Food For Thought
Unless otherwise indicated the collection of scriptures found in Food for Thought are quoted from the Jewish New Testament translated by David H. Stern, pub. by Jewish New Testament Publications, Clarksville, MD, 1994; and the Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures, (Old Testament) pub. by, The Jewish Publication Society, New York, 1988.
~ Meditations ~
~ From the Word of God ~
(Meditations are meant to be
It is written:
All Scripture is God-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living;
(II Tim. 3:16)
is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor
standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the
scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his
law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a
tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his
fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and
whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so; but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous; but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
KJV (Psalm. 1:1-6)
O how I love Your teaching!
It is my study all day long.
Your word is a lamp to my feet,
a light for my path.
I am resolved to follow Your laws
to the utmost forever.
Is Our House in Order
the Coming of the King?
It is written:
... The Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
(I Thess. 5:2)
attention! says Yeshua, I am coming soon,
and my rewards are with me to give to each person according to
what he has done.
How blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they have the right to eat from the Tree of Life and go through the gates into the city!
Do We Trust and Obey?
It is written:
You shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and I have set you apart from other peoples to be Mine.
out, brothers, so that there will not be in any one of you an
evil heart lacking trust, which could lead you to apostatize from
the living God! Instead, keep exhorting each other every day,
as long as it is called Today, so that none of you will become
hardened by the deceit of sin. For we have become sharers in the
Messiah, provided, however, that we hold firmly to the
conviction we began with, right through until the goal is reached.
How Do We Live When We
Think Others Cannot See Us?
It is written:
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
For a mans ways are before the eyes of God;
He surveys his entire course.
God, nothing created is hidden, but all things are naked and open
to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.
brothers, if one of you wanders from the truth, and someone
causes him to return, you should know that whoever turns a sinner
from his wandering path will save him from death and cover many
What Does It Mean To
Under The New Covenant?
It is written:
... we have been separated for God and made holy, once and for all, through the offering of Yeshua the Messiahs body.
by a single offering he has brought to the goal for all time
those who are being set apart for God and made holy.
And the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) too bears witness to us; for after saying,
This is the covenant which I will make
with them after those days, says Adonai: (Lord)
I will put my Torah on their hearts,
and write it on their minds, he then adds.
And their sins and their wickednesses
I will remember no more.
(cited from Jer. 31:32-33)
let us approach the Holiest Place with a sincere heart, in the
full assurance that comes from trusting--with our hearts
sprinkled clean from a bad conscience (I John 1:9) and our bodies
washed with pure water. (baptismal pool = Mikveh). Let
us continue holding fast to the hope we acknowledge, without
wavering; for the One who made the promise is trustworthy. And
let us keep paying attention to one another, in order to spur
each other on to love and good deeds, not neglecting our own
congregational meetings, as some have made a practice of doing,
but rather encouraging each other.
And let us do this all the more as you see the Day approaching. For if we deliberately continue to sin, after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but only the terrifying prospect of Judgment, of raging fire that will consume the enemies.
Someone who disregards the Torah of Moshe (instruction of Moses) is put to death without mercy on the word of two or three witnesses. Think how much worse will be the punishment deserved by someone who has trampled underfoot the Son of God; who has treated as something common the blood of the covenant which made him holy; and who has insulted the Spirit, giver of Gods grace!
For the One we know is the One who said,
Vengeance is my responsibility I will repay,
and then said, Adonai (Lord) will judge his people.
It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands
of the living God!
since we have come to be considered righteous by God because of
our trust, let us continue to have shalom
(peace) with God through our Lord, Yeshua
the God of shalom (peace) make you completely holy --
may your entire spirit, soul and body be kept blameless for the
coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. The one calling
you is faithful, and he will do it.
(I Thess. 5:23-24)
Are We Ready for Solid Food?
It is written:
How blessed are those who hunger
and thirst for righteousness!
for they will be filled.
who has to drink milk is still a baby, without experience in
applying the word about righteousness. But solid food is for
the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained by
continuous exercise to distinguish good from evil.
