Thursday, February 23, 2017

All You Need

As I continued to ponder the truths I explored in my previous post, I landed on a passage about “all things” that I had not included in that post.  It is in the familiar 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians, verse 7.

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

Powerful qualifications.  Doesn’t leave any room for confusion.  Wide-eyed surprise, yes.  But not confusion.

So, this got me thinking about LOVE.  Of course.  It is clearly a key ingredient in our walk with HaShem.  Yeshua said to love YHVH is our greatest command, and also to love one another.  What does that mean?  What is love?

I have heard for most of my life the teachings about the Greek words for love – eros, phileo, agape.  And I have known inherently and by investigation that our English word ‘love’ is plainly anemic in its use.  We all recognize that ‘love’ is the most profound concept in human interaction.  Yet, in English, its meanings are so diverse and shallow that it almost ceases to mean anything at all. 

Maybe I am being a little too cynical about this.  Call it literary license, hyperbole, emphasis for effect; but I declare that we cannot deny the diluted diminution of ‘love’ in English; or in western culture in general, I’d say.  It has become mostly tawdry, sentimental, cliché, overwrought; too easily tossed about in our conversations, lifestyles, and popular entertainment.

These thoughts led me to do a bit of research, which resulted in the discovery of a couple of articles that I found greatly enlightening.  In fact, they nearly took my breath away.  Therefore, I am going to share them with you here instead of trying to summarize or cherry-pick quotes from them.

At the risk of being a ‘spoiler,’ I will tease you with a couple of ideas from these articles.  One is a brief Hebrew word study, and it delivers the notion of love’s relationship to giving.  The other offers the statement that love is an obligation.  I encourage you to read both articles all the way through!  You will not be disappointed.

Parting thoughts:

1.  Considering love’s relationship to giving, how does this affect our perspective on YHVH’s gifts to us?  James 1:17 

2.  Read Romans 8:38-39.  What does this tell you about the dimensions and availability of YHVH’s love for you?


Friday, February 03, 2017

ALL. THINGS. Seriously.

What kind of Father is YHVH?   

What does it mean to be children in His Kingdom?

Scripture gives us plenty of answers and examples for these questions.  I have placed a couple of hints in the subject line.  Therefore, much of this blog post is going to be quoting scripture.  As always, scripture speaks for itself.

The inspiration for this post came from many months in which the phrase “all things” persistently lingered in my thoughts.  I decided to go looking for scripture that tells us what role “all things” plays in the Kingdom of YHVH.**  What follows below is some of the fruit of that search.  

I acknowledge that the appearance of the phrase “all things” in scripture will depend upon which translation one is using.  I did not take this study back to the original languages (yet) to ensure that I was always finding the same Hebrew or Greek word or phrase being translated as “all things.”  So, this blog post is stretching my own accustomed rules of exegesis, which place high value on going back to the original languages.  Nevertheless, I find this a powerful exercise in looking more closely at how we are supposed to walk and live as Kingdom children.

Also, and this seems obvious, but keep in mind that “all things” really does mean “all things.”  There is literally no way to interpret that phrase as anything else.  It does not mean “some things” or even “most things” or “many things.”  It means ALL THINGS.

By the way, I searched all of scripture, but this phrase seems to be predominantly (based on my searches so far, exclusively) in the Messianic Writings (New Testament).  I am wondering if, as the embodiment and fulfillment of Torah, Yeshua haMashiach is delivering “all things” through the renewed covenant.

Read, and be blessed:

“And looking at them Jesus said to them, ‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” (Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27, NASB)

“And Jesus said to him, ‘'If You can?' All things are possible to him who believes.’” (Mark 9:23, NASB)

All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” (John 1:3, NASB)

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (John 14:26, NASB)

“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.” (Acts 3:19-21, NASB)

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”  (Romans 8:28, NASB)

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32, NASB)

“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36, NASB)

“For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:10, NASB)

“Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.” (1 Corinthians 8:6, NASB)

“He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.” (Ephesians 1:9-10, NASB)

“And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church.” (Ephesians 1:22, NASB)

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13, NASB)

“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created through Him and for Him.  He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. … and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” (Colossians 1:16-17, 20, NASB)

“In every thing (all things) give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, KJV)

“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” (Hebrews 1:1-2, NASB)

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” (Revelation 4:11, NIV)

He created all things.  All things are possible with him.  We can do all things in him.  The Spirit will teach us all things, and the Spirit searches all things.  He will freely give us all things.  In the fullness of time, all things will be restored.  All things work together for good.  From him and through him and to him are all things.  In all things we must give thanks.

Yeshua has been appointed heir of all things.

We are joint heirs with Yeshua haMashiach. 

Are you ready to take up your inheritance?

** GRAMMAR NOTE:  I know, I know.  “All things” is (are?) plural and should therefore take a plural verb form; i.e., “play” instead of “plays.”  BUT the phrase “all things” is (are?) being used in the above sentence as a singular noun.  It is representing “a phrase” or “that phrase,” so the verb form is correctly singular.