Food For Thought
Therefore, let anyone who thinks he is standing be careful not to fall!
I Corinthians 10:12

      Unless otherwise indicated, the collection of scriptures found in Food for Thought are quoted from the Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures, (The Old Testament) pub. by, the Jewish Publication Society, New York, 1988; and the Jewish New Testament, translated by David H. Stern, pub. by Jewish New Testament Publications, Clarksville, MD, 1994.

~ Meditations ~
~ From the Word of God ~
(Meditations are meant to be
pondered carefully.)

~ The Key to Real Living ~

~ Act Justly ~

      "Happy are those who act justly, who do right at all times."
(Ps. 106:3)

      "The Lord despises the deeds of the wicked, but loves those who try to be good. If they stop trying, the Lord will punish them; if they rebel against that punishment, they will die."
(Prov. 15:9-10 LB)

      "Young men, listen to me as you would to your father. Listen, and grow wise, for I speak the truth--don’t turn away. For I, too, was once a son, tenderly loved by my mother as an only child, and the companion of my father. He told me never to forget his words. ‘If you follow them,’ he said. ‘you will have a long and happy life.’ ‘Learn to be wise,’ he said, ‘and develop good judgment and common sense! I cannot overemphasize this point.’ Cling to wisdom - she will protect you. Love her - she will guard you."
(Prov. 4:1-6 LB)

      And ".. learn this great fact: that a life of doing right is the wisest life there is. If you live that kind of life, you’ll not limp or stumble as you run. Carry out my instructions; don’t forget them, for they will lead you to real living.
      And: "Don’t do as the wicked do. Avoid their haunts - turn away, go somewhere else, for evil men don’t sleep until they’ve done their evil deed for the day. They can’t rest unless they cause someone to stumble and fall. They eat and drink wickedness and violence!
      "But the good man walks along in the ever brightening light of God’s favor; the dawn gives way to morning splendor, while the evil man gropes and stumbles in the dark.
      Now: "Listen ... to what I say. Listen carefully. Keep these thoughts ever in mind; let them penetrate deep within your heart: for they will mean real life for you, and radiant health.
      But: "Above all else, guard your affections. For they influence everything else in your life."
(Prov.4:11-23 LB)

      And "Don’t owe anyone anything --except to love one another; for whoever loves his fellow human being has fulfilled Torah."
(Rom. 13:8)

~ Don’t Quarrel ~

      "What is causing all the quarrels and fights among you? Isn’t it your desires battling inside you?
      "For where there are jealousy and selfish ambition. there will be disharmony and every foul practice.
      "You desire things and don’t have them. You kill, and you are jealous, and you still can’t get them. So you fight and quarrel. The reason you don’t have is that you don’t pray! Or you pray and don’t receive, because you pray with the wrong motive, that of wanting to indulge your own desires.
      "Brothers, stop speaking against each other! Whoever speaks against a brother or judges a brother is speaking against Torah and judging Torah. And if you judge Torah, you are not a doer of what Torah says, but a judge. There is but one Giver of Torah; he is also the Judge, with the power to deliver and to destroy. Who do you think you are, judging your fellow human being?
      "Don’t grumble against one another, brothers, so that you won’t come under condemnation -- look! the Judge is standing at the door!
      "So, brothers, be patient until the Lord returns. See how the farmer waits for the precious ‘fruit of the earth’ -- he is patient over it until it receives the fall and spring rains. You too, be patient; keep up your courage; for the Lord’s return is near."
(James 4: l;3:16;4:2-3,l1-12;5:9,7-8)

~ Be A Servant ~

      And remember what Yeshua said: "If someone is serving me, let him follow me... My father will honor anyone who serves me."
(John 12:26)

      "There are other sheep which be-long to me that are not in this sheep pen. I must bring them, too; they will listen to my voice, and they will be-come one flock with one shepherd."
(John l0:16-TEV)

      Now. "Let your attitude toward one another be governed by your being in union with the Messiah Yeshua:
"Though he was in the form of God,
      he did not regard equality with God
      something to be possessed by force
On the contrary, he emptied himself.
      in that he took the form of a slave
      by becoming like human beings are.
And when he appeared as a human being,
      he humbled himself still more
      by becoming obedient even to death
      --death on a stake as a criminal!

"Therefore God raised him to the highest place
      and gave him the name above every name:
that in honor of the name given Yeshua,
      every knee will bow--
      in heaven, on earth and under the earth--
and every tongue will acknowledge
      that Yeshua the Messiah is Adonai
      to the glory of God the Father."
(Phil. 2:5-11)

~ Accept Discipline ~

      And let’s remember that
      "If we would examine ourselves, we would not come under judgment. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined, so that we will not be condemned along with the world."
(I Cor. 11:31-32)

"For Adonai disciplines those he loves
and whips everyone he accepts as a son."

