Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘BIBLE’

 OUR PASSOVER LAMB10552571_1564555450472203_1095884821233938201_n13076632_1188660301151933_5684932331029755454_n5695passover

 Passover is the time of year that the Jewish people remember their miraculous release from slavery in Egypt.  It was instituted by God and the details are very specific as recorded in the Book of Exodus. And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.” Exodus 12:1-2. This should get our attention. The first month on the Jewish calendar is Nissan and on the 10th day of Nissan a lamb was to be chosen. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats” Exodus 12:5. The lamb was to be perfect and was to be cared for. On the fourteenth day of Nissan the chosen lamb was to be killed and his blood put on the side posts and the upper door post of each household where the lamb was to be eaten. That night the Lord would move through the land of Egypt and the firstborn of both man and beast would die. The blood of the lamb was the only protection for the household. Only obedience to God would allow the firstborn of a household to be protected. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.” Exodus 12:14. It all happened just as God said and the Israelites were freed from bondage. God wanted them to remember what He did for them. Passover is celebrated to this day but there is a much deeper meaning to Passover. It was fulfilled by Jesus.

The Passover story is familiar to us and it is prophetic. Like all of the Jewish feasts, Passover is about Jesus. This important feast celebrates the Israelites being set free from Egyptian bondage, but by allowing Himself to be sacrificed, Jesus set us free from the bondage of sin and death. When He rode into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey He fulfilled many prophecies, including one in Daniel which foretold the exact day He would be hailed as the Messiah. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.“Daniel 9:25. Calculations based upon this prophecy reveal that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the exact day foretold in Daniel. When He traveled to Jerusalem on that final journey He knew that the time was right and He would be hailed as the Messiah, but then He would be sacrificed…crucified. Years before this John the Baptist had recognized Him as the Lamb of God, and Jesus truly is our perfect Lamb The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29. Jesus truly was the once for all sacrifice to take our sin away. There is no more monumental event in history than Jesus’ crucifixion, except for His resurrection.

Jesus rode on a donkey colt into Jerusalem and the people hailed Him as Messiah…the people had chosen Him. Unlike the Passover lamb that was treated gently from the time of selection until its quick sacrifice, Jesus would not be treated kindly. In those final few days He would have disputes with the Jewish leaders and ultimately be betrayed by one of the twelve men who followed Him. After His arrest He endured beatings, scourging, mocking, and pure brutality. They spit on Him, pushed a crown of thorns onto His head, and put a purple robe on Him to mock His claim to be King. Pilate stood Him before a crowd of angry people and asked them if he should set Jesus free or a robber named Barabbas. The crowd called for the release of Barabbas, but gave the frenzied cry“ Crucify Him!” when Pilate asked them what he should do with Jesus. Then, the Lamb of God was sent to the slaughter. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.” John 19:17-18. The Passover lamb was slaughtered quickly, but Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” was beaten unmercifully and then nails were pounded into His hands and His feet. He hung on the cross for hours, dying slowly. He looked down at His mother and gave the responsibility for her care to John and He watched as the Roman soldiers gambled for His garments. In spite of all that was done to Him, His love and forgiveness was not shattered. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. Luke 23:34. His forgiveness is still available to us today.

Jesus had gone to Jerusalem knowing full well what He faced there, but He went willingly. At the last meal He shared with His disciples, He told Judas to go and do what he had to do…to go and betray Him. He kept silence during the illegal trial and the beatings. He carried His cross to His own crucifixion. Jesus, God the Son, had never been separated from God the Father because He was sinless and perfect, even in His human form. But as He hung on that cross He took our sins upon Himself and for the first time ever the perfect Lamb of God felt separation from God the Father because sin separates us from God. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is being interpreted, My god, my God, why has thou forsaken me?” Mark 15:34. The sin that you and I should be condemned for was fully paid for on the cross. Jesus’ blood was shed for each and every person who has ever lived and who ever will live. It’s up to each of us individually to accept or reject that gift of salvation. That gift is free for the asking, but cost Jesus dearly.944057_208770469472928_700770130468267408_n

Jesus fulfilled prophecy with precise timing, and after all things were accomplished, He chose the timing of His death. “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head and gave up the ghost.”John 19:28-30. It was finished. The blood of the Lamb was shed for you and me. We can look back and see the fulfilled prophecies and know that only His blood can redeem us. Those who followed Him were not so sure. They had followed Him and believed He was the Messiah, but now He had died. They feared that they would be the next ones crucified because they had followed Him.1957996_458968030964218_935759081704337320_n

For many reasons the burial was swift and they were unable to tend to His body the way they should have. At the first hint of light on the first day of the week a handful of women went to care for the body. Their grief was heavy as they walked to the tomb. A large stone had been placed at the entrance and they weren’t sure how they would be able to move it, but on they went. When they reached the tomb they were met with an astonishing sight. The stone had been rolled away! And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.” Mark 16:5-6. Can you imagine their joy! Jesus was risen from the dead! He’s alive!!

