Category Archives: food for thought

Mustard Seed Faith

(Mat 13:31)  Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:

(Mat 17:20)  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

(Mar 4:31)  It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:

(Luk 13:19)  It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.

(Luk 17:6)  And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

 

Today’s meditative scriptures is on “Mustard Seed Faith”.  In Matt 17:20 Jesus tells his disciples that if they had the faith of a grain of mustard seed they could tell a mountain to be though removed and it shall be removed.  While customarily when we think of this scripture we think of it in light of the size of faith it takes to move a mountain.  We recognize that a grain of mustard seed is very small and while that is a part of what he is sharing we must look at the entire text around this verse to get all he has for us.  I don’t even think he wants us to focus on the size so much as he wants us to recognize that like a seed a promise is a deposit.  A deposit is a beginning of a process that has to reach a level of maturity.  Like a grain of mustard seed we have been given a deposit in our account that will one day mature.  But if we are going to have a complete understanding we have to go even deeper we have to read what else Yah says about a grain of mustard seed to then understand what he wants us to understand.

Another understanding of this is that a mustard seed knows what it is and what it is called to do.  Do we know who we are and what we are called to do?  A large part of the reason we don’t produce as we should is because we don’t have the faith of a mustard seed which knows what it is supposed to produce.  How can we produce adequately after our own kind when we are too busy trying to produce after another kind?  A pear will never be fruitful at producing an apple tree, but no apple tree can produce a pear tree. From the very beginning the problem with mankind is that we haven’t been satisfied with being who we are or who we were called to be.  Part of what made that tree of knowledge appetizing to Eve was that it represented being something other then what she was.  The lust for being something “other then” what she was called to be was alluring.  This is why scripture says those who compare themselves among themselves are not wise. (2 Cor. 10:12)  The gift that is in us God can use to make us rich and add no sorrow with it. (Prov 10:22)  If we are unwilling or unable to use that gift that was placed in us then we lack the ability to have that mountain moving faith.

Finally, no mustard seed becomes a tree overnight.  Microwave faith produces fast but doesn’t last.  Mustard seed faith produces enough so that those who eat of its bounty is able to benefit from day to day.  Mustard seed faith means we have to be faithful where we are planted until we reach full maturity, that is come into full bloom.  We can’t expect that the gift God has put in us matures the minute we realize it no more then Abraham could expect the promise to come to pass the very moment it was given.  It took time and maturity for that seed to come to pass, but in due season it did reap a harvest and we are still reaping from the fruit thereof.

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The Way Up is Down

This is a saying that we have heard in many different contexts, but nowhere is it more evident then in the chronicles of scripture.  When we look at what brings a man down we will find the words pride, haughtiness, and proud somewhere near its vicinity.  However, equally as true we will find near the word humility, meekness, or humble, the words exalt, exalted, above, lifted up, and grace.  It is in our weakness (not in our strength) that his strength is made perfect in us.  (2 Cor. 12:9) Thus, out of weakness we are made strong, and those who consider themselves strong are made weak.  Hebrews 11 chronicles what men in faith towards God were able to  accomplish, not in their strength but in their weakness, God’s strength prevailed and they received the victory over various trials of life.  The economy of God doesn’t operate by the same currency exchange rate that we are accustomed to in the world system.  Our resume of awards, accomplishments, and education are counted as dung, reckoned as filthy rags, consistently we see ordinary men who did extraordinary things not by picking themselves up by their own boot straps, or do the acts of self made men pave the way, but rather men and women who took Yah at his word were able to do what men who were considered great in the world were not.  Yah would over and over again show us in battle he didn’t use thousands of men, but will obtain the victory over the enemy of His people by using small armies to gain mighty victories.  Why, you may ask?  Because it serves as an example of this very principle I am sharing with you in this article that its in our weakness, weak positions, lowly spirit, that He is exalted.  It stands to reason and too easy for man to get the glory when a million man army with unending arsenals can defeat a 100,000 man army with limited arsenals.  It illustrates that with Yah you always have the majority on your side even when in the natural it doesn’t look like it.  As John the Baptist made clear that he must decrease so that the Messiah may increase.  The world knows that He has come when the impossible, becomes possible.

