disobey God, Adam and Eve were banished from paradise into a world that was ruined and broken by sin.
That is the world that we occupy today.
It is not the world that God originally designed to house his creation. However, it has been allowed to continue by God, in order that we would have a classroom within which to learn the knowledge of both good and evil and the struggle that exists between them as two opposing principles.
Shortly after the fall, Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain and Abel. In the course of time, both sons of Adam brought offerings to the Lord. God accepted Abel’s offering but rejected the offering of Cain, and Cain was very angry (Genesis 4).
God said to Cain, “…’Why are you angry…? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it’” (4:6-7 ESV).
Soon afterward, jealous Cain murdered his innocent brother Abel.
This pattern of God presenting mankind with a choice between good and evil and the tendency of human beings to reject God’s will and choose evil has repeated itself since the time of the fall.
Over the years I have heard people respond to the question of why God allows sin and suffering with the answer that when God created human beings, he created us with free will so that ultimately we could make the choice to love and obey God of our own volition and not as automatons. God endowed us with free will, so that we would use our free will to choose God’s way over satan’s way. And this answer is true. God did endow us with the power to choose, and his desire is for us to choose him out of a pure heart.
However, we must put that understanding in context.
Because of the choice made by Adam and Eve and their subsequent fall, every human being since then has been born into a world that is designed to highlight the struggle between good and evil.
Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit because they wanted something that they did not have, and that something was knowledge. The knowledge not just of unpolluted good, but the knowledge of both good and evil. Therefore, in response to their desire for that knowledge, God created this world to be a classroom and in this classroom the knowledge we gain is not just an idea or a concept. In it we come to understand the interplay of the forces of good and evil through hard-won experience. Because the knowledge that Adam and Eve chose to pursue was real, the experience required to gain it must also be real and therefore we experience the effects of sin directly.
But please keep in mind that even though the world we occupy is broken and the lessons are difficult, God has not left us alone and he hasn’t left us as orphans. He knows that in this world we will have tribulation, but he has already given us his plan to overcome the world and he helps us to endure through trials and suffering.
“No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 MSG).
We will continue in Part Three.

The Problem of Evil and Suffering: Part One – It’s Ok to Have Questions.

One of the big questions people ask about God is “Why does a loving God allow pain, suffering and evil to exist in the world?” Or, when faced with an insurmountable tragedy a suffering person may ask, “Why did God allow this to happen to me and my loved ones?”
Why do bad things happen to good people? And why don’t bad things happen to bad people? Where is God when bad things happen? Can an all-powerful God still be loving when he allows people to suffer?
Beloved Friends, it isn’t wrong to ask these kinds of questions. God wants us to come to him and ask about everything that concerns us. Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8 ESV).
God wants us to seek him and he invites our questions. Even the hard ones. He not only wants us to ask and seek but when we do, he also wants to give us answers. Most often his answers come to us as direct revelation through his Word. Sometimes he reveals his truths through pastors, teachers, friends and counselors. Many times, his answers unfold only through time and experience and require the application of our patience to bloom into wisdom. As we mature, we realize that God’s answers are deeper and wider than we ever imagined as over the years he reveals more and more of his character to us.
In this series, we will explore some of these difficult questions, and the plan that God put in place from before the beginning of the world to help us cope with suffering in our lives today.
As Jesus said to his disciples, “…I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world” (John 16:33b MSG).
Please stay tuned for Part Two.

The Food Processor – Biblical Worldview – Part 4

Political Food

Oh Dear Lord, just the thought and I need a snack and a nap. Do not worry, beloved ones, we are going to keep this simple and straightforward.  Our United States Constitution tells us so very much. Before we talk about its uniqueness, I would like to say this, that because of sin, there will never be a perfect system of government until Jesus returns to set up His kingdom here on earth.

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace (within). In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~Jesus, John 16:33

Here in the United States the Declaration of Independence is the basis of our Constitution. So what is Biblical about it? Here is the truth statement:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Remember our Source: Jesus is the Creator, He is the truth, (John 1:1-5, 14, John 14:6) and He is our food processor.

Rights Come From Our Creator

First and foremost, we are all accountable to God our Creator whether we believe in Him or not.  If He is not our Source then no one has rights of any sort. If we declare that they come from any other source then they can be taken away at any moment.