     From Exodus to Daniel to the Resurrection, the date is clear. God has gone to great lengths to establish when the Passover is to be celebrated and therefore when Christ was hailed as the Messiah, offered as the perfect sacrifice, and resurrected. In spite of that most Christians choose to celebrate Christ’s victory over the grave on a different day called Easter. That day is not related to the Jewish Passover. It occurs on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox. That day is based upon a pagan celebration and the traditions surrounding it have nothing to do with Christianity. Is it wrong to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection on this pagan holiday? Each person needs to decide individually.Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” Colossians 2:16-17. We belong to Christ and therefore we have freedom. Jesus fulfilled the Law and we need to be careful that we don’t return to the Law because that is not where salvation is found, but the date of His final entry in to Jerusalem, the day of the crucifixion, and the day of the Resurrection all seem important to God. We need to pay attention. Salvation is through Christ, but we need to honor Him in all our ways. Does coloring eggs and eating chocolate bunnies make you a pagan? No, but you need to be sure that you are identifying with Christ. We know that His sacrifice was during the Passover celebration which foreshadowed Him. It seems important to God that we know when Christ’s victory over death occurred. This year, 2016, Passover begins at sundown on April 22. Take time to read through Exodus chapter 12 and then read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ final week and also read through the Resurrection. Christ took our sins upon Himself and won the victory over death. Never forget that or take it lightly.

The blood on the door posts of the Jewish households so long ago protected them from death on that night of the first Passover. The blood of “…the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” applied to your heart is the only means by which you can be protected from eternal death. Celebrate our true Passover Lamb.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

www.straitandnarrowministry.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

Ron Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html

 

All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed

13006467_1141922282495904_5188541859135432167_n

 

Read Full Post »

12795547_804600079645729_7068965179592057816_n

How Holy

10639437_1720456951525283_1675498818751325744_n (1)

The Cross and The Blood and The Dove and The Resurrection….

250166_1721621594742152_2113303436330839309_n

Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth Me, watching daily at My gates, waiting at the posts of My doors. For whoso findeth Me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord. But he that sinneth against Me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate Me love death” ~~ Proverbs 8:33-36.


12832481_1721450334759278_6934165824332378114_n“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God” ~~ Psalm 42:1.

535179_1721633294740982_2772972748985514895_n

“You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore” ~~ Psalm 16:11.

“And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called ‘The way of holiness'” ~~ Isaiah 35:8a.

10341680_1721617781409200_1353318010767936873_n

 

“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” ~~ 2 Timothy 2:24-26.

12813954_1721561961414782_3089311981224350570_n

“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” ~~ Isaiah 40:29-31.

12809588_598948816928159_5795279726789587351_n

 Praise God for the Lord’s Sacrafice on the Cross and dieing and rising from the grave for our sins. Yes, .. He is the Bread of Life that was shed for us to have Eternal life with Him. ,, Amen

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

 12829037_1720917174812594_2470533533108914094_o

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” ~~ John 8:12.12321213_1721108641460114_398298061377354249_n

“The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the Lord is upon many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. The Lord sitteth upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever” ~~ Psalm 29:3-4, 10.

 CdfdaJ2XIAAigH1“When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee” ~~ Isaiah 43:2.12718146_1721446478092997_7972458077263352090_n (2)

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.
(Psalm 24:7-10)
262716_10206841515388566_5373225855979476440_n
“Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon a donkey, and a colt the foal of a donkey…
And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?
And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.”
(Matthew 21:5, 9-11)

 

Hail To The King with Lyrics by Shannon Wexelberg

903107_1720684154835896_8920272343504829966_o

 “Lord, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in Thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved” ~~ Psalm 15.12813919_1720192871551691_2574295777668372814_n

 “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you” ~~ Deuteronomy 31:6.

12798983_1719833994920912_112242229333778631_n

“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” ~~ Amos 3:3.

12813923_1717396745164637_5685436648036379372_n
12794534_1719794858258159_1859383600051441089_n

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah” ~~ Psalm 46:1-3.