When we come to the end of ourselves then low and behold this is when we have an ear to hear from the one who can deliver us from all our woes.  The world can be very loud and it seems to want to amplify itself and the term it uses when it wants to exalt men is the word “proud”.  Yet this is a word that never in scripture is positively used when directed towards mankind.  It was actually the catalyst that would bring a person down so that they could be exalted through the act of humility.  Yet this is a word we use positively to express our feelings towards acts we approve of.  So in effect that which Yah has called evil, we have categorized as good. (Isa. 5:20)  We give glory to man for what Yah made possible to accomplish and then wonder why our children don’t believe in God.  They attribute their accomplishments in life to what they did, in total unbelief not realizing that when they receive the benefits, raises, or achievements that it is God who giveth man power to create wealth. (Deut. 8:17-18) It is the power of the Almighty that makes prosperity possible for us to have, because despite popular opinion, there is no good thing that dwells in this flesh.  (Rom. 7:18) That which is good, right, and holy in us is inherited through our relationship with Christ, Messiah Yehoshua.

Even our “good” if you will has selfish motivation apart from Him.  This is why we can only know love because he first loved us. (1 Jn 4:19) The concept of sacrificing yourself for the very people who are responsible for taking your life is not something any man would do.  How many are up for dying for your friend?  This one life you got with no promise of what will happen next, are you willing to give it up for a friend, even a best friend?  Your child, your spouse, perhaps, but a friend?  We might give a kidney but our life, hardly.  The idea of giving to people who can’t give to you, the proof that we can’t do it in and of ourselves nor would it come into our mind is revealed in how we live our lives today.  How often do we pour our finances or our time to benefit people with absolutely no expectation of receiving anything in return?

Here you have Yehoshua our Messiah in the prime of life, at the age when most people are just beginning to become established.  He himself was being established in the miracle making business going about doing good in all the land.  At a time when many of us would be comfortably married in our single family dwelling with 2 cars and 2.5 kids with great jobs with benefits our Savior was crucified with none of those things.  In fact when asked by someone who was interested in following him it was said of him that he didn’t even have a place to lay his head.  (Mat 8:20)  Be honest, how likely would you be to follow or join anyone’s network marketing business who didn’t have a home to share their home based business to you with?  This would in effect be the very opposite resume of one who we would consider successful and would want to follow, yet on what would definitely be considered the way down was he lifted up and us who put our trust in Him lifted up with him.  It’s the best illustration in scripture I have of what it means to humble yourself before the Almighty so that he can lift you up in dew season. (Jas 4:10)

Where do you find yourself in 2018?  Are you in a place of introspection wondering what has happened to your life?  Perhaps you are on top of the world and financially in the strongest position you have ever been but feeling a lack of fulfillment?  Maybe you have no money and wondering where you went wrong.  Many are sick and crying out for answers to a merciful God how you found yourself here?  Many would say life is what you make it, but in reality life is who you make it about?  If life is about you, your family, or your business then a sad life it will be because you set the bar too low.  If you are going to set a standard for your life why choose an imperfect model to build upon?  That is like building your life on sand instead of on a rock.  A rock is steady, unyielding, and will stand the test of time, whereas sand is destined to settle and give way to the changing climate of the atmosphere.  The only blessed assurance we can have is to humble ourselves into the hand of the Messiah and to lift up Him which cannot be brought low, yet was brought low for us only to be lifted up and to lift us up with Him into heavenly places within His kingdom.  Indeed Father what is man that you are mindful of us. (Psa. 8:4)  So what do we say when we are faced with situations that would tempt us to answer with “I’m pro-d of you” find a way to point them and keep yourself focused on the one who made the moment possible.  My new response is to say, “Father I am humbled by you”, and to the person who made their goal possible, “praise God for giving you the victory” or “To God be the Glory”.  Because its his anyway, for every good and perfect gift comes from him. (2 Cor. 9:8; Jas 1:17) If you must be proud of anyone then be proud of Yah, for it is He who made the person and the moment possible, and be happy for them for they are the beneficiary of God’s grace in their life.

Family Restructuring

While death has been as constant as life always, the older I get it seems as though funerals unite us more than weddings.  Times of mourning more than times of rejoicing.  Often many of us asking the question that scripture has already provided an answer for.  Why? From the time we enter this world we enter the race for the grave. Some choose to accelerate the race through suicide or suicidal choices that lead to homicide.  Others full of age having had the pleasure of experiencing all seasons of life give up the ghost to enter into either a place where time and aging doesn’t collide with aches and pains.  Others, in a place a thousand times worse then what this life could give.  Both wherever they are based on the choice they made while in this life.  To receive or not to receive the gift of eternal life made possible by Jesus Christ (Yehoshua Ha Machiach). 

