19 Lord, you are my strength and fortress,
my refuge in the day of trouble!
Nations from around the world
will come to you and say,
“Our ancestors left us a foolish heritage,
for they worshipped worthless idols.
20 Can people make their own gods?
These are not real gods at all!”
(Jeremiah 16:19-21 NLT)
I have known the Messiah for several years. Before and even during that time, I have had conflicted allegiances due to serving other ¨gods¨ such as financial gain, status, physical and intellectual strength, romance, my own belly and its insatiable appetites, technology, such as this Internet, etc. But Yeshua always knows how to bring me back. He shows me His power and might, and at last I come to realise that only He is the LORD, the ruler of the universe and of my small life.
He has also been teaching me how to love my neighbour. This is the hardest part, in many ways. Especially loving my family. Check out this verse:
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (1 John 4:20 NKJV)
That´s right. It´s so easy to spout off some ¨Oh, I love You, God¨ comments and at the same time curse my family, friends or strangers.
7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh waterand bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh. (James 3:7-12 NKJV)
Or how about this one?:
“You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ 22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.¨(Matthew 5:21-22 NLT)
Heavy stuff! To know the Messiah is to know Yahweh, the almighty, all-loving God of the universe. To know Yahweh is to obey His commands. And this includes loving our neighbours as ourselves, starting with those closest to us, and working our way outwards to friends, acquaintances and strangers. To love Yahweh is to love the world as He loves it.
I tell you, sometimes I just want to kick the world´s ***, not love it at all! That´s where an obedient attitude toward the Lord comes in, that´s where I have to realise that in my own finite humanity I can´t do what Yah wants me to do. It´s too tough, in my own flesh-bound strength.
. . . And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:2-5 NIV)
True that! I can only love Yah and people through His Sacred Spirit who fills me up like an overflowing water container.
O Spirit of Yahweh, please fill me up so that I can love You and the folks around me! Today, tomorrow and every day I live and breathe and have my being!
23 This is what the Lord says:
Don’t let wise people brag about their wisdom.
Don’t let strong people brag about their strength.
Don’t let rich people brag about their riches.
24 If they want to brag, they should brag that they understand and know me.
They should brag that I, the Lord, act out of love, righteousness,
and justice on the earth.
This kind of bragging pleases me, declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 9:23-24 GW)
What do you brag about?