Therefore, leaving behind the initial lessons about the Messiah, let us go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of turning from works that lead to death, trusting God and instruction about washings (baptisms), smikhah (ordination, laying on of hands), the resurrection of the dead and eternal punishment. And, God willing, this is what we will do.
For when people have once been enlightened, tasted the heavenly gift, become sharers in the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), and tasted the goodness of Gods Word and the powers of the olam haba (the world/age to come) -- and then have fallen away -- it is impossible to renew them so that they turn from their sin, as long as for themselves they keep executing the Son of God on the stake all over again and keep holding him up to public contempt. For the land that soaks up frequent rains and then brings forth a crop useful to its owners receives a blessing from God; but if it keeps producing thorns and thistles, it fails the test and is close to being cursed; in the end, it will be burned.
Now even though we speak this way, dear friends, we are confident that you have the better things that come with being delivered. For God is not so unfair as to forget your work and the love you showed for him in your past service to his people -- and in your present service too. However, we want each one of you to keep showing the same diligence right up to the end, when your hope will be realized; so that you will not become sluggish, but will be imitators of those who by their trust and patience are receiving what has been promised.
task is to equip Gods people for the work of service that
builds the body of the Messiah, until we all arrive at the unity
implied by trusting and knowing the Son of God, at full manhood,
at the standard of maturity set by the Messiahs perfection.
We will then no longer be infants tossed about by the waves and blown along by every wind of teaching, at the mercy of people clever in devising ways to deceive. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in every respect grow up into him who is the head, the Messiah. Under his control, the whole body is being fitted and held together by the support of every joint, with each part working to fulfill its function; this is how the body grows and builds itself up in love.
Are We Living a New Life?
It is written:
Through immersion into his death we were buried with him; so that just as, through the glory of the Father, the Messiah was raised from the dead, likewise we too might live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will also be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was put to death on the execution-stake with him, so that the entire body of our sinful propensities might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For someone who has died has been cleared from sin. Now since we died with the Messiah, we trust that we will also live with him. We know that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, never to die again; death has no authority over him. For his death was a unique event that need not be repeated; but his life, he keeps on living for God. In the same way, consider yourselves to be dead to sin but alive for God, by your union with the Messiah Yeshua.
my brothers, you have been made dead with regard to the Torah
(instruction) through the Messiahs body, so that you may
belong to someone else, namely, the one who has been raised from
the dead, in order for us to bear fruit for God. For when we were
living according to our old nature, the passions connected with
sins worked through the Torah in our various parts, with
the result that we bore fruit for death. But now we have been
released from this aspect of the Torah, because we have
died to that which had us in its clutches, so that we are
serving in the new way provided by the Spirit and not in the
old way of outwardly following the letter of the law.
do not let sin rule in your mortal bodies, so that it makes you
obey its desires; and do not offer any part of yourselves to sin
as an instrument for wickedness. On the contrary, offer
yourselves to God as people alive from the dead, and your various
parts to God as instruments for righteousness, for sin will not
have authority over you; because you are not under legalism but
you have been delivered by grace through trusting, and even this
is not your accomplishment but Gods gift. You were not
delivered by your own actions; therefore no one should boast. For
we are of Gods making, created in union with the
Messiah Yeshua for a life of good actions already
prepared by God for us to do.
what the Torah (instruction) could not do by itself,
because it lacked the power to make the old nature cooperate, God
did by sending his own Son as a human being with a nature like
our own sinful one. God did this in order to deal with sin, and
in so doing he executed the punishment against sin in human
nature, so that the just requirement of the Torah
might be fulfilled in us who do not run our lives
according to what the old nature wants but according to what
the Spirit wants. For those who identify with their old
nature set their minds on the things of the old nature, but those
who identify with the Spirit set their minds on the things of the
Spirit. Having ones mind controlled by the old nature is
death, but having ones mind controlled by the Spirit is
life and shalom (peace). For the mind controlled by the old
nature is hostile to God, because it does not submit itself to
Gods Torah -- indeed, it cannot. Thus, those who
identify with their old nature cannot please God.
But you, you do not identify with your old nature but with the Spirit -- provided the Spirit of God is living inside you, for anyone who doesnt have the Spirit of Messiah doesnt belong to him. However, if the Messiah is in you, then, on the one hand, the body is dead because of sin; but, on the other hand, the Spirit is giving life because God considers you righteous. And if the Spirit of the One who raised Yeshua from the dead is living in you, then the One who raised the Messiah Yeshua from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.
