Gifts or Skills?

October 26, 2011 at 12:28 am (WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Gifts or Skills?

Do you know what your gift is? I mean, really? I’m not talking about something that you’ve schooled to become or do – but a thing that
just is/was/has always been there.

There’s a scene in the movie, Goodwill Hunting, with Robin Williams and Matt Damon. Matt’s character and his girlfriend are at a
café, she’s doing her math homework. Matt’s character is “bugging” his girlfriend and she stops and says something like, “I know this comes easy to you, but I really WANT to learn this.” The exchange goes on about how doing those complicated, eye-popping, mind-boggling mathematical problems comes easy to him – he has always just DONE it. In the movie, the student becomes the teacher to award winning professors at a prestigious college. Matt’s girlfriend, loves music and sits down and “just plays” on her keyboard – he, however, cannot do that.

My point to that is to try to show what I mean by gift. When we are born, we are all knit together by God – and He gives us gifts. Mine is
the ability to understand and dive into the heart. That’s one. The other is an “ear” for music. The first is a rather complex one. I am like everyone else – I have a tendency to avoid my heart – deep stuff there – spiritual – hard to see, much less explain. Yet, I am prone to it more than the “average bear”. If they had a college course for seeing with and to the heart – yes, I could stand with the well educated. It’s not a course in college because true spirituality isnot marketable – for the most part it makes people uncomfortable. Few are willing to brave the scrutiny of the heart.

The second one is well…odd. You could say I’m more than a little hard of hearing. My hearing loss is severe and getting worse with each
passing year. Yet since a child I’ve sang in tune and have sat down and “just played” the piano. No lessons. Most people with hearing impairments have extreme tone deafness and thereby tend to talk out of tune…much less sing. Yet some of the most brilliant musicians have been deaf. Who but God, would defy human logic like that? Who but God, would give an uneducated, simple and rather plain person a gift for the heart? That is how I know they are gifts.

Now, I am NOT saying our gifts should not and cannot be strengthened by learning better how God intends for one to use them! BUT!! One
must be very close to hearing God’s voice in the direction He would have you go with your gifts. I have seen and known many brilliantly gifted
individuals who have lost their gift within the educating of it and honed instead, a skill, used by themselves and shaped by the world rather than God. A gift is meant to be used by God, and Him alone. It can never be subjected to our own or “mans” direction and remain the amazing quality of gift God intended.

In a world that outweighs 2 to 1 people who:

  • Don’t think they have God given gifts
  • Don’t care to see if they do because they have no interest in “God using them”
  • Lost souls who think they are or have nothing special to offer.

The first question is a dynamic one. Do you know what your gifts are? Here’s another. Do you know the Gift Giver? Really know Him? You are
reading this post, right now, and He is asking the question. Now, at this very moment is your opportunity to answer them. To discover the answer as you follow Him through your heart to the life-giving answer; or to decide to walk away from Him and stand accountable for the deadly decay of what He gave you that makes you truly unique and special to Him – and for this life.

 

Do you brave an answer – or cave to the silence of living routine?

Grace and Peace in Yeshua the Messiah 🙂

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Where the Heart Is? ~ Part 6 ~

July 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm (WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Where the Heart Is?

~ Part 6 ~

Ephesians 4:25-27 (Emphasis mine)

Therefore, stripping off falsehood, let everyone speak truth with his neighbor, because we are intimately related to each other as parts of a body. Be angry, but don’t sin – don’t let the sun go down before you have dealt with the cause of your anger; otherwise you leave room for the Adversary.

We will be doing an “exercise” of how to “go to where the heart is” using the above scripture. This scripture has been used in various ways and been both misinterpreted and not. I love the CJB rendition or translation because it gives the clearest or best Hebraic translation. Which is the language our Savior spoke (Yeshua – Jesus) and Paul the writer of Ephesians. Though they spoke Greek and Hebrew – they thought like a Hebrew. Most translations stop at “don’t let the sun go down on your anger” and jumps immediately to why (the Adversary). Look closely at the wording after “Be angry, but don’t sin.” I pray the wording leaps off at you in a keen understanding in your heart. Lets first define sin. What is a sin?

