🔯 Grace and Peace be unto you in full measure, in union with Yeshua the Messiah 🔯
***This is a new category. When I come upon a scripture; which no scripture is ever just added for filler; yet it clearly requires the Spirit to teach beyond it. I’ll post them. Please share what the Spirit of the Lord shares with you.***
The next day, as they came back from Beit-Anyah (Bethany), He felt hungry. Spotting in the distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if He could find anything on it. When He came up to it, He found nothing but leaves; for it wasn’t fig season. He said to it, “May no one ever eat from you again!” And His talmidim (disciples) heard what He said.
That’s it, placed in the middle of the donkey fetching and His ride through Jerusalem, and His clean out of the temple, this seemingly odd thing is written. Notice, it wasn’t fig season. The fig tree was not supposed to have fruit. Did Yeshua (Jesus) throw some kind of fit? Of course, we know different. Name a fit that doesn’t involve sin.
We cannot throw what we think into this. The only way these little adds to the word gets filled in for context and meaning is by the Spirit of God alone. Hint: is there anywhere else in scripture where a tree is mentioned where the fruit or lack of it offended God? The Spirit most often takes us deeper into other parts of God’s Word to teach. This is an amazing little piece of gold dropped in Mark here. But wait! Lets look further.
In the morning, as the talmidim passed by, they saw the fig tree withered all the way to its roots. Kefa (Peter) remembered and said to Yeshua (Jesus), “Rabbi! Look! The fig tree that you have cursed is all withered up! He responded. “Have the kind of trust that comes from God!”
He goes on to say the famous: “your trust (faith) can move mountains”. All part of the teaching in this passage but not what it usually gets taught like in church. Fruit is highly important to God, all the symbolic/parabolic language is highly significant! Notice He cursed, it dried up. Where else in scripture does this happen by God? Very important when studying to go and see the “pattern”, if you will. In fact, everything God did prior to Yeshua coming, Yeshua did while He was here! This is one of the signs of Messiah! To prove Yeshua was sent by God and was God. To dive into the study of this will take a while but I promise the rewards are beyond treasure. Remember think function of all things, and dysfunction. What is each passage pointing to in regard to function and dysfunction? Good, in Hebrew is defined as functional, bad or evil is defined as dysfunctional. God made everything to function a certain way, if diverged from such way, it will be dysfunctional. Hence sin/evil, anything that doesn’t operate according to the Engineers plans. All fruit has a specific and designed function. What makes this passage so interesting is that it wasn’t “doing anything wrong”. It wasn’t fig season. Which begs the ultimate question: why did Yeshua curse it?
Time to treasure hunt! 🙂
2 Corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it will be evident that such overwhelming power comes from God and not from us.
♡ Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah ♡
What is the essence of Praise?
Is it just knowing God is? How often does it come easy when He paints a wondrous sky? When He does anything to make us smile? How does one apply the sacrifice of praise? This question lays heavy on my heart theses days. Almost every believer I know (almost) doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of sacrificial praise. When asked in a poll, nine out of ten believers could not quote a scripture that speaks of sacrificial praise. May seem rather inconsequential unless you realize how often its referenced in the Word. 218 times the word sacrifice is in the Word, half of them include praise with them. In the half that doesn’t refer to praise directly with it, it gives strong indications of it being in conjuction to or related to, or a result of. ..pretty incredible.
To sacrifice means to give something up. To praise means to lift something or someone up in exaltation. Put together, as the Word repeatedly states it, we sacrifice the opposite of praise for praise of God . After all it would hardly be a sacrifice to praise God when I’m happy. It would seem these days that we have this assumption that we are entitled to our feelings. So praise can come after I’ve had my pout, rant, disappointment, hurt, anger – especially if it comes on the heals of injustice. Yet as I enter into the presence of God, and He teaches me, He clearly says to sacrifice my feelings and with all my heart, mind, and soul praise Him, especially when I can hardly dredge up a thin whisp of His praise-worthiness, this is true sacrifice. It requires faith. Faith in the God who is working at all times to and for the good of those that love Him. This is a foundational truth that must be lived. How better to live it than to practice it? Or do it. Something can’t live, as dead words on a page, it must become active to live. Dying to oneself will always come with the sacrifice of one’s feelings. Not the ignorance of them, or denial, but the will turning towards the Father and actively willing itself into the Kingdom of Praise. It’s the arm wrestle of me and my view verses God and His. Every promise He has made can be used to contradict a complaint from human lips. Yes, every single one. Noone keeps their promises like God, not one.