 

Jehovah Shalom – Shannon Wexelberg – Lyric Video

12814182_1719774741593504_5589290310705037008_n

 “What man is he that feareth the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way that he shall choose. His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him; and He will shew them His covenant” ~~ Psalm 25:12-14.

12799293_1718308715073440_432539440034002356_nI will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth” ~~ Psalm 121:1-2.

 12821537_1719596224944689_7594550559845524198_n

 “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
For He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways” ~~ Psalm 91:1, 4, 9-11.

12804781_1719441424960169_7746293270975084127_n

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” ~~ 2 Corinthians 5:17.

 

Change Me – Shannon Wexelberg (lyrics)

921119_1719430398294605_6109542069522040806_o

 “He hath said, ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee'” ~~ Hebrews 13:5.

 

Nothing Can Separate Us – Shannon Wexelberg

 12799324_1720242894880022_4654987682465395802_n

shannon wexelberg “highest praise”12801518_1717161321854846_6697213526294684221_n12806245_1716505841920394_1844397069750820864_n

 

Read Full Post »

 

 

Photo credit 9pixs.com

Roș Hașana, Anul Nou Evreiesc 5775 – 24 Septembrie 2014 – Happy Rosh Hashanah 5775

Leviticul 23:23-24

23 Domnul a vorbit lui Moise şi a zis:
24 „Vorbeşte copiilor lui Israel şi spune-le: „În luna a şaptea, în cea dintâi zi a lunii, să aveţi o zi de odihnă, vestită cu sunet de trâmbiţe, şi o adunare sfântă.
25 Atunci să nu faceţi nicio lucrare de slugă şi să aduceţi Domnului jertfe mistuite de foc.”

Anul iudaic 5775 este socotit, conform tradiţiei, de la facerea lumii.

Evreii de pretutindeni intră, începând de joi, 25 septembrie, în anul iudaic 5775, socotit, conform tradiţiei, de la facerea lumii. Prima lună a anului evreiesc este “Tişri” şi marchează sărbători importante, cum este “Roş haşana”. “«Este prima sărbătoare a primei luni din an şi marchează începutul celor zece zile de penitenţă, timp în care evreul credincios îşi face autoanaliza faptelor săvârşite în anul trecut şi îl roagă pe Dumnezeu să-i ierte păcatele şi să-l înscrie în cartea vieţii. Aceste rugăciuni au fost începute de evrei încă din ultima lună a anului precedent, numită «Elul», moment în care aceştia trec pe la mormintele înaintaşilor”, a explicat profesorul Iancu Wexler, preşedintele Comunităţii Evreieşti din Roman.

Există obiceiul, spune Iancu Wexler, ca, în după-amiaza primei zile din anul nou, să se meargă la o apă curgătoare şi, odată cu rostirea rugăciunii pentru iertare, să se arunce păcatele, în mod simbolic. “Un alt obicei este ca, în după-amiaza celei de a doua zile a noului an, să se consume fructele care s-au făcut în anotimpul respectiv, mulţumindu-i lui Dumnezeu pentru roadele obţinute”, a spus preşedintele Comunităţii Evreieşti din Roman.

În Sinagoga Leipziger din Roman, îmbrăcată în straie de sărbătoare, evreii rostesc rugăciunile tradiţionale, potrivit cărţii speciale de rugăciuni numite “mahzor”.

Numărul evreilor romaşcani este mic, de 30 de persoane, în principal oameni în vârstă. “Prin grija Guvernului – Departamentul pentru Relaţii Interetnice şi a Federaţiilor Comunităţilor Evreieşti din România a apărut «luah-ul», calendarul care orientează evreii pentru toate datele importante ale noului an iudaic şi care a ajuns şi la evreii din Roman”, a spus Iancu Wexler.

Urarea pe care evreii o fac la început de an este: “Șana tova!” (“Un an nou bun!”). SURSA – http://www.ziarulderoman.ro

Roș HaȘana (în ebraică ראש השנה Rosh Hashaná, literar capul, începutul anului) este Anul nou evreiesc începutul unui nou an potrivit cu calendarul ebraic. Cade în ziua a 1 a lunii Tishrei, care este prima lună a calendarului evreiesc modern și prima din cele 10 zile ale penitenței numite Yamim Norayim, care culminează cu Ziua Ispășirii, Yom Kipur. În emisfera nordică, are loc la începutul toamnei. După tradiție, ar fi aniversarea creării celor dintâi oameni, Adam și Eva. În Torá i se mai spune și Yom Hatruá (יום תרועה), ziua sunării (la origine – din trâmbițe, în zilele noastre asociată adesea cu cornul Shofarului). Obiceiurile deRosh Hashana includ sunarea din shofar și o cină familială la care se mănâncă alimente simbolice cum ar fi mere unse cu miere, pentru ca anul care începe să fie un an bun și dulce.