  • A wrong action of one measured against the correct action.
  • missing a target or mark aimed for
  • a twisted action – not straight
  • something said, thought, or done that trespasses; is faulty; full of guilt; that strays from the truth or love (deceptive); rebellious or revolting; spiteful, jealous, envious, unkind, hateful.

Wow! That can cover a broad range of things and it could be a whole lot of work to not sin – especially when angry or hurt. Most anger is hurt as a boundary. In other words: “You have hurt me and can come no further in doing so.” – most anger if it had a “voice” this is what it would “say”. (Putting it nicely 🙂 )

As a child I was taught by Sunday school lessons and my elders that the “sin” of being angry in this scripture was to let the sun go down without resolving a fight with someone. To the point of even saying “sorry” even if you didn’t mean it, and this action would keep “the devil” from “getting in” on the fight. Needless to say there were so many holes in this perception of this verse you could use it as a colander to strain noodles with!

First of all God does not honor a falsehood. If you say (with your mouth) “sorry” but don’t mean it (in your heart) – it’s a lie. The Adversary then runs in to fill the heart with resentment to add to the deception and clarity then gets a bit “cloudy”. So that can not be “it”. Lets re-read the words exactly.

“Don’t let the sun go down before you have dealt with the cause of your anger.”

This is a clear indication of a –  “Examine me, God, and know my heart; test me, and know my thoughts. See if there is in me any hurtful way, and lead me along the eternal way.” Psalms 139:23-24 – moment. An invitation to invite God into a hurt or pain that comes bubbling up as anger. This is how we deal with the cause of our anger.

I’m angry often because of me and my “unmissed target” or unfulfilled expectation. What I perceived as an injury done by another was really my expectation for someone else to do something that can not be expected of anyone but God or myself. Such as:

  • Expecting someone to “read” me or just know how I feel.
  • Expecting someone or something to make me feel good.
  • Expecting someone to think like I think and therefore behave accordingly.
  • Expecting someone to make me more important than is proper.
  • Expecting someone to react or behave in a way that I feel is “right”.

Expectations often allow no room for uniqueness and differences. This is NOT the way God make us or anything on this planet, He made us and everything vastly unique and full of variety! Sometimes my anger is really at myself and my own lacks but I project them onto; circumstances, God, or others. Its the cause of our anger that we are to say “O God – show me the truth here.” before that sun goes down (or daily). It is also that we own our anger, no one can make you or give you anger. Resolution is sometimes not realistic after many sunsets at times – at least not in terms of two individuals “making peace”.

This is not to say that trying to resolve a fight isn’t a good thing to do. If you can do this from a full heart of humility, kindness, and love – then do so! The verse, though, is speaking about the heart (within) where anger can become a sin. It’s not a sin to have differences and conflicts with others. When someone speaks lies, it is not a sin to speak the truth, which stands in opposition to a lie. This often is a source of conflict, and it’s not a sin to stand within it, rather its a sin NOT to. Yet there is a difference between standing against a person and standing against what they do, say, or believe! The truth always invites relationship, but it takes two to have one.

Proverbs 27:17

Just as iron sharpens iron,  a person sharpens the character of his friend.

Proverbs 3:11-12

My son, don’t despise Adonai’s (the Lord’s) discipline or resent his reproof; for Adonai corrects those he loves like a father who delights in his son.

Proverbs is full of all sorts of verses that make no sense if confrontation and differences are a sin! They are not! They CAN be – if done out of any of the things mentioned earlier, as sin. This points only to our need to diligently “check our heart at God’s door” in all things. Only God can tell us what is sin within the framework of our anger. Anger itself is NOT a sin – God is and has and will get angry – but He never sins! Follow Him! To follow we often have to remember He must be the Leader – Guide – One in FRONT! If we invite God into our anger – then we have walked this scripture out from within (the heart). With the attitude of Psalm 139:23-24 – the Adversary will NEVER “get in”! Keep in mind its the attitude of the heart that counts NOT the “routine” – this is the difference between relationship and religion!