      So: "Regard your endurance as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son goes undisciplined by his father? All legitimate sons undergo discipline; so if you don’t, you’re a mamzer (illegitimate child) and not a son!
      "Furthermore, we had physical fathers who disciplined us, and we respected them; how much more should we submit to our spiritual Father and live! For they disciplined us only for a short time and only as best they could: but he disciplines us in a way that provides genuine benefit to us and enables us to share in his holiness.
      "Now, all discipline, while it is happening, does indeed seem painful, not enjoyable; but for those who have been trained by it. it later produces its peaceful fruit, which is righteousness.
      strengthen your drooping arms
      and steady your tottering knees,
      make a level path for your feet; so that what has been injured will not get wrenched out of joint but rather will be healed.
      "Keep pursuing shalom (peace) with everyone and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. Sec to it that no one misses out on God’s grace, that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble and thus contaminates many, and that no one is sexually immoral, or godless like Esav (Esau), who in exchange for a single meal gave up his rights as the firstborn. For you know that afterwards. when he wanted to obtain his father’s blessing, he was rejected; indeed, even though he sought it with tears, his change of heart was to no avail.
      "For you have not come to a tangible mountain, to an ignited fire, to darkness, to murk, to a whirlwind, to the sound of a shofar (ram’s horn), and to a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further message be given to them -- for they couldn’t bear what was being commanded them, "If even a beast touches the mountain, it is to be stoned to death;" and so terrifying was the sight that Moshe said. "I am quaking with dread."
      "On the contrary, you have come to Mount Tziyon (Zion), that is, the city of the living God, heavenly Yerushalayim (Jerusalem); to myriad’s of angels in festive assembly; to a community of the firstborn whose names have been recorded in heaven; to a Judge who is God of everyone; to spirits of righteous people who have been brought to the goal; to the mediator of a new covenant, Yeshua; and to the sprinkled blood that speaks better things than that of Hevel (Abel).
      "See that you don’t reject the One speaking! For if those did not escape who rejected him when he gave divine warning on earth, think how much less we will escape if we turn away from him when lie warns from heaven."
(Heb. 12:6-25)

~ Do What Is Right ~

      Now. "If you know that he is righteous. you should also know that he is the Father of everyone who does what is right. See what love the Father has lavished on us in letting us be called God’s children! For that is what we are."
(I John 2:29-3:1)

      "Dear friends, we arc God’s children now: and it has not yet been made clear what we will become. We do know that when he appears, we will be like him; because we will see him as he really is,
      "And everyone who has this hope in him continues purifying himself. since God is pure. Everyone who keeps sinning is violating Torah--indeed, sin is violation of Torah. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and that there is no sin in him. So no one who remains united with him continues sinning; everyone who does continue sinning has neither seen him nor known him.
(I John 3:2-6)

      "Children, don’t let anyone deceive you--it is the person that keeps on doing what is right who is righteous, just as God is righteous."
      However: "The person who keeps on sinning is from the Adversary, because from the very beginning the Adversary has kept on sinning."
      And: "No one who has God as his Father keeps on sinning, because the seed planted by God remains in him. That is, he cannot continue sinning, because he has God as his Father."
      Now. "Here is how one can distinguish clearly between God’s children and those of the Adversary: everyone who does not continue doing what is right is not from God.
(I John 3:7-l0a)

~ Love With Your Actions ~

      "Likewise, anyone who fails to keep loving his brother is not from God. For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning: that we should love each other and not be like Kayin (Cain), who was from the Evil One and murdered his own brother. Why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil, and his brother’s were righteous."
      So: "Don’t be amazed, brothers, if the world hates you. We, for our part, know that we have passed from death to life because we keep loving the brothers."
      But: "The person who fails to keep on loving is still under the power of death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
      "The way that we have conic to know love is through his having laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers! If someone has worldly possessions and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how can he be loving God? Children, let us not love with words and talk, but with actions and in reality!
(1 John 3:l0b-18)

~ Trust in Yeshua ~

      "Here is how we will know that we are from the truth and will set our hearts at rest in his presence: if our hearts know something against us, God is greater that our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts know nothing against us, we have confidence in approaching God: then whatever we ask for, we receive from him; because we are obeying his commands and doing the things that please him.
      "This is his command: that we arc to trust in the person and power of his Son Yeshua the Messiah and to keep loving one another, just as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands remain united with him and he with them.
      "Here is how we know that he remains united with us: by the Spirit whom he gave us. Dear friends, don’t trust every spirit. On the contrary, test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. Here is how you recognize the Spirit of God: every spirit which acknowledges that Yeshua the Messiah came as a human being is from God, and every spirit which does not acknowledge Yeshua is not from God -- in fact, this is the spirit of the Anti-Messiah. ..."
(I John 3:19-4:3)

