Don't be Mopey!

Many times, our unbelieving family and coworkers -- society in general, can make us feel small and inferior -- like second class citizens -- because we are Christians. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, somehow, we begin to believe it! We become what I like to call "mopey Christians," just moping around, keeping our faith hidden under a bushel, feeling afraid to say a word about Jesus, in fear that we might offend someone! And that's precisely what the enemy wants us to feel!

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Walk in Prophecy!

This is an interesting passage of Scripture which details how Josiah, a young and Godly king, went forth to cleanse the land, and in doing so, finds that he was fulfilling a prophecy given years before. Josiah went forth doing what was right -- and in doing so, was walking out the works that God preordained for him -- he was fulfilling the calling that God had set into motion years before!

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Where are your accusers?

Yeshua (Jesus) knew the heart of every man and woman. As a totally pure and righteous human being, His experience of every other sin-filled person is really impossible for us to imagine. He knew that every repulsive thought, attitude and action of every person in the world would soon fall on Him, and that He would carry them...away. And so Yeshua did not come with a spirit of condemnation -- but with a spirit of grace and truth.

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Choose Godspeed!

Proverbs says the "highway of the upright is to depart from evil". It's a highway -- a way of life so to speak. And this proverb coincides with the central teaching of Yeshua (Jesus) -- "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand." What does it mean to repent? The Greek Word is "metanoia" which simply means to change your mind about sin or to depart from evil.

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Have Mercy on Me!

We continue looking at Jonah, and find him in Chapter 4 displeased with God's mercy toward Nivevah. The Assyrians were arch-enemies of Israel and among the cruelest nations in history. Instead of being elated that God spared 120,000 Ninevites Jonah preferred to see his own pronouncement of judgment executed by the Lord. "Let those Assyrians get what's coming to them...

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Take Your Second Chance!

A "second time." Jonah's repentance gave him a second chance to obey the Lord and to fulfill his ministry. And he did it successfully. The apostle Paul tells us that "the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable" [Romans 11:29]. Jonah's disobedience did not take away his calling as a prophet. The discipline of the Lord was fruitful in his life. But compare King Saul. He also got a second chance after failing to wait for Samuel [1 Samuel 13] and he disobeyed again, and lost his kingship [1 Samuel 15]. But even that took many years to transpire after David was anointed.

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He understands our sufferings more than you know!

When I studied Isaiah 53 earnestly in the ancient Hebrew, I was taken back by the Hebrew word for "afflicted" (me-u-neh). In modern Hebrew this word means "tortured". When I was young, and first learned what torture actually involved, my soul was shocked that this could happen to people; in fact that it was happening to people. That a person could be kept alive for the purpose of intentionally causing him intense agonizing pain was an astounding enigma for my young soul. It really frightened me; and I think that fear of torture is probably the greatest fear that humans can experience. We read about people who have been tortured, with a kind of horrified awe. And quietly we wonder inside, "How can this be?" And, "Could this ever happen to me?"

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Follow your Sar Ha'Chaim!

An interesting parallel exists between these two passages of scripture: Isaiah 53:9 and Acts 3:15. Isaiah renders the "death" of the messiah in the plural form, "deaths" ("motav"). Acts renders the life of the Prince of Life as "lives" ("chaim"). Some scholars suggest that the plurality of the word death indicates a violent death this servant would suffer, and that making the noun plural is a way of emphasizing the terrible intensity of his experience. Jewish counter-missionaries suggest that the "death" in plural shows that the suffering servant is not an individual man, but a group of people, specifically the nation of Israel, thus denying that the passage refers to an individual messianic figure.

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Spare yourself, Slay Agag now!

The first king of Israel, King Saul,was told by God to utterly slay Amalek and his descendants. In blatant disobedience Saul allowed Agag, the king of the Amalekites and the best of the cattle to remain alive. The following day, Saul tried to remedy his disobedience by attempting to sacrifice the best of the cattle to the Lord.

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Embrace the Paradox and Rejoice!

Tonight, Jews throughout the world will solemnly “afflict” their souls during Yom Kippur. However, most kids in Israel look at Yom Kippur as “ride your bikes in the streets day!” You see, Yom Kippur in Israel is the one day when TV and radio stations are completely shut down and the streets are almost completely void of vehicles of any kind. Ironically, some of the only fully operational locations in Israel on Yom Kippur are the hospital emergency rooms – since kids who finally have no restraints on their bikes, skateboards, and roller skates tend to take risks they wouldn't normally take – it's Yom Kippur – they have the streets to themselves!

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