Archive for the ‘Daily Thought’ Category

The Salty Tongue

“Conduct yourself with wisdom in your interactions with outsiders (non-believers), make the most of each opportunity [treating it as something precious]. Let your speech at all times be gracious and pleasant, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to answer each one [who questions you]” ( Colossians 4:6 Amplified Bible).

If I could add to this verse, it would include “seasoned with salt and not colorful metaphors or expletives ….  I have read many conversations on social media about how the Bible doesn’t say, “don’t curse,” “don’t swear” and “never defines inappropriate words.”  But, do colorful metaphors and expletives flavor our conversations with salt or do they leave a bitter sound in the ears of someone seeking to know a set-apart person who claims to live a holy life?  Does it cheapen our testimony of the One who died to change our hearts and rose to give us new life and will return as our Husband and King of Kings? 

For those who say that the Bible doesn’t define swear or curse words also known as profanity, it doesn’t need to be specific. If the instructions of God are written on our hearts, we will know which words are ‘unclean’ for our lips and it includes more than just speaking the days of the week that are the names of ‘other gods.’   Profanity comes from the word ‘profane’ or chol in Hebrew and means ‘common’.  Do we speak as the common people around us or do we speak words that set us apart for the glory of God, bearing fruit for His Kingdom?  

“Anyone who thinks he is religiously observant but does not control his tongue is deceiving himself, and his observance counts for nothing” (James 1:26). 

“Let no harmful language come from your mouth, only good words that are helpful in meeting the need, words that will benefit those who hear them” (Ephesians 4:29).

My mother worked for a county judge and she hated his foul language.  She never cursed or swore with four-letter words  or even said, “Oh my God” for she believed that was “taking the Lord’s name in vain.”  His colorful language never benefitted her ears nor did it make her job a pleasant one.  It was a constant thorn in her heart  while she worked for him.

I can’t say that my mouth was always as pure as hers, however, I know  her influence was profound in my life.  I never, I repeat, NEVER, say “O my God” and it breaks my heart to hear it thrown about so freely by everyone today as a common phrase.   It may not be ‘taking the Lord’s name in vain’ specifically as ‘God’ isn’t the name of the Creator,  but it has cheapened the concept of God as does using “Jesus Christ” spoken as profanity or in anger.  The fact that I don’t believe ‘Jesus Christ’ is the actual name of the Savior doesn’t make the curse less offensive or wrong.  

When most people use a four-letter word or colorful speech around me or believe they have cussed in my presence, they apologize.  I find that comforting, but somewhat discouraging.   These people are convicted by my obvious lack of foul language and see that I’m different, but still feel the need to use four-letter words in my presence.  To those who apologize frequently,  I want to say, “Quit apologizing if you’re not willing to change what comes out of your mouth.  Either you’re sorry or you’re not.  If you’re sorry, change; if not, don’t apologize.” 

According to James, the tongue is a powerful part of the human body and where it produces salty water, it cannot also produce fresh water (James 3:12).   Salt in this comparison is not the salt of speaking the Word of Truth because the Word of Truth is always compared to living water, springs of life.  Salt in this instance is a destroyer of life that leaves a place desolate.   

“So too the tongue is a tiny part of the body, yet it boasts great things. See how a little fire sets a whole forest ablaze! Yes, the tongue is a fire, a world of wickedness. The tongue is so placed in our body that it defiles every part of it, setting ablaze the whole of our life; and it is set on fire by Gei-Hinnom itself. For people have tamed and continue to tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures; but the tongue no one can tame — it is an unstable and evil thing, full of death-dealing poison!” (James 3:5-8)

Others using colorful metaphors never apologize.  These people fall into two categories.  The ones who are not followers of Messiah and do not have the Spirit of God convicting them of sin; the others who are followers of Messiah.