Colossians 3:12-16 (Emphasis mine – Note: ties into this and all previous parts to the series)

Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with feelings of compassion and with kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with one another; if anyone has a complaint against someone else, forgive him. Indeed, just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must forgive.

Above all these, clothe yourselves in love, which binds everything together perfectly; and let the shalom (peace) which comes from the Messiah be your heart’s decisionmaker, for this is why you were called to be part of a single Body. And be thankful – let the Word of the Messiah, in all its richness, live in you, as you teach and counsel each other in all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude to God in your hearts.

Its always important to keep scripture in context. The preceding and proceeding verses usually point to or connect to the ones in the middle so to speak. Notice the 1st verse in our selection for this piece.

“Therefore, stripping off falsehood, let everyone speak truth with his neighbor, because we are intimately related to each other as a part of a body.”

How does this connect to the ‘”more famous” or quoted verses we’ve just covered? Here is where to begin…where the heart is:

What is falsehood? Who’s my neighbor? What does it mean when it says intimately related? Intimate is a very deep word – not casual – why? Now…you ask your Shepherd to lead you into understanding – this is walking with Yeshua (Jesus) – this is where the heart is. 🙂 Where one finds treasure of unrustable, unstealable worth! They lay themselves down upon your heart – like jewels soldered upon the precious metals of the heart and become part of the tapestry of Heaven!

 

Where the Heart Is?  ~ Part 7 ~ coming soon! 🙂

Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah

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Where the Heart Is? ~ Part 5

July 13, 2011 at 12:03 pm (WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Where the Heart Is?

Part 5

Matthew 6:19-34. This will be the scripture we look to here in Part 5.

Verses 19 – 21 Yeshua (Jesus) speaking – emphasis mine.

“Do not store up for yourselves wealth here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and burglars break in and steal. Instead, store up for yourselves wealth in heaven, where neither moth or rust destroys, and burglars do not break in or steal. For where your wealth is, there your heart will be also.”

It’s important to note the word wealth here means: An abundance of something that fills what is desired or needed.

The amassing of “things” is the caution. It begs to question the “buy in bulk” mentality. Though there are clear Biblical accounts of being instructed by God to “store up” years worth of grains due to coming drought and famines. Yet, in each case there was a clear indication by God to do so – this should not be a “norm”. It points up to Matthew 6:9-13, which is the prayer Yeshua (Jesus) instructed us to pray (we will cover this in detail soon 🙂 ). “Give us the food we need today.”

This subject is highly charged and gets confusing especially when one lives in a “wealthy” nation such as the USA. More than one TV verses a TV being considered “a need” at all…and so on. The words “here on earth where moths and rust destroy and things that can be “taken away” or stolen” these are usually skipped over. Why? Well, simply albeit not so welcomingly put, anything that can be worn down or moth eaten or stolen is an earthly wealth. Anything can be stolen – whether its in abundance or not, just ask anyone who has lived in a disaster zone, one loaf of bread is considered “wealth” at such times. Its therefore important to note verse 21.

“For where your wealth is, there your heart will be also.”

It begs a question: So what IS wealth in heaven? This question is a heart question and invites upon asking – God – to answer. Why? Because only God would know what heavenly wealth is! Unless you “know” someone who’s been there and can ask them! Yeshua – was – and did answer. Lets listen. 🙂

Verses 22 – 30  Yeshua (Jesus) speaking – emphasis mine

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So if you have a ‘good eye’ [that is, if you are generous] your whole body will be full of light, but if you have an ‘evil eye’ [if you are stingy] your whole body will be full of darkness. If, then, the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can be a slave to two masters; for he will either hate the first and love the second, or scorn the second and be loyal to the first. You can’t be a slave to both God and money.

