The Commands of Yeshua ~ Part 12

Character ~ Part B

“Instead, clothe yourselves with the Lord Yeshua the Messiah; and don’t waste your time thinking about how to provide for the sinful desires of your old nature.” (Romans 13:14)

In my last post, we introduced the commands of Yeshua by looking at the character traits that Yeshua expects us to possess.  We looked at His command to “walk in the light” and to “shine our light.”  In this post, we will look at His command to “be humble” and “be merciful.”

3. Be Humble

“But you are not to let yourselves be called ‘Rabbi’; because you have one Rabbi, and you are all each other’s brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘Father.’ because you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to let yourselves be called ‘leaders,’ because you have one Leader, and he is the Messiah! The greatest among you must be your servant, for whoever promotes himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be promoted.” (Matthew 23:8-12).

This is one command that I have struggled with for most of my life.  My name means world ruler and overcomer.  With this knowledge, I have really struggled with being humble while at the same time becoming a servant-leader.  I’m certainly not there yet, but am confident with His help; I will be able to embrace His command to “humble myself in the sight of the Lord.” Continue reading

The Commands of Yeshua ~ Part 11

In this post, we return to the Commands of Yeshua series by looking at the character traits that Yeshua expects us to possess.

Character ~ Part A

“Instead, clothe yourselves with the Lord Yeshua the Messiah; and don’t waste your time thinking about how to provide for the sinful desires of your old nature.” (Romans 13:14)

Our character matters to Yeshua.  How we serve Yeshua and how we fulfill our duties as talmidim is determined by our character.  A person with good character will faithfully serve Yeshua out of love and gratefulness.  Those with poor character begrudgingly serve out of duty, obligation, or for personal gain, if they manage to serve at all.  Yeshua is not so much concerned with what we do for Him as He is with the condition of our heart because that will determine our character.  Yeshua said, “Each tree is recognized by its own fruit – figs aren’t picked from thorn bushes, nor grapes from a briar patch. The good person produces good things from the store of good in his heart, while the evil person produces evil things from the store of evil in his heart. For his mouth speaks what overflows from his heart.” (Luke 6:44-45)  What we do needs to come out of who we are in Yeshua.  Our actions demonstrate to others who has control over our life.  It is no wonder many of Yeshua’s commands center on our character – who we are on the inside – because that most often determines what we will say and do.

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The Commands of Yeshua ~ Part 10

“If you keep My commands, you will stay in My love – just as I have kept My Father’s commands and stay in His love. I have said this to you so that My joy may be in you, and your joy be complete.” (Yochanan 15:10-11)

In my last post, we continued our series on the commands of Yeshua from the perspective of Yeshua as Lord.  We looked at His command to “follow me” and “you have heard that our fathers were told…but I tell to you.”  In this post, we will conclude this mini-series by looking at His command to “pray this way;” “do this in remembrance of me;” and, “remember what I told you.”

Yeshua as Lord ~ Part C

 5.  Pray This Way

“You, therefore, pray like this:  ‘Our Father in heaven! May your Name be kept holy.  May your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-10)

The talmidim had observed Yeshua praying in many different places and on many different occasions.  This command was a response to their request that Yeshua teach them to pray.  Yeshua not only took time to point out the hypocrisy that was prevalent among His people regarding their prayers, but He offered a new way to pray, a model prayer for those who wanted to seek God but did not know how.

Yeshua showed them the manner in which He talked to His Father.  Although God had previously referred to Himself as the Father of Israel (see Jeremiah 31:9; Malachi 1:6), Yeshua’s hearers likely had never considered calling God “Father” in their prayers.  They were not used to being so intimate and personal with their Creator.  Yeshua’s command again reveals much about God.

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The Commands of Yeshua ~ Part 9

“If you keep My commands, you will stay in My love – just as I have kept My Father’s commands and stay in His love. I have said this to you so that My joy may be in you, and your joy be complete.” (Yochanan 15:10-11)

In my last post, we introduced the commands of Yeshua from the perspective of Yeshua as Lord.  We looked at His command to “deny ourselves” and to “take up His yoke and learn from Him.”  In this post, we will look at His command to “follow me” and “you have heard our fathers were told…but I tell to you.”

Yeshua as Lord ~ Part B

“Yeshua said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers for men!” (Matthew  4:19)

“But Yeshua replied, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” (Matthew  8:22)

“My sheep listen to my voice, I recognize them, they follow me. (Yochanan 10:27)

“Shim‘on Kefa said to him, ‘Lord, where are you going?’ Yeshua answered, ‘Where I am going, you cannot follow me now; but you will follow later.’” (Yochanan 13:36)

3.  Follow Me

Being a follower of Yeshua is no easy task, but following Yeshua is what being a Believer is all about.  It is important to examine exactly what follow means.  It is so much more than intellectual assent or agreement in principle with the teachings of Yeshua.  It is more than living a life that is generally in line with His values and philosophy.  The disciples did not just “follow” Yeshua’s teachings; they actually got up from where they were, left their livelihoods as tax collectors and fishermen, and literally followed wherever He went.

Many people want to “follow” Yeshua’s example by being nice to others and morally good, but they want to live their lives on their own terms regardless of any expectations the One they call their Lord and Savior may have.  Such people set their own terms for their discipleship and have not taken the time to investigate what Yeshua’s expectations are for those who follow Him; nor have they counted the cost.  Anyone who tried to follow Yeshua on his or her own terms in the Bible was a disappointment to Yeshua and not worthy of being one of His followers.  Whenever there is an “I will, but …,” there is a halfhearted disciple.  Yeshua was going one direction, and they were intent on first going a completely opposite direction.