Are We Led by Gods Spirit?
It is written:
... we dont owe a thing to our old nature that would require us to live according to our old nature. For if you live according to your old nature, you will certainly die; but if by the Spirit, you keep putting to death the practices of the body, you will live.
All who are led by Gods Spirit are Gods sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to bring you back again into fear; on the contrary, you received the Spirit, who makes us sons and by whose power we cry out, Abba (that is, Dear Father!). The Spirit himself bears witness with our own spirits that we are children of God; and if we are children, then we are also heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with the Messiah -- provided we are suffering with him in order also to be glorified with him.
I dont think the sufferings we are going through now are even worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us in the future.
we know that God causes everything to work together for the good
of those who love God and are called in accordance with his
purpose; because those whom he knew in advance, he also
determined in advance would be conformed to the pattern of his
Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers; and
those whom he thus determined in advance, he also called; and
those whom he called, he also caused to be considered righteous;
and those whom he caused to be considered righteous, he also
Are We Continuing Toward Righteousness?
It is written:
The path of the righteous is like radiant sunlight;
Ever brightening until noon.
with the heart one goes on trusting and thus continues toward
righteousness, while with the mouth one keeps on making
public acknowledgment and thus continues toward deliverance.
since everyone who calls on the name of Adonai (the
Lord) will be delivered.
grace and shalom (peace) be yours in full measure, as you come to
a full knowledge of God and Yeshua our Lord.
Gods power has given us everything we need for life and godliness, through our knowing the One who called us to his own glory and goodness. By these he has given us valuable and superlatively great promises, so that through them you might come to share in Gods nature and escape the corruption which evil desires have brought into the world.
For this very reason, try your hardest to furnish your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with perseverance, perseverance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if you have these qualities in abundance, they keep you from being barren and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. Indeed, whoever lacks them is blind, so shortsighted that he forgets that his past sins have been washed away. Therefore, brothers, try even harder to make your being called and chosen a certainty. For if you keep doing this you will never stumble. Thus you will be generously supplied with everything you need to enter the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Deliverer, Yeshua the Messiah.
Are We Renewing Our Minds?
It is written:
... keep letting yourselves be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you will know what God wants and will agree that what he wants is good, satisfying and able to succeed. For I am telling every single one of you, through the grace that has been given to me, not to have exaggerated ideas about your own importance. Instead, develop a sober estimate of yourself based on the standard which God has given to each of you, namely, trust. For just as there are many parts that compose one body, but the parts dont all have the same function; so there are many of us, and in union with the Messiah we comprise one body, with each of us belonging to the others. But we have gifts that differ and which are meant to be used according to the grace that has been given to us. If your gift is prophecy, use it to the extent of your trust; if it is serving, use it to serve; if you are a teacher, use your gift in teaching; if you are a counselor, use your gift to comfort and exhort; if you are someone who gives, do it simply and generously; if you are in a position of leadership, lead with diligence and zeal; if you are one who does acts of mercy, do them cheerfully.
Are We Loving Each Other?
It is written:
Dont let love be a mere outward show. Recoil from what is evil and cling to what is good. Love each other devotedly and with brotherly love; and set examples for each other in showing respect. Dont be lazy when hard work is needed, but serve the Lord with spiritual fervor. Rejoice in your hope. be patient in your troubles, and continue steadfastly in prayer. Share what you have with Gods people, and practice hospitality.
I may speak in the tongues of men, even angels;
but if I lack love, I have become merely
blaring brass or a cymbal clanging.
I may have the gift of prophecy,
I may fathom all mysteries, know all things,
have all faith -- enough to move mountains;
but if I lack love, I am nothing.
I may give away everything that I own,
I may even hand over my body to be burned;
but if I lack love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind, not jealous, not boastful,
not proud, rude or selfish, not easily angered,
and it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not gloat over other peoples sins
but takes its delight in the truth.
Love always bears up, always trusts,
always hopes, always endures.