~ Get Rid of Fear ~

      "Beloved friends. let us love one another; because love is from God; and everyone who loves has God as his Father and knows God. Those who do not love, do not know God; because God is love. Here is how God showed his love among us: God sent his only Son into the world, so that through him we might have life. Here is what love is: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the kapparah (atonement, propitiation) for our sins.
      "Beloved friends, if this is how God loved us, we likewise ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God: if we love one another, God remains united with us, and our love for him has been brought to its goal in us. Here is how we know that we remain united with him and he with us: he has given to us from his own Spirit. Moreover, we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent his Son as Deliverer of the world. If someone acknowledges that Yeshua is the Son of God, God remains united with him, and he with God. Also we have come to know and trust the love that God has for us. God is love: and those who remain in this love remain united with God. and God remains united with them.
      "Here is how love has been brought to maturity with us: 5s the Messiah is, so are we in the world. This gives us confidence for the day of Judgment. There is not fear in love. On the contrary, love that has achieved its goal gets rid of fear, because fear has to do with punishment; the person who keeps fearing has not been brought to maturity in regard to love.
      "We ourselves love now because he loved us first. If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother; he is a liar. For if a person does not love his brother; whom he has seen, then he cannot love God, whom he has not seen. Yes, this is the command we have from him: whoever loves God must love his brother too.
      Now: "Everyone who believes that Yeshua is the Messiah has God as his father: and everyone who loves a father loves his offspring too. Here is how we know that we love God’s children: when we love God, we also do what he commands. For loving God means obeying his commands. Moreover, his commands are not burdensome, because everything which has God as its Father overcomes the world. And this is what victoriously overcomes the world: our trust."
(I John 4:7-5:4)

~ Have Confidence ~
~ And Praise the LORD ~

      "And this is the witness: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Those who have the Son have the life; those who do not have the son of God do not have the life."
      Now: "... you may know that you have eternal life -- you who keep trusting in the person and power of the Son of God.

      And: "This is the confidence we have in his presence: if we ask anything that accords with his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us -- whatever we ask -- then we know that we have what we have asked from him."
(I John 5:11-15)

      So Praise the Lord:

      "Adonai, Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who in the Messiah has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heaven."

      For: "In the Messiah he chose us in love before the creation of the universe to be holy and without defect in his presence."

      Yes: "He determined in advance that through Yeshua the Messiah we would be his sons -- in keeping with his pleasure and purpose -- so that we would bring him praise commensurate with the glory of the grace he gave us through the Beloved One.
      "In Union with him, through the shedding of his blood, we arc set free -our sins are forgiven...

      And: "he has made known to us his secret plan ... -- his plan to place everything in heaven and on earth under the Messiah’s headship.
      "Also in union with him we were given an inheritance, ... so that we who earlier had put our hope in the Messiah would bring him praise commensurate with his glory"
(Eph. 1:3-7.9-12)

      So, Let’s Praise the Lord with David, as he sings.

Praise God in His sanctuary;
praise Him in the sky, His stronghold.
Praise Him for His mighty acts;
praise Him for His exceeding greatness.
Praise Him with blasts of the horn;
praise Him with harp and lyre.
Praise Him with timbrel and dance;
praise Him with lute and pipe.
Praise Him with resounding cymbals;
praise Him with loud-clashing cymbals.
Let all that breathes praise the LORD.
(Psalms 150)




Overlooking Faults

"A brother offended is more formidable
than a stronghold;
Such strife is like the bars of a fortress."

But, "He who seeks love overlooks faults"
(Prov. 18:19,17:9a)

      Are you seeking love, and would you like some help to learn how to overlook the faults of others? If so, Dr. Richard Carlson. author of Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff (pub. by Hyperion. New York. 1997, p. 27) has some good advice for us.

      He writes:

"Imagine the People in Your Life as Tiny Infants and as One-Hundred-Year-Old Adults.

I learned this technique almost twenty years ago. It has proven to be extremely successful for releasing feelings of irritation toward other people. Think of someone who truly irritates you, who makes you feel angry. Now, close your eyes and try to imagine this person as a tiny infant. See their tiny little features and their innocent little eyes. Know that babies can’t help but make mistakes and each of us was, at one time, a little infant. Now, roll forward the clock one hundred years. See the same person as a very old person who is about to die. Look at their worn-out eyes and their soft smile, which suggests a bit of wisdom and the admission of mistakes made. Know that each of us will be one hundred years old, alive or dead, before too many decades go by.

You can play with this technique and alter it in many ways. It almost always provides the user with some needed perspective and compassion. If our goal is to become more peaceful and loving, we certainly don’t want to harbor negativity toward others."