The non-followers of Messiah, like the county judge, are nothing more than unredeemed sinners.  Nothing more can be expected of them.  They live in darkness.  They do not have a heart of flesh.  They have never received the Spirit of God into their lives.  The word of Truth to them is foolishness and they are spiritually dead.   They are of the world and live like the world that promises no hope.   We can never know anyone’s heart and God’s plan for their life, but our speech seasoned with salt is a testimony to Yeshua in our life and may challenge them to ask questions about our faith, our hope and our abundant life in Yeshua.   

The discouraging ones are those who claim to follow Messiah but do not seem convicted of what comes out of their mouth.    Their speech, seasoned with expletives and four-letter words holds the wrong kind of salt, does not encourage anyone, and ultimately destroys their walk because it’s without the talk.  It blends into the world and there is no difference between their speech and the unbeliever’s.   In fact, for me personally, I am shocked when ‘unclean’ words flow through their lips so easily; it jars my spirit.

I knew a woman many years ago whose speech was seasoned with several four-letter-words, some that most people would defend as okay speech.  Every time some of those words flowed out of her mouth, I cringed wondering if she actually knew what was her tongue was saying, whether she was remotely convicted, and if she knew how it affected my ears by the shocked look in my eyes.  Now I know her daughter and her speech is seasoned with exactly the same words.  

To be honest, I have used colorful metaphors because I was once part of the world and its ways – read this college and workplaces.  When I became a follower of Yeshua, I had to make a conscious decision to watch what came out of my mouth because they flowed so freely I was completely unaware until a godly friend brought it to my attention.   I didn’t want to sound like a sailor when I talked because I had become a member of the Kingdom of the Most High God, the Bride of Messiah.

In the beginning the struggle was real, but now those words rarely pop into my head and when they do, I am deeply convicted.   I also had children to raise.  I didn’t want them to learn to talk gutter language; I wanted them to speak intelligent English and have their speech seasoned with salt and the truth of the Word.  Unfortunately, each one of them went into the world and those seeds that I believe are firmly rooted, have been choked out by the ways of the college world and the workplace.   I am prayerful and hopeful as some have  come to the conclusion they want to be more professional in their jobs or hear others speak colorful metaphors and know how slum-dog it sounds.  I am prayerful for my grandchildren who should never have to hear colorful metaphors or expletives either.  

I am not without sin and when a colorful metaphor does slip out of my mouth, I am immediately convicted to consider what darkness I am harboring in my heart that needs to be brought into the light.   When being honest with myself, the word either grew from unjustified anger in the moment,  a lingering bitterness from a rooted disappointment, stress that I let over take my day, or not having the wherewithal to salt my speech rather than slur my tongue being carelessness about the ears of my Father. 

In the world today, the use of language has fallen into the gutter even amongst those who claim to be god-fearers, born again members of the Kingdom of God.  The pain and suffering among believers that comes out in their speech shows the message of repentance to restorative healing is lacking. Daily stress causes many to cuss and swear for relief not realizing that God desires to give us His shalom, His relief from the stress, pain and suffering through giving Yeshua the burdens we carry.  He wants us to forgive others and forgive ourselves for those things that cause anger and bitterness in our hearts.   He wants us to turn back to Him with our tongues, with our speech so  we are truly set-apart for Him in this world and those who see and hear us speak without colorful metaphors recognize that we are part of “a chosen people, the King’s priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God to possess!  Why? In order for [us] to declare the praises of the One who called [us] out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).

“May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be acceptable in your presence, Adonai, my Rock and Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

©2018 Tentstake Ministries

Jerusalem and Modern-Day King Cyrus

From the days of Abraham,  Yerushalayim (Jerusalem in Hebrew) has been the center of the known world.  Malki-Tzedek, the righteous king who has no beginning or end, ruled from this city called “Shalem” meaning ‘complete, safe, and peace’ (Genesis 14:18).  Throughout Biblical history, proven through archaeological digs, Yerushalayim was the center of Israel, the capital where the God of Israel dwells, the I Am.  