The statement of truth mirrors the Ten Commandments that tell us how to love and give honor to God and to love and respect people (Exodus 20). The product of this perfect formula is Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness/Joy. 

In fact, this is love for God: to keep His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. ~1 John 5:3-4

Sovereignty

We are discussing the Declaration of Independence. We are our own nation, separate from others....and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries (borders) of their habitation, ~Acts 17:26

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance. ~Psalm 33:12

Life

We can have neither liberty nor the pursuit of happiness without life.

If life is not held in high regard by a nation, then no one people group will ever be safe.  “You shall not murder (take an innocent life away),” says it all, but in case we want to know how much one life is worth, King David, a man after God's own heart, expressed it so well, For You (God) formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Wonderful are Your works; My soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; In Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. ~Psalm 139:13-16   I shudder to think what happens when we disregard this.

 

Liberty

A nation whose law is based on Judeo-Christian law, such as ours, is the most free that any nation will ever be when it is lived out correctly and righteously. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Against such things there is no law. ~Galatians 5:22-23

One cannot be free, if one cannot live in an environment of safety. Safety from crime, from slander, from slavery, from governmental tyranny, etc. This means we must lawfully pursue justice. It also means that those who come here from elsewhere do so legally with the intention of obeying our laws after they get here.

It is sin and the pride of sin that causes corruption and iniquity eventually bringing about tyranny, oppression and lawlessness in a nation. Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness ~1 John 3:4

...law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers ~1 Timothy 1:9

So what about individuals who are not Judeo-Christian? It is true that one in this country should be forced to be such. God's love is not about force, if it were then it would not be love, however, laws exist to protect individuals from harm and God know better than anyone how to do so.

 

The Pursuit Of Happiness

One should not be hindered in their pursuit of the best that life has to offer, to live, to work, to be educated, to play, to rest, etc. Keep in mind that pursuit does not mean being given for free. The more successful people have opportunity to be, the more they can choose to bless those around them who are in need. Those who steal, intimidate, slander and stir up covetousness and strife are a hindrance to this pursuit.

Yes, there are selfish and self centered people who do not help others. So what did Jesus have to say about this? Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But He said to him,“Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?”And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” ~Luke 12:13-14

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~Matthew 6:19-21

Does it always work out fairly? Not necessarily. There will always be those less fortunate or poor. They are an opportunity for giving help (John 12:8, Deuteronomy 15:11). Not everyone gets paid the same wage for the same work (Matthew 20:1-12). We are commanded not to envy.

Turning Point

We are at a crisis turning point in the nation. We have an opportunity to live responsibly, being true to our constitution that is based on the Source, so that we can live free and safe or we can give in to the world "beast" system and allow lawlessness to take over. In the past we have been a leader among the nations where at least some of the other nations made an attempt to follow our example. Without The Source - Yeshua/Jesus, lawlessness will prevail, but only for a season. For His followers, all of this should affect our choices for future leadership.

Prior to Jesus' return to the earth there will be lawlessness and utter chaos, there will be a brief but false worldly peace under the anti-Christ and then complete tyranny and much death. But God will bring judgment upon the lawless and He will judge the nations accordingly. That is why now is the time to come to Him whether or not the nation does also.

A Year of Blessings!

All of us here at Speak Comfort want to say thank you so very much to you, our readers, who fellowship, worship, and study with us. Our first year has been wonderful because of you.  We love each one of you. It is such a blessing and privilege to be part of your lives in this way.
My precious friend Jeanette and I could not have built and tended this beautiful site without our extremely talented web development team. We thank God for their expert help every day. We are constantly amazed by everything they do behind the scenes to make this work.
Our aim and prayer are to bring you the best possible content.  We hope to create some wonderful additions during the next few months, so please stay tuned!
Above all else, we give praise and thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for every blessing that he pours into every one of our lives. Our desire is to serve you for his glory.
We pray for you every day, in Jesus’ name!
The Lord bless you and keep you;
 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
(Numbers 6:24-26 ESV)

How to Thrive Through the Struggle: Have a Snack and a Nap.