Therefore, I tell you, don’t worry about your life – what you will eat or drink; or about your body – what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds flying about! They neither plant nor harvest, nor do they gather food into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they are? Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to his life?

And why be anxious about clothing? Think of the fields of wild irises, and how they grow. They neither work or spin thread, yet I tell you that not even Shlomo (Solomon) in all his glory was clothed as beautifully as one of these. If this is how God clothes grass in the field – which is here today and gone tomorrow, thrown in an oven – won’t he much more clothe you? What little trust you have!”

So what is Yeshua saying here? Lets take the word slave and define it. A slave is one who services another, whatever is asked by the master the slave does. A slave is not guaranteed pay or provision – though typically “provision” is considered the “pay”. Here again the heart questions: “Am I a slave to money?” “If so, what does it ask me to do, give and be?” “Does it dictate the gifts or wealth of heaven I’ve been given?” In other words, “Do I serve it more than it serves me?”

The next section goes on into detail about food and clothing…basic “needs” right? Yet He (Yeshua) gets right to the point in verse 30 at the end. “What little trust you have!” A wealth of heaven? TRUST in God our Father! No amount of money or the lack of it will “buy” this. It can not be eaten, rusted, stolen, or taken from anyone. In others words…ANYTHING that can be bought with money is NOT a treasure of heaven! Nope not even a loaf of bread or a shirt or pants. At the same time Yeshua points out clearly all things bought with money come from God – period. If you have a job, the ability to perform it for a fee – thank your Father for that is where the heart is! If you have eaten today and paid a bill – thank your Father in Heaven because without Him the bill goes into collection and the stomach is empty. This attitude is the light spoken of in verses 22 & 23. These verses are written in the language of the heart.

Lets read on:

Verses 31 – 34

“So don’t be anxious asking, “What will we eat?”, “What will we drink?” or “How will we be clothed?” For it is the pagans who set their hearts on all these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all. But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Don’t worry about tomorrow – tomorrow will worry about itself! Today has enough tsuris (trouble) already!”

Notice where the heart gets mentioned? What is a pagan? Someone who does not include God in their thinking, living, or manner of relating. So…you may be tempted to ask; “So what if God doesn’t “provide” for clothes or food?” (Typically this question gets asked when one loses a job, or finances change with economy, or major life changes ex: divorce, injury, death of a spouse, illness) The wealth of heaven being taught here – Trust – says “Well Lord you know my needs…help me trust You!” and even thanks Him for what He has provided, based on verse 32. One must admit it takes a lot of faith/trust to live like that, and if you do – your wealth is indestructible, un-steal-able – unshakably from heaven. What does not feed the body often feeds the heart!

Chapter 7 of Matthew goes on to name a few more “wealth of heaven” elements to the heart. Read it, ask the questions – live from the heart – and find the true wealth of this life there! For this is seeking first His Kingdom and His Righteousness – the rest is negotiable!!

 

Where the Heart Is?  ~ Part 6 ~ Coming soon 🙂

 

Grace and Peace in Yeshua the Messiah

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Where the Heart Is? ~ Part 4 ~

June 30, 2011 at 4:08 am (WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Where the Heart Is?

Part 4

He was the youngest of eight children, a shepherd, an unaccountable warrior (in the worlds eyes) at first, a soldier, a musician, a poet, husband, father, and a King. There are two disciples mentioned in the Word of God that were given “names” as attributes to their character at heart that I’ve always longed for. One was John – the Disciple whom Yeshua (Jesus) loved. David – the one known as – A man after Gods own heart. David is the man listed at the beginning. He was famous for his shepherding skills, warrior skills, an affair – (but more to the point his repentant heart – after), his reign as King of Israel and how God blessed him, a continuation of a promise from God in the lineage of a Messiah, and Psalms. The word, heart, is found up to 122 times in this book, more than any other book in the Word. Listen to what Adonai (the Lord) said to Samuel when he was sent to look for a king for Israel. Samuel has arrived at David’s family’s house and has requested to see Jesse’s sons. Seven have been brought out and Eliab has made an impression on Samuel.