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The Commands of Yeshua ~ Part 8

“If you keep My commands, you will stay in My love – just as I have kept My Father’s commands and stay in His love. I have said this to you so that My joy may be in you, and your joy be complete.” (Yochanan 15:10-11)

In this post, we will look at the commands of Yeshua from the perspective of Yeshua as Lord.

Introduction to Yeshua as Lord

For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you.  I assure you: A slave is not greater than his master, and a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him.” John 13:15-16

If anyone fully understands the complexities, the purpose, the meaning, and the intricacies of life, Christ does.  He created it.  “All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created.  Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:3-4).  If you want to know the purpose of any particular object, the best person to ask is the one who created it.  Many people never really stop to consider the deeper meaning of life, nor do they make time to interact with their Creator.  Some have deluded themselves by thinking life is meaningless, purposeless, and temporary; none of which is true (Luke 18:30).  Once you have understood how much God loves you, that He would even give up His one and only Son to die for your sins, the next step is to understand the role the risen Lord wants to play in your life here and now.

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The Commands of Yeshua ~ Part 7

“If you keep My commands, you will stay in My love – just as I have kept My Father’s commands and stay in His love. I have said this to you so that My joy may be in you, and your joy be complete.” (Yochanan 15:10-11)

In my last post we looked at the third part by how we are to approach God through the narrow gate.  In this post, we will remember and repent and wrap-up this category of the Commands of Yeshua.

Approaching God ~ E

“Therefore, remember where you were before you fell, turn from this sin, and do what you used to do before. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your menorah from its place – if you don’t turn from your sin!” (Revelation 2:5)

Remember and Repent

This repent is not a repentance unto salvation; it is a turning back from a dangerous course of life and turning to God.  The church in Ephesus had strayed far from its foundations of love and became focused on preservation of correct doctrine, eradicating false teachers, and standing strong under pressure and persecution rather than focusing on love.  In fact, they had “lost the love” they had at first (Revelation 2:4).  Now they were in danger of having their candle snuffed out.  For all their good deeds, they were an affront to the Head of the church who was going to shut their doors permanently if they did not “remember” and “turn.” Yeshua admits that they were partially on the right track, but because they had lost their love, they no longer were able to represent Him in the community of faith or in the communities in which they lived.

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The Commands of Yeshua ~ Part 6

“If you keep My commands, you will stay in My love – just as I have kept My Father’s commands and stay in His love. I have said this to you so that My joy may be in you, and your joy be complete.” (Yochanan 15:10-11)

In my last post we looked at the third part by how we are to approach God through the narrow gate.  In this post, we will explore worshipping in the Spirit and Truth plus abiding in Yeshua.

Approaching God ~ D

“God is spirit; and worshippers must worship him spiritually and truly.” (John 4:24)

Worship in Spirit and in Truth

Worship is giving to God what He deserves and what He wants from us.  We do not determine the requirements for approaching God; He does.  We cannot demand action or blessing from God as though He is our servant and we are the master.  Not just anyone is allowed into the presence of God.  He sets the standards, He determines the requirements, and He makes the rules for what is acceptable worship.

To worship God “spiritually” requires that our spirit must be made alive by His Ruach.  We must be born again, revived spiritually, and enabled by Him to come into His presence in the first place.  It is impossible to worship a God who is spirit if a person is not first spiritually alive.  “Here is how we know that we remain united with him and he with us: he has given to us from his own Spirit.” (1 John 4:13)  To worship God spiritually also means that our spirits are responding to the Ruach HaKodesh.  We should be able to sense that He is praying with us, speaking to us, prompting us, inhabiting our praise, convicting us, and glorifying God in and through us.

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The Commands of Yeshua ~ Part 5

 

“If you keep My commands, you will stay in My love – just as I have kept My Father’s commands and stay in His love. I have said this to you so that My joy may be in you, and your joy be complete.” (Yochanan 15:10-11)

In my last post we continued to dig into the actual commands of Yeshua.  We looked at the second part by how we are to approach God through loving God & our neighbor and receiving the Ruach HaKodesh.  In this post, we will look at going through the narrow gate.

Approaching God ~ C

“Go in through the narrow gate; for the gate that leads to destruction is wide and the road broad, and many travel it; but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew  7:13-14; see also Luke 13:24) 

 Go through the Narrow Gate

This is one command that seems to be more restrictive and challenging than what we have looked at previously.  It begins to hit at our rebellious nature, our propensity to seek our own will over the will of Yeshua.  But even in this command we have a choice to be made.  There are two paths before each us, one narrow and the other broad.  One leads to life, the other to destruction.  Most people choose the broad path that seems more appealing at least initially.  Few make the right choice of the narrow path that initially looks lonely, restrictive, and difficult.  Yet in the end it leads to what everyone was looking for in the first place.

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The Commands of Yeshua ~ Part 4

“If you keep My commands, you will stay in My love – just as I have kept My Father’s commands and stay in His love. I have said this to you so that My joy may be in you, and your joy be complete.” (Yochanan 15:10-11)

In my last post we began digging into the actual commands of Yeshua.  We looked at the first part by how we are to approach God through repentance and coming to Him as a child.  In this post, we will look at loving God and our neighbor in addition to receiving the Ruach HaKodesh.

Approaching God ~ B

“He told him, ‘You are to love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.’  This is the greatest and most important mitzvah. (Deuteronomy 6:5) And a second is similar to it, ‘You are to love your neighbor as yourself.’ All of the Torah and the Prophets are dependent on these two mitzvot.” (Leviticus 19:18) (Matthew 22:37-40)

Love God and Your Neighbor

These two commands are foundational upon which all others are based.  If you do not know how to love God first, any other command will be burdensome and seem oppressive.  In all truth, these two commands are probably the most difficult commands to obey because so many other things vie for our attention and our loyalty.

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