The bottomline whatever their fate we feel the effects of their loss and our family’s must go on with the hole of that missing life within us. Many of us never asking the specific why question that is important, not why they died, for we all must walk this path, but why now? To which scripture also answers this question.  In the book of Isaiah Yah questions what we haven’t pondered through the process, the why now at least for the righteous

“The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.” Isa. 57:1

Most of us however will agree that things are getting worse in this world.  We are experiencing the shift scripture has told us about, understanding the blood of Jesus (Yehoshua) is greater then the umbilical chord of biology that connects us.  

Scripture speaks consistently of brother turning against brother, the enemies of a man being the members of their own household. (Matt. 10:21; Matt. 10:36)  We are living in that time where the righteous are entering into rest and the offspring are undergoing the test.  Whether they will continue to walk in what they were taught by their parents or depart.  Will we stand in truth or fall in disbelief?  While there is nothing new under the sun there is an intensity of the evil in this hour then the one before.  

The enemy of our God is getting closer to earth as he is falling from the second heaven with great wrath, and we find ourselves in the tremors of this growing storm. (Rev. 12:12)  Yet the Lord has told us how we will overcome, and should we take heed we’ll fair well. (Rev. 12:11)  

Expect betrayal

We have already been forewarned that a restructuring in our family will take place close siblings will betray one another being hateful instead of loving, having been seduced by this world they will betray their own blood.  Make up in your mind right now no matter what happens to stay with the Lord.  Let NOTHING separate you from the love of God.  (Rom. 8:39) As the family members you love more than life will be brought home in this hour and God won’t be asking your permission, nor will you necessarily have time to brace yourself for the blow. Have your heart and mind on one accord that you will follow Him no matter what happens.  

Despite the prosperity message we are getting from the Western church the scripture reveals entering into the day of the Lord is marked by judgment and persecution.  In fact joy will come through persecution, and not in our blessings or our college degrees will we boast but rather in our weaknesses and infirmities. (2 Cor. 12:6) The hour where the body decreases that the head of the body (Yehoshua) should increase in His glory through his body.  

Entering into this time can separate even that which Yah has joined together.  Scripture teaches us that forsaking for Yehoshua’s sake be it houses, brothers, sisters, or even spouses shall receive a hefty reward, even everlasting life. (Matt. 19:29) 

Hopefully it doesn’t come to that but we have seen in scripture in fact the book of Job is the greatest example of a wife who attempted to turn the heart of her husband against God because of the persecution they were facing.  Yet Job made up in his mind he would NOT turn on God no matter what he lost.  This is what Messiah was telling us when he said, 

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (luke 14:26)

This is the point, if we put anything or anyone before him that thing or person will be what we will betray him for.  Consider Judas who betrayed Jesus for money, or Peter who when faced with the fear of losing his own life denied Christ three times.  We mustnt only conquer the fear of losing our loved ones, but we may have to consider losing our own life. Bringing new meaning to my life is not my own.  

So the real question considering the earlier scripture in Isaiah as a Believer should not be why was our loved one taken, but rather why were we spared?  Why am I still here? What is my assignment?  For the spirit we should have is that of Paul, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Phil. 1:21)  Submission to Yah dictates who my sister, my brother, and who my mother is, and according to scripture these designations are based on those who have the same will as our heavenly Father. (Matt. 12:47-50)  

Don’t get too attached

The moral of this article is this don’t get too attached. Be ready to move with Yah, wear this world like a cheap garment and be ready for the restructuring. Ask not why this person but rather always consider why not you? Meaning why have I been spared? What is my assignment?  Because you are still here for a reason and if you are in the family of God recognizing he gets to decide when that family should be restructured whether through physical death or a death of a relationship. 

Allowing God to structure your family means you don’t have to be afraid of being hurt because your trust isn’t in man, but in God.  

Saints, it’s time to trust God to put our lives and our families together as He sees fit. To mature in our faith so that we can rejoice in the Lord, counting it all joy no matter what befalls us, because life does consist of more than the abundance of things we possess and the horizontal relationships we have been blessed by the Most High to enjoy.  Love family while you have them and continue to love God who allowed your life to be blessed by your loved one. Recognizing we lose nothing in Him.