1 Samuel 16:6 – 7

When they had come, he looked at Eli’av (Eliab) and said, “This has to be Adonai’s (the Lord’s) anointed one, here before him.” But Adonai said to Sh’mu’el (Samuel), “Don’t pay attention to how he looks or how tall he is, because I have rejected him. Adonai doesn’t see the way humans see – humans look at the outward appearance, but Adonai looks at the heart.”

Adonai then picks David :-). From Gods own mouth He chose David for his heart. God also chose David for HIS (Gods) heart! Two hearts were the key to David’s choosing – God’s and David’s. The purpose?? Our hearts. Adonai knew we’d need David – a human born from the flesh of man alone (like us) with a heart for God. Then He sent Yeshua (Jesus) – a man born of His Spirit and flesh with a heart for God ALONE.

I urge you in your own time to look up every reference to the heart in Psalms – as I can not cover them all here. Keep in mind all the “things” the heart is – listed in Part 1. If you cover all the different ways to say heart – the references in Psalms to the heart far outnumber 122 times! David knew the key to hearing God’s Voice and where the strength came from to serve that Voice – the heart.

Psalm 16:7-11 (Emphasis mine and ties in all 4 parts of this series)

I bless Adonai, my counselor; at night my inmost being instructs me. I always set Adonai before me; with him at my right hand, I can never be moved; so my heart is glad, my glory rejoices, and my body too rests in safety; for you will not abandon me to Sh’ol, you will not let your faithful one see the Abyss. You make me know the path of life; in your presence is unbounded joy, in your right hand eternal delight.

Psalm 17:3

You probed my heart, you visited me at night, you assayed me without finding evil thoughts that should not pass my lips.

Psalm 19:12-14

Who can discern unintentional sins? Cleanse me from hidden faults. Also keep your servant from presumptuous sins, so that they won’t control me. Then I will be blameless and free of great offense. May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be acceptable in your presence, Adonai, my Rock and Redeemer.

Psalm 25:1

I lift my inner being to you, Adonai.

Psalm 26:2

Examine me, Adonai, test me, search my mind and my heart. (Notice the mind is not the heart)

Psalm 27:8

“My heart said of you, ‘Seek my face.'” Your face, Adonai, I will seek.

Psalm 28:7

Adonai is my strength and shield; in him my heart trusted, and I have been helped. Therefore my heart is fill with joy, and I will sing praises to him.

Psalm 49:3

My mouth is about to speak wisdom; my heart’s deepest thoughts will give understanding.

Psalm 62:1,5,7&8

My soul waits in silence for God alone; my salvation comes from him.

My soul, wait in silence for God alone, because my hope comes from him.

My safety and honor rest on God. My strong rock of refuge are in God. Trust in him, people, at all times; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.

Psalm 63:1,8

O God, you are my God; I will seek you eagerly. My heart thirst for you, my body longs for you in a land parched and exhausted, where no water can be found.

my heart clings to you; your right hand supports me.

Oh yes, David knew Yeshua well before He was “born” here on earth. David’s heart is written in the pages of Gods Word so that we could SEE – that if He could be heard before He was given a “human voice box” – He can be heard after He has come, died, risen and ascended back to where He was heard before by David, Samuel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and the list goes on and on. God makes every heart

Psalm 33:13-15

Adonai looks out from heaven; he sees every human being; from the place where he lives he watches everyone living on earth, he who fashioned the hearts of them all and understands all they do.

…He makes them for one purpose and one alone – to seek Him! To be loved, led, fed, and taught by Him and Him alone. That is the purpose for which we have been made (our function – good). He, alone, is where the heart is. We must invite Him there and seek Him.