Urările obișnuite de Rosh Hashana sunt „L’Shaná Tová” ( לשנה טובה An bun) sau „L’ Shana tová umetuká” (Un an bun și dulce), precum și Ktivá vehatimá tová. Roș HaȘaná este momentul la care se refereau în mediul evreiesc tradițional contractele legale, atât pentru grija animalelor cât și pentru trebuințele poporului.Mișna precizează că în baza acestei date trebuie calculată desfășurarea anilor și – prin urmare – și anul sabatic și jubileul. Sărbătoarea durează două zile.

Nume, origine, sens

Carte de urări de Anul Nou evreiesc Rosh Hashana, cu un desen de Alphonse Levy, arătând un oficiant care sună din cornul Shofar. Photo Wikipedia

În Torah se face referință la el numindu-l ziua sunetului (cântării) din Șofar (Yom Terua, Levitic 23, 24). Literatura rabinică și liturgia sinagogală descriu Roș haȘana ca fiind Ziua Judecății (Yom ha-Din) și Ziua Amintirii (Yom ha-Zikkaron).

În midrashim se povestește că Dumnezeu se așează pe tron, și în fața sa se adună întreaga istorie a omenirii (nu doar a poporului evreu). Acolo fiecare persoană în parte este cercetată pentru ase hotărî dacă merită ori nu iertarea. Decizia însă va fi ratificată numai în ziua de Yom Kippur. Acesta este motivul pentru care cele 10 zile care despart cele două sărbători sunt numite cele 10 zile ale penitenței (Yamim noraim – zile teribile). În aceste 10 zile fiecare credincios evreu are datoria de a face un examen de conștiință pentru anul care a trecut și să identifice toate greșelile sau nelegiuirile săvârșite față de porunci. Aceasta include examenul purtării față de aproape, față de părinți, frați de sânge, rude, prieteni, propriul popor și față de străini). Odată descoperită greșeala și recunoscută în adâncul inimii, omul are datoria de a cere iertare și semenului său față de care a greșit. Cel căruia i se cere iertare i se recomandă insistent să ofere propria iertare; facultatea de a refuza această iertare este foarte rar acceptată (este precizată de norme clare și facultatea de a refuza este limitată foarte mult). Yom Kippur, într-adevăr, trebuie trăit cu inima și cu sufletul de penitent.

Sărbătoarea Anului Nou ebraic durează 2 zile atât în Israel cât și în diaspora, aceasta este însă numai o tradiție recentă. Sunt mărturii precise că încă în secolul al XIII -lea,la Ierusalim, ea se celebra numai o singură zi. După Sfintele Scripturi ale iudaismului durata sărbătorii este de numai o zi. Acesta este motivul pentru care unele curente (mișcări spirituale) iudaice (cum sunt de ex. karaiții) o observă numai în prima zi. Iudaismul ortodox și cel conservativ sărbătoresc ambele zile.

Compararea sărbătorii cu calendarul gregorian

Roș haȘana cade în a 162-a zi după prima din zilele Paștelui. În calendarul gregorian nu poate cădea mai devreme de 5 septembrie. Datorită diferenței dintre calendarul ebraic și cel gregorian, începând din anul 2089 (gregorian) Roș haȘana nu va mai putea cădea mai devreme de 6 septembrie. Nu poate cădea nici mai târziu de 5 octombrie. Datorită felului în care este calculat calendarul ebraic,Roș haȘana nu poate cădea niciodată joia, vinerea sau duminica.

Bazat pe data tradițională a creării lumii, Roș haȘana cade în prima zi a luniiTișri, care conform calendarului gregorian este în septembrie sau la început de octombrie.