The Believer’s Unbelief

It’s been a minute since I have written on this page and partially because life has happened once again and as a result my life has been restructured.  Nevertheless, this is the most important blog I own as it deals with the matters that address our salvation.  While most of my other blogs are focused on enhancing our quality of life in these bodies, at the end of the day these bodies will only take us so far.  Which brings me to the importance of today’s topic.  It’s an area that we all struggle in and I pray that this article both convicts you and encourages you.

As the title suggest this article deals with a paradox many of us, as believer’s don’t think we have but is very pervasive.  When we think of “unbeliever’s” we typically think of those who have not made a confession of faith in Messiah who is called the Christ, Yehoshua (Jesus).  However, the passage of scripture I will be sharing with you today reveals the least likely person you would consider to be an unbeliever, Moses.

Num 20:12 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

Many of you would say if Moses is an unbeliever where in the world does that leave us?  While this is a reasonable thought, we don’t want to get side tracked on the lesson before us, which is that a person can be a believer in unbelief and understanding the context of this scripture sheds that light.  The verse above is the passage of scripture surrounding Moses smiting the rock when God specifically instructed him to speak to the rock that we know having read the end of the book was Christ.

1Co 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

This incident brings up two important points but for the sake of this article we will only focus on why God counted his action as unbelief.  If we are familiar with this scripture we know that there was once a command by God to Moses to smite the rock, (Exo. 17:6) however, in this instance the instruction to Moses was to speak to it.  Side bar if you are not familiar with this account in scripture I highly recommend reading it in its entirety because its important to pay attention to the details of God.  We never know how God is revealing Messiah through our actions as 1 Cor. 10 points out to us that the rock that they were drinking from was Christ.  Thus the significance of Moses unbelief in this area means that it painted a false picture of what the Messiah would do.  Jesus (YeHoshua) would only die once for all.  There would be no provision for him dying for our sin twice, and for Moses to smite that Rock twice distorts the picture.

Which brings up a very important point, if our obedience paints a picture of Messiah’s life to the world, what do you think a believing unbeliever’s disobedience paints a picture of concerning our Messiah?  I shutter to consider the thought, but the reality is whenever I disobey a direct or written command of the Almighty God counts it as unbelief and it’s a thought that should cause all of us to rethink how we sanctify God’s word in our lives.

It must be stated that Moses motivation however, was not to smite Christ, as this was not what was revealed to him concerning the rock he hit at the time but rather the context of scripture reveals that his anger concerning the murmuring of the people provoked him to wrath in such a way that he heeded not to the direct command of the Almighty.  This decision would cost him entrance to the Promised land on earth.  However, don’t make the mistake that many may be inclined to make that this flaw in judgment cost him eternity.  Here is where we can be encouraged because though we fail to follow God’s instructions fully our unbelief concerning him in areas of our faith doesn’t nullify our ability to have eternal life.  However, here is where the conviction should come because what this passage of scripture does make clear is that our disbelief does reap a temporal penalty that can cost us dearly.

Here is the lesson of Moses, while we as believers confess a faith in Jesus Christ (YeHoshua Ha Maschiach) in what ever area we don’t do what God has clearly instructed whether that is by his direct command as Moses did or by his written command as we see throughout scripture our failure to obey is considered in the sight of God as unbelief.  While for many of us entrance into the promise land is not the penalty we pay there is indeed a penalty for our unbelief.  What the example of Moses reveals to us is that it is clear that no man who saw God move in the way that God moved in his life and in the lives of others could be pegged an unbeliever in God, but it does reveal that we can be unbelieving as it relates to God based on our lack of belief in sanctifying him in certain areas of our life based on our obedience or disobedience to his commands and the leading of His Spirit.  While we may be doing so out of provoked anger or simply believing that his command doesn’t apply to us, or not understanding how a specific result can occur from keeping a specific command the effect is the same.

Finally, the end analysis of this particular story is this, it is possible for us to be a Believer in Messiah, yet not believe his word and the evidence that reflects our unbelief is based on whether or not we are keeping his instruction (written or spoken) or ignoring it, and doing things our own way despite his instruction.  Like Moses, our unbelief in whatever area of our walk with Christ may not cost us eternal life, but like Moses rest assured that it is costing us and that cost should not be taken lightly.