Someone once said, “I really can’t see one thing today that is worth praising“. For those in throws of this temptation let me share a perspective. Everyday, in order for the day to be called a day, the sun must have risen(God be praised), in order for one to be able to call a day a day, one must have been given breath to enter into it(God be praised). One may argue, “what if I wish God had taken me Home instead?” Simply put, then your will has not entered into His, for if you were willed to go Home to be with Him, your breaths would have ceased and there you would be. So. ..sacrifice your will to the sovereign God you say you believe in and thank Him for the day He has made, ask Him to change your heart and open your eyes to the gift of the day you are in and thank Him for your purpose in His will to be here, now.
What does it cost you to call yourself a follower of Christ? Have you been stoned (with real rocks, not weed) for your belief in Him? Do you know the sacrifice of not doing the thing you think you can’t live without, just because He said “Live without it.” Do we truly know that when He says that He is prophecying? Literally, if you give it up, you will really and truly live, actively putting His Word to action, faith being a real live thing working inside you. This is Life, the Life Yeshua (Jesus) came to give. The Life He lived, and now we can by the power of His Spirit live too. I can honestly say I never succeed at such sacrifice, until I’ve admitted my defeat in ability and asked for the Spirit to give me praise instead. I can’t drudge praise up on my own. So, you see the denial of the feelings that cause complaint, pout, rage, bitterness, doubt, comparison, etc – may indeed be acknowledged but not lived instead they must be sacrificed, exchanged for what we don’t possess. The only reason we reason to our advantage to keep our feelings and “work through them”, is simply because we don’t want to let them go. Not one person has ever worked through their feelings leading to life, faith in God. Read Hebrews 11. There is no mention of one hint of one person of Faith who “worked through their feelings But had faith. Not one. Every single one, sacrificed their feelings and turned towards God to obtain faith. Often our feelings are cronic lairs. Why? Because they are hitched to our comfort, our perspective, our desires, our failures, the fallen nature of this world. But, what about delight, joy, love, compassion. ..aren’t theses feelings, you ask? Depends. Depends on Who gives them to you. Do you delight at the sunset? Any question as to Who gets the credit for it? And love? This is constantly being defined by feelings, it’s not a feeling, Love is and always will be a choice. Love is sacrifice, if you don’t sacrifice for the one you say you love, you don’t love them. To sacrifice in love, one must give up something of themselves for the other. It must cost something. Another long subject for another blog, but love is not a feeling, it’s a result of feelings being yielded to Love Himself. What does the Word say about joy? I won’t answer this for you, look it up, study it, it’s not a feeling we come by as good little human beings in and of ourselves. All things good – every single good thing ever only and ever will come from God. If you experience it, thank Him for it, cause we don’t get joy without Him or compassion, or delight. One may argue; “but non-believers delight in sunsets“. So? This is evidence of the contrary of what is true about sunsets? Whether one believes or not, God made sunsets, and if one delights at one, they delight in Him, whether they acknowledge it or not. The Author of the sunset does not change, and why wouldn’t He give delight to anyone for admiring His work? That is the amazing thing about God, He doesn’t wait to be who He is, do what He does, on us to believe Him or acknowledge Him. Never has, never will. He came while we were yet sinners, remember? Yes, indeed, even the sinners are given delight in the things that come from God alone.
But, praise, sacrificial praise, this is only given to them that believe and acknowledge Him. Those without Him are quite incapable of faith. But lest, we who follow and live for God be proud, we, too are incapable without Him. The difference is, we who have let Him take over our lives, have been given the power of the Spirit of God to do the things of God. So we see, it all comes from Him, not us. This why, I believe, that nine out of every ten of those believers in that poll, had no clue about sacrificial praise. It’s the stumbling stone we trip over, living a life we get credit for vs. living a life He gets credit for. Indeed it’s a contradiction to even say, I can live my own life. My life is dead if lived for me. Only Life and God go hand in hand. Without Him, death is the only result of anything.