Love never ends; but prophecies will pass,
tongues will cease, knowledge will pass.
For our knowledge is partial, and our prophecy partial;
but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass.
When I was a child, I spoke like a child,
thought like a child, argued like a child;
now that I have become a man,
I have finished with childish ways.
For now we see obscurely in a mirror,
but then it will be face to face.
Now I know partly; then I will know fully,
just as God has fully known me.
But for now, three things last --
trust, hope, love,
and the greatest of these is love.
keep on eagerly seeking the things of the Spirit; and especially
seek to be able to prophesy.
(I Cor. 13:1-14:1)
as for a person whose trust is weak, welcome him -- but not to
get into arguments over opinions.
For all of us will stand before Gods judgment seat; since it is written in the Tanakh (Scriptures),
As I live, says Adonai (Lord), every knee will bend before me,
and every tongue will publicly acknowledge God.
So then, every one of us will have to give an
account of himself to God.
Therefore. lets stop passing judgment on each other! Instead, make this one judgment -- not to put a stumbling-block or a snare in a brothers way. (Rom. 14:l0c-13)
have heard that our fathers were told, Do not murder,
and that anyone who commits murder will be subject to judgment.
And I tell you that anyone who even nurses anger against his
brother will be subject to judgment; that whoever calls his
brother, You good-for-nothing! will be brought before
the Sanhedrin (Jewish court); that whoever says,
Fool! incurs the penalty of burning in the fire of
Gey-Hinnom (Gehenna, hell)! So if you are offering your gift at
the Temple altar and you remember there that your brother has
something against you, leave your gift where it is by the altar,
and go, make peace with your brother. Then come back and offer
Are We Conquering Evil With Good?
It is written:
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, violent assertiveness and slander, along with all spitefulness. Instead, be kind to each other, just as in the Messiah God has also forgiven you. So imitate God, as his dear children, and live a life of love, just as also the Messiah loved us.
Bless those who persecute you -- bless them, dont curse them! Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be sensitive to each others needs --dont think yourselves better than others, but make humble people your friends. Dont be conceited. Repay no one evil for evil, but try to do what everyone regards as good. If possible, and to the extent that it depends on you, live in peace with all people. Never seek revenge, my friends; instead, leave that to Gods anger; for in the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures; Old Testament) it is written,
Adonai (Lord) says,
Vengeance is my responsibility; I will repay.
On the contrary,
If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
For by doing this, you will heap fiery coals of shame on his head.
Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil
Are We Pursuing the
Things That Make
For Peace and Mutual Upbuilding?
It is written:
... keep on eagerly seeking the things of the Spirit; and especially seek to be able to prophesy. For someone speaking in a tongue is not speaking to people but to God, because no one can understand, since he is uttering mysteries in the power of the Spirit. But someone prophesying is speaking to people. edifying. encouraging and comforting them. A person speaking in a tongue does edify himself, but a person prophesying edifies the congregation.
(I Cor. 14:1-4)
not let what you know to be good, be spoken of as bad; for the
Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness,
shalom and joy in the Ruach Ha-Kodesh (Holy Spirit). Anyone
who serves the Messiah in this fashion both pleases God and wins
the approval of other people.
So then, Let us pursue the things that make for shalom and mutual upbuilding.
we who are strong have a duty to bear the weaknesses of those who
are not strong, rather than please ourselves. Each of us
should please his neighbor and act for his good, thus building
him up. For even the Messiah did not please himself; rather,
as the Tanakh says, The insults of those insulting you fell
on me. For everything written in the past was written to
teach us, so that with the encouragement of the Tanakh we might
patiently hold on to our hope.
At this time I would like to encourage you to begin meditating in the Book of Proverbs. Start each day by reading one chapter, corresponding with the day of the month, and BE BLESSED.
The Proverbs are useful:
For learning wisdom and discipline;
For understanding words of discernment;
For acquiring the discipline for success,
Righteousness, justice, and equity;
For endowing the simple with shrewdness,
The young with knowledge and foresight.
--The wise man, hearing them, will gain more wisdom...
God, the source of hope, fill you completely with joy and shalom
as you continue trusting, so that by the power of the Ruach
HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) you may overflow with hope.