Time Out For Games

Perhaps now we can stop playing long enough to realize it’s time out for games.

I’m not sure how to feel about this “Take a knee” stance. Oh don’t get it twisted I’m not saying I’m against it. The crazy thing is somehow this action which has to do with oppression is being equated to patriotism. Smoke screen for sure, but what’s more amazing is sports which in this nation has been like a god for people. I mean people will curtail the word of God on Sundays so they won’t miss Sunday night football. It would seem has met its match, and who knew a bended knee would be all it would take to get people out the stands.  The dilemma is they aren’t leaving in repentance towards God, but in bowing to what clearly is a bigger god then football in this nation, itself.  It’s called patriotism, and don’t shoot the messenger I’m not opposed to respecting your country, and if the bended knee action was an affront to the beloved anthem or flag salute I would get it, but it’s not. Just because someone calls something unpatriotic does that make it so? Or is this another cover to once again blow off the 400 year old topic that seems to continue to be ignored.  We can’t even be saved by Yah’s standard until we confess our sins, why is it suddenly being deemed a sin to merely point out we have a systemic sin issue in this nation that needs to be addressed? Our nation needs healing, but a sick person can’t be healed until they realize they are sick.  Nevertheless, America we can’t keep putting off the inevitable at some point we will have to address this issue and sooner better then later. I admit I’m not a fan of football so I am glad to see there is something that can remove its idolatrous force, it’s just sad that it wasn’t the love of Messiah that did it.  I just pray whatever this movement is becoming it some how some way leads to the Lord, otherwise it becomes another humanistic futile effort that leads to unbeneficial change.

Spring Cleaning

The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a perfect time to do spring cleaning.  It’s an ideal time to clean both the in and outside of your cup.  Those who keep or at least commemorate The Feast of Unleavened Bread understand the importance of ridding ones home of any and all leaven.  Those of us who love Messiah knows no matter how many places you look or no matter how thorough you are there is a possibility you have overlooked some and found leaven in your midst.  Bottomline even when we strive to live a life without leaven (sin), it’s presence is always near lurking in the corners or recesses of our mind.  Not that we always reach for it or touch it, because it is far easier to keep from eating leaven for seven days then to locate all leaven that could be stuck in drawers or little fragments waisted here or there.  Thus as scripture says, “…when I would do good evil is present with me.” (Rom. 7:21)

Amazing thing for me is every year I observe the feast the more humble I become concerning it.  It helps me realize how vulnerable I am to sin and how desperately I need his wisdom and direction.  The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know.  When starting to keep the feast there is this childlike zeal you get like finding hidden treasure.  You want to share it with those you love, but you want to make sure what you found is indeed real.  Once authentication has taken place and you begin to share this treasure with others you begin to find yourself in debates instead of being able to enjoy the fruit of your findings.  Your zeal can turn to dogmatic arrogance as the goal changes from sharing the treasure to debating its value.  You begin to understand that people can be looking at the same treasure and one sees its value while the other sees flaws.  Likewise, I look back at how often we shared the treasure of Yah’s feast and some saw it as legalistic rituals that didn’t apply to them and others saw it as the missing link.  The “more” they knew their faith possessed.  Today, I just feel grateful that Yah has opened my eyes to see the truth and to have a love for it even if it debunks my long held beliefs. I don’t feel it is my responsibility to prove its authentic value, but simply to present it for what it is and let others come to their own conclusion.  My prayer is that YHVH will open my eyes and theirs to all the truth and embrace where it leads us.

Having said that this year it dawned on me the physical health benefits of fasting from yeast.  As many people know yeast is the main culprit for fungus growth.  While I admittedly have not done an in-depth study on the link between fasting from it and improved health. I realize Yah’s commandments have fulfilment on multiple levels. We know Deuteronomy 28 makes it clear the keeping of Yah’s commandments produced physical blessings.  

They also take in consideration seasons and agriculture.  So I propose this, what if fasting from yeast provides a biological reset?  Like rest to the land every 7 years helps improve soil, could fasting from yeast the prescribed seven days help immobilize the overgrowth of fungus in our bodies, and aid in proper digestion of freshly created yeast after the seven day fast?  I can’t confirm this yet, but that will definitely be my quest, to research this link.  If you know of any research or have any thoughts on the topic would love to hear it.