I belabor, but I do so at the lead of the God of Life. Read up about sacrificial praise in His Word, ask Him to expand upon it into your limbs. You’ll find, much of the walk with Him will have this sacrificial praise as it’s hallmark. It takes faith to praise God when bills are due and money is no where to pay, it takes faith to believe He is working in such detail while the over due notices are stamped out. It takes faith to praise God for accidents and floods. It takes faith to praise God for hiccups and delays. Faith is trust in action. A moving, living trust that moves our lips towards praise and our hearts, minds and bodies in line with them. Every single person on the planet has trust issues. Don’t claim that as special or unique to you. Hint, God never said to trust anyone but Him. Most the time we have trust issues, it’s because we trusted the people He made, or ourselves instead of Him in the first place. Trust issues are cured only by trusting only in God. Faith can only come from a living active trust in God. Sacrificial praise is the epitome of faith!
Trusting is being confident of what we hope for, convinced about things we do not see.
Through Him, therefore, let us offer God a sacrifice of praise continually. For this is the natural product of lips that acknowledge His Name.
Offer thanksgiving as your sacrifice to God, pay your vows to the Most High, and call to Me when you are in trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor Me.
♡ Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah ♡
1 John 4
1 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.
2 Here is how you recognize the Spirit of God: every spirit which acknowledges that Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) came as a human being is from God,
3 and every spirit which does not acknowledge Yeshua is not from God – in fact, this is the spirit of the Anti-Messiah(anti-christ). You have heard that he is coming. Well, He’s here now, in the world already!
4 You, children, are from God and have overcome the false prophets, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
5 They are from the world; therefore, they speak from the world’s viewpoint; and the world listens to them.
6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God doesn’t listen to us. This is how we distinguish the Spirit of truth from the spirit of error.
7 Beloved friends, let us love one another; because love is from God; and everyone who loves has God as his Father and knows God.
8 Those who do not love, do not know God; because God is love.
9 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.
10 Here is what love is: not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son to be the kapparah (sacrifice) for our sins.
11 Beloved friends, if this is how God loved us, we likewise ought to love one another.
12 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.
13 Here is how we know that we remain united with Him and He with us: He has given to us from His own Spirit.
14Moreover, we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent His Son as Deliverer of the world.
15 If someone acknowledges that Yeshua is the Son of God, God remains united with him, and he with God.
16 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.
17 Here is how love has been brought to maturity with us: as the Messiah is, so are we in the world. This gives us confidence for the Day of Judgment.
18 There is no 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.
19 We ourselves love now because He loved us first.
20 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.
21 Yes, this is the command we have from Him: whoever loves God must love his brother too.
I often wonder, how to begin to comprehend God’s Love. Myself, being a creature that taps the shoulder of fear without realizing it, grabbing it’s hand and making deals. Fearless in this world paints a picture of fierce boot strap pulling. Fearlessness requires a total shut down of human emotion for us. That is, in our own strength. Fearless, often looks like foolishness, indeed it can be. Most often this kind is the ultimate; fear of fear itself. God made us with emotion, feelings that have cause and effect. Fear is a reaction, not emotion. Yet I often don’t know how else to describe it, so I say “I feel afraid.” Fear is ultimately about control, or rather our inability to deal with our lack of it. There is only One who has all control all, the time – God. So as I acknowledge fear inside me, I am in turn questioning God’s promise, that He will do no harm but only good and what’s best for me and those I love, for everyone, all the time. No one on earth can do this, noone human. There was One human who did, Yeshua. Never did He harm. Never did He react in fear. Never. I must remind myself that often I may hurt feelings, have my feelings hurt, but there’s a huge difference between hurt and harm. God makes many things hurtful, but nothing harmful.