“In the courtyards of Adonai’s house, there in your very heart, Yerushalayim. Halleluyah!” (Psalm 116:19).

“Blessed be Adonai out of Tziyon, he who dwells in Yerushalayim! Halleluyah!” (Psalm 135:21).

King Solomon built the first Temple in Yerushalayim.  It was destroyed by the Babylonians.  A second Temple was built in Yerushalayim at the command of the prophet Ezra. This is the one that the Syrians desecrated.  They knew and understood the significance of Yerushalayim and how the Temple was central to the Jewish faith.  It was for this reason the Syrians forced the Jews to offer sacrifices elsewhere; then desecrated the Altar.  Their purpose was to destroy the Jewish faith and assimilate the Jewish people into their idolatrous worship.

Yerushalayim is found 773 times throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, but only 9 times in the Koran.  This is a huge discrepancy between the two major religions, but one that the world refuses to acknowledge.  They would rather the two ideologies assimilate, or better yet, the one with the proven history in Yerushalayim disappear from the nations altogether.

“They say, “Come, let’s wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Isra’el be remembered no more!” (Psalm 83:4).

The Adversary knows that if he can remove Israel as a nation and Yerushalayim as its capital, then he proves to the world there  is no God of Israel.  If he can destroy the Jewish people and their faith, then he really proves to the world, there is no God at all.  Without the Jewish people, he knows there will be no one to welcome the Messiah back into the holy city and Yeshua cannot return to set up his Kingdom.  Satan’s plane, however, has a flaw.

“This is what Adonai says, who gives the sun as light for the day, who ordained the laws for the moon and stars to provide light for the night, who stirs up the sea until its waves roar — Adonai-Tzva’ot is his name: “If these laws leave my presence,” says Adonai, “then the offspring of Isra’el will stop being a nation in my presence forever” (Jeremiah 31:35). 

Unfortunately for Satan, who is ultimately the spiritual force behind chaos and destruction, he will not only lose this battle, he will lose the war.  Though he will continue to use the nations to fight against Yerushalayim and Israel as the ‘father of lies’ and deceptions, his destiny is already determined (Revelation 20:10). 

“Why are the nations in an uproar, the peoples grumbling in vain? The earth’s kings are taking positions, leaders conspiring together, against Adonai and his anointed” (Psalm 2:1-2).

“A prophecy, the word of Adonai concerning Isra’el — here is the message from Adonai, who stretched out the heavens, laid the foundation of the earth and formed the spirit inside human beings: “I will make Yerushalayim a cup that will stagger the surrounding peoples.  Even Judah will be caught up in the siege against Yerushalayim. When that day comes, I will make Yerushalayim a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who try to lift it will hurt themselves,  and all the earth’s nations will be massed against her” (Zechariah 12:1-3).

King Cyrus of Persia was used by God to deliver the Jewish people from their Babylonian captivity.  They returned to Yerushalayim and rebuilt their city and the second Temple.   With the help of a modern-day King Cyrus, Yerushalayim is  acknowledged to be, by the largest nation in the world, the eternal capital of Israel.  This modern-day King Cyrus has also called for the rebuilding of the Temple.  When that happens, the greatest exodus of Jewish people from the nations will follow (Jeremiah 16:14) along with a great apostasy and a false messiah in sitting in the Temple. 

As the return of Messiah Yeshua comes closer with each passing day, the shaking of the nations will escalate, but also will the promises of God to His people.  As the nations of the world continue to stand against Israel and fight over Yerushalayim, more and more Jewish people accept Yeshua as Messiah.  They are being prepared to cry out: “Baruch haba b’shem Adonai” and welcome Messiah back to Yerushalayim (Matthew 23:37-40).

“Adonai is rebuilding Yerushalayim, gathering the dispersed of Isra’el” (Psalm 147:2).