 

You will build a house for the Lord your God in and of yourself. he will be the craftsman, your heart the site, your thoughts the materials. Do not take fright because of your own lack of skill; he who requires this of you is a skillful builder, and he chooses others to be builders too.  ~ Hugh of St. Victor (1096-1141) German-born monk and writer.

 

Where the Heart Is? ~ Part 5 ~ coming soon 🙂

 

Grace and Peace in Yeshua the Messiah

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Where the Heart Is? ~ Part 3

June 20, 2011 at 3:39 am (WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Where the Heart Is?

Part 3

 

Recap: In Part 1 – we looked into the physical heart and then studied a little about the definitions to the word heart in the languages the original text was written. In Part 2 – we contrasted the significance of blood to the heart both physical and spiritual. In both we can see that function in the physical is a representation of the spiritual. We see that because, what functions now in the physical, is dysfunctional because of sin – and that God‘s Word is pointing to a fully functional world in Him, because of Him. That we can experience the essence of function even here in a dysfunctional world. It starts with, ends with, and depends on our hearts. Lets look at specifically where and what Yeshua (Jesus) said about the heart.

Matthew 12:34 – Yeshua (Jesus) speaking to the Pharisees

“You snakes! How can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what overflows from the heart.”

Luke 6:45 – Yeshua (Jesus) speaking

“The good person produces food things from the store of good in his heart, while the evil person produces evil things from the store of evil in his heart. For his mouth speaks what overflows from his heart.

So the mouth is focused in on here by Yeshua (Jesus)…Why? Here again is a physical thing but He is using it as a spiritual representation of the heart.

Its worth noting here: the proper English interpretation of the Hebrew Yeshua (Jesus) spoke in of the words good and evil are: good – function and evil – dysfunction. So good here means something that works within its intended purpose. Likewise evil means something that does not function within its intended purpose.

Now lets look at the mouth. It has two basic purposes. 1) to eat – consuming nutrition for the whole body. 2) to speak – to communicate the needs, wants, and desires of the body it represents. If we cease to eat our whole body will start to become dysfunctional. If we eat too much the same thing happens. If we never speak; confessing our errors and weaknesses, asking for prayer and forgiveness, stating clearly what we can and cannot do, speaking truth into lies (both to ourselves and others), speaking words of love, kindness, concern, and encouragement, correcting verbally our children and others in love and teaching the functional ways to live; then our hearts become dysfunctional and this effects our bodies and the “body” (fellowman) God places us in too.

Mark 7:18-23 – Yeshua (Jesus) speaking – Emphasis mine

He replied to them, “So you too are without understanding? Don’t you see that nothing going into a person from outside can make him unclean? For it doesn’t go into his heart but his stomach, and it passes out into the latrine.” (thus He declared all foods ritually clean) “It is what comes out of a person, ” he went on, “That makes him unclean. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come forth wicked thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, arrogance, foolishness…all these wicked things come from within, and they make a person unclean.” (and/or dysfunctional)

Mark 12:28

One of the Torah (Law)-teachers came up and heard them engaged in this discussion. Seeing that Yeshua (Jesus) answered them well, he asked Him, “Which is the most important mitzvah (commandment – principle for living) of them all?” Yeshua (Jesus) answered, “The most important is, Sh’ma Yisra’el, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad. (Here, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one) and you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your understanding and with all your strength.”

These words – speaking about the heart – come straight from Yeshua’s (Jesus’) mouth, and were spoken for the function and purpose of our hearts. Look back on part 1 – SEE that the word heart in the Bibles we read are often interpreted as soul, understanding and strength. He said the word heart first and reinforced the meaning of it with all the others! Now ask yourself: if from the mouth comes what dwells within the heart…what was in the heart of Yeshua (Jesus) by what we heard/hear come from HIS mouth?

 

Where the Heart Is? – Part 4 – coming soon 🙂

 

Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah

 

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