When I was very young, I was attracted to the glow of the burner of the stove. I love(ed) anything that produced heat, perpetually cold, I was drawn to things of this nature like a moth to a flame. My mom had just removed a pot of boiling eggs from the stove, there before my eyes was my opportunity – to see what the glow was all about, just how hot that heat could be. An hour later, I sat with big tears rolling down my newly educated cheeks with throbbing fingers now extended with blisters. It was too hot for my skin. God did not design the flesh to withstand that much heat on the surface of any part of my body. My fingers taught the lesson. I could have reacted in such a way of fear from that point on. I could have refused to ever deal with glowing red burners again. Praise God, I was taught that such fear would limit my ability as a wife and mother forever if I blamed the burner for the effect of the heat on my fingers. I did not ever touch a glowing burner again on purpose, but praise God my family has enjoyed many a meal from those same fingers since. Yet, God made the reaction of fear to do us good. I learned, heat, is good, the glow of burners are good, but I’m limited to what I can do with both. Fear teaches and reminds us of our limits. God is Love, because He has no limits. None. God placed the choice to fear inside us to teach us. Everything that rubs up against Truth, goodness, – teaches.
The disciples called Yeshua, Teacher, for good reason. Since the beginning of time human beings have been “touching (testing, curious but foolish) the glowing red burner” of God. We seek to learn where He ends and begins, and learn every time He has neither of these aspects to His Being. Except to say He is, – the Beginning and the End, of which, we will never in the sinful flesh be able to find. Hence we are instructed often to fear God. Lesson? Only fear Him who can change all the “rules” to get what He wants. He can turn gravity upside-down. He can make light dark and dark light. He can turn hatred into profound love. He can turn envy and jealously into graditude. He can turn sorrow into joy. He can turn hard-heartedness into compassion. Sin into victory. And vice-versa. There is nothing He can’t do. These are the tangilibility of God’s love. But we, we are extremely limited and for the most part, can only go from the positive to negative. Insecurity in our hands turns everything into a battle. The more we try to make ourselves feel secure, the more we do the opposite and take many people down with us. Insecurity is the most profound instagator of fear.
Look at the song Christ the Solid Rock:
My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus love and righteousness.
Human security is achieved only in these 10 words. Not in ourselves, but God. He alone can drive out fear. For all of fears reactions in us, we have one hope – Yeshua. That when He said, “It is finished.” on that cross, then proved it by rising up stone cold dead back to life, that the limitless power of Himself shall always be the sure thing. It’s the only gamble worth taking. I say gamble, because we are so limited, we most often can’t see the goodness in hurtful things. Not because there’s any doubt God wins every time. Often I’m afraid God’s good will harm me. Yet every time I am afraid in such ways, I’m confusing hurt and harm. My comfort level is always being challenged. Nothing challenges our comfort like pain. I must remember, no heart has broken more than God’s. No one has hurt, physically, emotional, mentally more than Yeshua on the cross. No one. God is the only one who can handle sin and its effects. I can’t, we can’t – ever. The effects of sin is death and pain. Doubt, insecurity, jealousy, envy, strife, hatred, and the like are all effects of sin. Reactionary responses in defense, on our part, are the hallmark of fear.
Then, why not just do away with such reactions within us when we become saved? Because purity is the goal of God for us. Refinement, – fire is painful. Yet it is effective in teaching. We are continuous learners. Only able share the lessons, not teach them. We know this because we know we can talk (preach/teach) for hours on the harm of sin, but the lesson is best learned in experience. Who among us with children doesn’t know this well? And, oh, how we fear for them!
Yet we learn best from Job. Who sacrificed on behalf of his children, just incase they sinned. It was never a question they would, and thereby suffer it’s effects. Jobs only hope was built on nothing less than God’s love and God’s righteousness. What animal did Job sacrifice? The animal of fear. Dangerous, cunning, sneaky and sly. He put his fears to the fire for refinement. The only way for us to do this is to put down fear and pick up faith. The only way we can is with the Spirit given us at the time of our rebirth in Yeshua. This is why only followers of Yeshua can put fear in its place. Without Him we are reduced at best to denying our insides, and seeming faith-filled when really we’re fear-numbed. This is leprosy at its core. Where we are cut and bruised by fear but don’t know it.
I’m saved because of the powerful incomprehensible love of God. Who is the only caster out of fear. I can only accept such love in the dose of His Son. In this way only have we been created to do so. Every time I “feel” fear, I ask myself “Abba, show me where I don’t accept You, what You say, what You do, what You’ve done or Who You are.” Fear is the red light to doubt. Red lights are meant to stop us – wait on God’s evaluation of our state. Not ours, His. He’s the teacher, we are the learners. Forever this is how it shall be. The tangibility of Love, is this process. Nothing more, nothing less.
♡ Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah ♡