Soon, Yerushalayim will no longer be a city of assimilation and false gods, Greek, Roman, Baha’i, Muslim, and multiple religions.  It will be restored and rededicated to the glory of Yahweh.  All the nations of the world will come to Yerushalayim and worship the God of Israel on the appointed Feast Days.  With Messiah reigning from the Temple, Yerushalayim will finally become the city of our Great King.

“Look at Tziyon, the city of our festivals; your eyes will see Yerushalayim a secure abode, a tent that will not be removed, whose pegs will never be pulled out and whose guy-ropes will not be cut. But there in his splendor Adonai will be with us…” (Isaiah 33:20-21).

“Many peoples will go and say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of Adonai, to the house of the God of Ya‘akov! He will teach us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of Adonai from Yerushalayim” (Isaiah 2:3).

Psalm 48

Great is Yahweh  and greatly to be praised,

in the city of our God, his holy mountain,

beautiful in its elevation, the joy of all the earth,

Mount Tziyon, in the far north, the city of the great king.

In its citadels God has been revealed as a strong defense.

For the kings met by agreement;

together they advanced.

They saw and were filled with consternation;

terrified, they took to flight.

Trembling took hold of them,

pains like those of a woman in labor,

as when the wind out of the east wrecks the “Tarshish” ships.

We heard it, and now we see for ourselves

in the city of Yahweh-Tzva’ot, in the city of our God.

May God establish it forever. (Selah)

God, within your temple we meditate on your grace.

God, your praise, like your name, extends to the ends of the earth.

Your right hand is filled with righteousness.

Let Mount Tziyon rejoice, let the daughters of Y’hudah be glad,

because of your judgment [on the enemy].

Walk through Tziyon, go all around it;

count how many towers it has.

Note its ramparts, pass through its citadels,

so that you can tell generations to come

that such is God, our God forever;

he will guide us eternally.”

©2017 Tentstake Ministries

My Biblical Candidate

Israel and the Nations

Balaam learned through a donkey that no one curses Israel.  My candidate loves Israel. 

“When they [Israel] lie down they crouch like a lion, or like a lioness — who dares to rouse it? Blessed be all who bless you [Israel]!  Cursed be all who curse you [Israel] !”  (Numbers 24:9)

On Murdering Babies

The greatest war on women is making them believe their bodies are little crematoriums and the unborn have no value.  My candidate is all about life and life abundantly.

“The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah,“When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.”  The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live…. So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God they were given families of their own” (Exodus 1:15-16).

Health Care

There are many alternatives to disease maintenance in this country and forced ‘health care’ should include being able to make personal health decisions and being affordable.  My candidate is THE Healer.

“Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases …” (Psalm 103-2-3).

“Worship Yahweh your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span” (Exodus 23:25-26).

“Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil [frankincense, cedarwood, cyprus, hyssop, myrrh) in the name of the LORD” (James 5:14).

Social Programs

Certain segments of the population need help.  My candidate tells me who to support.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27).

Immigration

There are those in every country who want to join it or destroy it.  My candidate knows the motive of everyone’s heart.  

“But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me” (Ruth 1:16-17). 

“I am going to bring foreigners against you, the most ruthless of nations; they will draw their swords against your beauty and wisdom and pierce your shining splendor (Ezekiel 28:7).

Economics

Those who work hard deserve their money; those who don’t, need incentive to work.  My candidate promises rewards.

“Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles, but the one who gathers by labor increases it” (Proverbs 13:11).

“He who is guarantor for a stranger will surely suffer for it, but he who hates being a guarantor is secure” (Proverbs 11:15)

“For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,”  and “The worker deserves his wages” (1 Timothy 5:18, Luke 10:7).

Taxes

Taxes are part of this world’s system.  My candidate understands that his kingdom is not of this world.

“Show me he coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius,  and he [Yeshua] asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s” (Matthew 22:19-21).

Leadership

Winners and losers are all part of a divine plan.  My candidate’s time is coming.

