Food For Thought
Therefore, let anyone who thinks he is standing up 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.)

~ Living At Peace ~
~ Amid Strife ~

      "Dear friends, don’t regard as strange the fiery ordeal occurring among you to test you, as if something extraordinary were happening to you. Rather, to the extent that you share the fellowship of the Messiah’s sufferings, rejoice; so that you will rejoice even more when his Sh’khinah (the manifest glorious presence of God) is revealed. If you are being insulted because you bear the name of the Messiah, how blessed you are! For the Spirit of the Sh’khinah, that is, the Spirit of God, is resting on you! Let none of you suffer for being a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or a meddler in other people’s affairs. But if anyone suffers for being Messianic, let him not be ashamed; but let him bring glory to God by the way he bears this name. For the time has come for the judgment to begin. It begins with the household of God; and if it starts with us, what will the outcome be for those who are disobeying God’s Good News? --
      ‘If the righteous is barely delivered,
      where will the ungodly and sinful end up?’ *
      "So let those who are suffering according to God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator by continuing to do what is good.”
(I Peter 4:12-19, *Prov 11:31)

      "Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and temporary residents not to give in to the desires of your old nature, which keep warring against you; but to live such good lives among the pagans that even though they now speak against you as evil-doers, they will, as a result of seeing your good actions, give glory to God on the Day of his coming. For the sake of the Lord, submit yourselves to every human authority -- whether to the emperor as being supreme, or to governors as being sent by him to punish wrongdoers and praise those who do what is good. For it is God’s will that your doing good should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Submit as people who are free, but not letting your freedom serve as an excuse for evil; rather, submit as God’s slaves. Be respectful to all -- keep loving the brotherhood, fearing God and honoring the emperor.
      "Household servants, submit yourselves to your masters, showing them full respect--and not only those who are kind and considerate, but also those who are harsh. For it is a grace when someone, because he is mindful of God, bears up under the pain of undeserved punishment. For what credit is there in bearing up under a beating you deserve for doing something wrong? But if you bear up under punishment, even though you have done what is right, God looks on it with favor. Indeed, this is what you were called to; because the Messiah too suffered, on your behalf, leaving an example so that you should follow in his steps.
      ‘He committed no sin,
      nor was any deceit found on his ‘*
      "When he was insulted, he didn’t retaliate with insults; when he suffered he didn’t threaten, but handed them over to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the stake, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness -- by his wounds you were healed. For you used to be like sheep gone astray, but now you have turned to the Shepherd who watches over you."
(I Peter 2:11-25, *Isa 53:9)

      And Yeshua said: "‘You are light for the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Likewise, when people light a lamp, they don’t cover it with a bowl, but put it on a lampstand, so that it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.’"
(Mt. 5:14-1 6)

      "‘How blessed you are when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of vicious lies about you because you follow me! Rejoice, be glad, because your reward in heaven is great -- they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way.”’
(Mt. 5:11-12)

      "‘Do not fear those who kill the body but are powerless to kill the soul. Rather, fear him who can destroy both soul and body in Gey-Hinnom. Aren’t sparrows sold for next to nothing, two for an assarion? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s consent. As for you, every hair on your head has been counted. So do not be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows.
(Mt. 10:28-31)

It is written:
"Do not be vexed by evil men;
do not be incensed by wrongdoers;
"Give up anger, abandon fury,
      do not be vexed;
      it can only do harm.
For evil men will be cut off,
      but those who look to the LORD --
      they shall inherit the land.
A little longer and there will be no wicked man;
      you will look at where he was --
      he will be gone.
Therefore, "Leave all to the LORD;
      trust in Him; He will do it.
He will cause your vindication to shine forth like the light,
      the justice of your case, like the noonday sun.
(Ps. 37:1a, 8-10, 5-6)

      And Yeshua said: "‘Pray for those who persecute you! Then you will become children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun shine on good and bad people alike, and he sends rain to the righteous and the unrighteous alike. What reward do you get if you love only those who love you? Why, even tax-collectors do that! And if you are friendly only to your friends, are you doing anything out of the ordinary? Even the Goyim (pagans) do that! Therefore, be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect’"
(Mt. 5:44b-48)

      "For the Messiah himself died for sins, once and for all, a righteous person on behalf of unrighteous people, so that he might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh but brought to life by the Spirit; and in this form he went and made a proclamation to the imprisoned spirits, to those who were disobedient long ago, in the days of Noach, when God waited patiently during the building of the ark, in which a few people -- to be specific, eight --were delivered by means of water. This also prefigures what delivers us now, the water of immersion, which is not the removal of dirt from the body, but one’s pledge to keep a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah. He has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities and powers subject to him.
      "Therefore, since the Messiah suffered physically, you too are to arm yourselves with the same attitude. For whoever has suffered physically is finished with sin, with the result that he lives the rest of his earthly life no longer controlled by human desires, but by God’s will. For you have spent enough time already living the way the pagans want you to live -- in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, wild parties and forbidden idol-worship. They think it strange that you don’t plunge with them into the same flood of dissoluteness, and so they heap insults on you. But they will have to give an account to him who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. This is why he was proclaimed to those who have died; it was so that, although physically they would receive the judgment common to all humanity, they might live by the Spirit in the way that God has provided."
(I Peter 3:18-4:6)

      "For none of us lives only in relation to himself, and none of us dies only in relation to himself; for if we live, we live in relation to the Lord; and if we die, we die in relation to the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord -- indeed, it was for this very reason that the Messiah died and came back to life, so that he might he Lord of both the dead and the living."
(Romans 14:7-9)

      "The accomplishing of the goal of all things is close at hand. Therefore keep alert and self-controlled, so that you can pray. More than anything, keep loving each other actively; because love covers many sins. Welcome one another into your homes without grumbling. As each one has received some spiritual gift, he should use it to serve others, like good managers of Gods many-sided grace -- if someone speaks, et him speak God's words; if someone serves, let him do so out of strength that God supplies; so that in everything God may be glorified through Yeshua the Messiah -- to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.
      "Greet each other with a kiss of love.
      ‘Shalom aleikhem!’ to all who belong to the Messiah.
(I Peter 4:7-11, 5:14)


~ Excerpts from Psalm 119 ~
~ A Psalm of David ~

In times of persecution:

I call with all my head;
      answer me, O LORD,
      that I may observe Your laws.

May my plea reach You, O LORD;
      grant me understanding according to Your word.

Though anguish and distress come upon me,
      Your commandments are my delight.
Your righteous decrees are eternal;
      give me understanding, that I might live.

See my affliction and rescue me,
      for I have not neglected Your teaching.

Lend Your hand to help me,
      for 1 have chosen Your precepts.

I obey Your precepts and decrees;
all my ways are before You.

You, O LORD, are near.
      and all Your commandments are true.
I know from Your decrees of old
      that You have established them forever.

Truly by all Your precepts I walk straight;
      I hate every false way.

I have done what is just and right;
      do not abandon me to those who would wrong me.
Guarantee Your servant’s well-being;
      do not let the arrogant wrong mc.

Though my life is always in danger,
      I do not neglect Your teaching.
Though the wicked have set a trap for mc,
      I have not strayed from Your precepts.
Your decrees are my eternal heritage;
      they are my hearts delight.
I am resolved to follow Your laws
      to the utmost forever.

(Psalm 119:145, 169, 143-144. 153, 173, 168,
151-152, 128, 121-122, 109-112)