Elijah is one of the most famous prophets of the Old Testament. 1 Kings chapter 18 tells the story of how he called on God to defeat the prophets of Baal who served the wicked Queen Jezebel and King Ahab. When Elijah called on God saying, “’Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back [to you]’” (1 Kings 18:37 ESV), God sent fire from heaven to obliterate the altar Elijah built on Mount Carmel while all of Israel stood by, amazed.
After this great victory which caused the Israelites to abandon pagan worship and proclaim “’The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God!’” (1 Kings 18:39 ESV), the enraged Jezebel vowed to murder God’s prophet. Exhausted from his mighty labors, Elijah fled into the wilderness and hid himself under a broom tree, crying out to God, “…’It is enough, now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am not better than my fathers’” (1 Kings 19:1-4 ESV).
Have you ever been so worn out from serving that even after experiencing a wonderful success you were just too tired to go on and felt that you wanted to quit? Have you ever cried out to God and said, “Lord, I love you, but I just can not handle another thing”? Or maybe simply cried out, “Help me, Jesus!” when you felt you couldn’t manage to take another step in the direction the Lord was leading you?
If so, Beloveds, you are not alone. Think of Elijah, who suffered from prophetic burn-out; Naomi, the mother-in-law who wanted to change her name to “bitterness” (Ruth 1:20); John the Baptist, losing his cool before he lost his head in prison (Matthew 11:1-6); and Martha, who worked her fingers to the bone, threw her sister Mary under the bus and fussed at Jesus for being so hard to serve (Luke 10:38-42). Even Solomon, the most powerful king and wisest man in the world, wrote the book of Ecclesiastes to remind us that though there is a time for everything in its season, nevertheless life is full of vanity and there’s nothing new under the sun.
But listen, here’s how God responded to Elijah’s desperate plea:
“And [Elijah] lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, ‘Arise and eat.’ And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again” (1 Kings 19:5-6 ESV).
God sent an angel from heaven with a hot meal and plenty of fresh water, and after Elijah ate and then slept for a while, God sent the angel again…
“And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, ‘Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.’  And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God (v. 7-8).
Beloved Friends, God knows that there will be times when the journey is too hard for us to manage. When the broken roads we sometimes travel seem too long and full of potholes, God wants us to come to him to be nourished and refreshed.
Our Creator knows that it’s important for us to make time to eat and rest. We need spiritual food that we find in the Word of God, and we also need earthly food. We need spiritual rest and we need earthly rest.
As Jesus walked beside the sea of Galilee, a great multitude of the lame, blind and sick came to him to be healed. “Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way’…and Jesus said to them, ‘How many loaves do you have?’ They said, ‘Seven, and a few small fish’…he took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces left over” (Matthew 15:32,34,36-37 ESV).
Of course, this story of the miracle of Jesus feeding four thousand men, in addition to women and children, with just a few loaves and fishes is a Bible study all its own. But notice here that Jesus took the earthly bread that his followers brought to him and through it manifested heavenly food for the crowds. Jesus pulled bread from the storerooms of heaven to feed his people. God sent an angel with bread and water to feed his prophet Elijah.
God is the source of our heavenly food and our earthly food, and he wants to provide for us everything we need to strengthen us for the journey ahead. He knows that earthly life can be difficult and that sometimes it is too hard for us to handle.
But Jesus said, “I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”
Jesus is the Word of God, and the Word of God is fresh bread and pure water, straight from heaven, that nourishes our souls and our spirits.
God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, and he gives us all good things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17).
So when you feel exhausted, like Elijah; or you’re starting to feel a little bitter, like Naomi; or you want to blame everybody around you because you’re working too hard, like Martha, it’s time to stop, eat a good meal and get some rest. Then pick up your Bible and let God feed your spirit. Jesus doesn’t want to send us away hungry. He wants us to be strong and rested for the journey, because he doesn’t want us to miss out on any of the treasures that he has hidden for us along the way. After all, Elijah ultimately got to take a ride in God’s chariot (2 Kings 2:11).
But even with all the miracles he witnessed, what he really needed to keep going was a snack and a nap.

Speak Comfort: One Whole Year!

Wow!

It is hard to believe

it has been a whole year up and running

for Speak Comfort.

Special thanks to all of you readers, prayer warriors,

and to our amazing support team!

God is so Good!

Now to Him Who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen ~Ephesians 3:20-21