“First of all, then, I counsel that petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all human beings, including kings and all in positions of prominence; so that we may lead quiet and peaceful lives, being godly and upright in everything. This is what God, our Deliverer, regards as good; this is what meets his approval” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

“If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (Mark 3:25).

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” (Romans 13:1). 

The Kingdom

“For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord [Yeshua] will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3).

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:25-28).

“[The Seventh Trumpet ] The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).

The King

King Yeshua and His Kingdom is what I hope for and expect soon.

“On his [Yeshua’s]  robe and on his thigh he has this name written: King of Kings and lord of lords.

“A King will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice” (Isaiah 32:1).

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.10 And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”  (Revelation 7:9-10).

And now, if only … 

People would understand that Yeshua came not to condemn the world, but to save the world through himself, then there would be no racism, bigotry, hatred, anger, bitterness and there could be ONE world religion where Truth and Justice really do exist.

Once, on being asked …  when the kingdom of God would come, Yeshua replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21). 

©November 2016 Tentstake Ministries

I Can Only Imagine Unity of Faith

Several weeks ago I had a discussion with my son about gentile believers going to the synagogue to hear God’s Word so they can be a light for Yeshua.  His question was, “What would a small synagogue of 50 think of 1000s upon 1000s of Christians standing outside asking to hear God’s Word?  Wouldn’t they want to know why?  Wouldn’t that be a great opportunity to share Yeshua with his brothers and sisters?”  What a thought!  Our denominational ideologies have not only divided us from each other, but our churches keep us out of the very place God-fearers used to go: the synagogue.  

Today I woke up with the song, “I Can Only Imagine” going through my head.  I thought of the conversation with my son and ‘changed’ the words to show what ‘unity of faith and actions’ could accomplish in this world.  

Imagine Unity of Faith

I can only imagine what it could be like if all who have been called out of darkness into light would gather together at a Passover seder centered on the Light.

I can only imagine what it could be like if all who have been set free from sin and death would throw out the lump of leaven and learn the Truth from the Sinless One. 

I can only imagine what it could be like if  all who cry out,  ‘He is Risen’ would wave a Firstfruits offering to their risen High Priest.

I can only imagine what it could be like if all those who speak in tongues would seek the Spirit of Truth and declare Yeshua to the nations.

I can only imagine what it could be like if all who blissfully preach being removed from this earth would blow a shofar with their Savior’s family and invite him to return to this earth.

I can only imagine what it could be like if those who judged Israel and the Jewish people for killing their Savior prayed for Israel’s national atonement so that all Israel would be saved.

I can only imagine what it could be like if all those who believed they are part of a temple built of living stones would live in a temporary dwelling for eight days to proclaim the coming Temple of King Yeshua.

I can only imagine what it would be like if every God-fearer who called on the name of the LORD gathered outside their community synagogue on the Sabbath day wanting to hear the teachings and commandments of the LORD that come not from Rome or the Vatican, but from Mt. Tzion and Jerusalem.     

I believe Yeshua’s brothers and sisters would ask about salvation, the Father would hear the shofars, the earth would shake and the dead would rise from their graves, there would be a Passover like none before and Hebrew would become the common language.

But, I can only imagine because seders and lumps of leaven been replaced with a Friday called ‘good’.  Firstfruits have been traded for Istar’s pork roast.  Tongues have turned the nations into people possessed with familiar spirits. Shofars aren’t found in churches, Israel remains lost and boycotted, and the promised Kingdom that everyone hopes for lingers longer. 

I can only imagine what it will be like when the High Priest rules and reigns from Jerusalem with his royal priesthood, when all nations come to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles and every man will invite his neighbor to sit under his own vine and fig tree,  when the Bridegroom sits with His Bride at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb with countless guests from every nation, tribe and tongue,  when the Sabbath is eternal and Yahweh dwells with mankind forever in the New Jerusalem.

©April 2016 Tent Stake Ministries 

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