Sursa Wikipedia

http://rodiagnusdei.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/ros-hasana-anul-nou-evreiesc-5775-24-septembrie-2014-happy-rosh-hashanah-5775/

Cum sărbătoresc unii tineri Roș Hașana, cu indemnuri la fapte bune:

What Makes Rosh Hashanah Beautiful

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BtgeiIdl7U

Read Full Post »

The mother whose wisdom is included alongside the wisdom of Solomon

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Have you ever paid close attention to Proverbs 31? This is an oft cited chapter that refers to thevirtuous woman”  / or the “woman who fears the Lord...” and lists her qualifications. If you have not read the entire chapter, you might mistakenly attribute this chapter to Solomon. Yet verse 1 states:

“The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:”

Now, there is no other mention of this king anywhere else in the Bible, and some older commentaries attribute King Lemuel to being Solomon. Regardless who this king is, the verses in Chapter 31 are quoted from this mother of King Lemuel.

Now read this chapter again, noting that it is written by a woman and if you are one of those women who usually cringes or avoids reading this chapter altogether, because you think it describes a “superwoman” or that it is an impossibility for one woman to display all of the qualities described here, I would encourage you to read the article attached in the link at the bottom of this article, beneath the notes.

The Words of King Lemuel

31 The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:

What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb?
What are you doing, son of my vows?
Do not give your strength to women,
your ways to those who destroy kings.
It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine,
or for rulers to take strong drink,
lest they drink and forget what has been decreed
and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,
and wine to those in bitter distress;
let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.
Open your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

The Woman Who Fears the Lord

10  An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

Photo credit www.dailymail.co.uk

Some short notes which makes some  great points from this Proverbs 31 commentary at www.graceinabundance.com:

Her textual identity –

  • The text of Proverbs does not name the noble woman it describes in such detail. The author is King Lemuel, who was known by Israel‟s sages even though he remains unknown to us. He received the instruction from his own mother. In addition to admonishing her son that a king must not give in to any unrestrained living that would jeopardize his ability to rule, she summarizes the kind of wife that would add honor to his name. He must look for a truly valiant wife who fears the Lord and not be tempted by mere beauty and charm. Lemuel applies the advice to more than the royal household, for the husband described within is an elder of the city, not a king. Thus, what was originally designed as advice for a prince has been included in Scripture for the benefit of all classes.
  • Some deny that this too-good-to-be-true wife could be just one woman. She must be an ideal, composite picture of what one could desire in a wife if it were possible to acquire it all in one package.  Nevertheless, we cannot escape the textual presentation of her as one, distinct person whose wisdom benefits not only her household but the community as well. Seeing her as a composite creates unwarranted opportunity for excusing ourselves from any obligation to be like her.

Before determining how this instruction should be applied to today‟s woman, several assumptions need to be recognized.

  1. Assumption 1: She is a mature woman.The woman described in the text is a mature woman, not a new bride. She shows the confidence of one who has gained experience over time, both in her spiritual development and in her skills as a homemaker. Young men hoping to discover a readymade Proverbs 31 wife are setting themselves up for a disappointment if they expect to say “I do” to a bride with this much skill or wisdom. In the same way that homemaking skills become perfected with practice, so also understanding and wisdom increase over time when one walks with the Author of wisdom. A new bride may not match the Proverbs 31 woman‟s skill, but she will be counted wise if she makes a conscious choice to follow the Way of Wisdom.
  2. Assumption 2: Her husband is a wise and mature man. Second, this woman is married to a man who is qualified to sit in the gates as an elder of his people. He has presumably been successful in his own endeavors and thereby has gained the respect of the community. He recognizes that he has a superb wife and appropriately leaves the management of the home to her.
  3. Assumption 3: Her household is economically well off. Third, the Proverbs 31 wife is part of a well-to-do household. Waltke mentions that the poem “assumes the husband has founded the home on a sound economic foundation (24:27) and within that context his wife can settle down and function to her maximum ideal.20 The text indicates that the woman‟s prudent management of the family‟s resources brought economic security to all of her household. Many women conclude that it would be impossible to live up to this woman‟s example without also having her servants. In their dreams, the servants would do the household work and leave them free to carry on her other pursuits. However, this betrays both a misunderstanding of the role of servants and of the author‟s point. In the North American context, servant brings to mind either  the historical slave of  the Southern plantation, or (2) a domestic worker whom only the rich can afford to pay. Neither description comes close to depicting the Proverbs 31 household servant. Even today where modern “electric servants” to which the West has become accustomed do not exist, household chores can be both physically demanding and time consuming. Without ready made clothes, canned foods, and prepared spices, clothing and feeding a household require a huge amount of one‟s day. With no electricity or indoor plumbing, every chore done by the machines the West takes so much for granted becomes a major job. The housewife needs help. Servants help, but they also bring responsibility. The Proverbs 31 woman shouldered this responsibility as normal routine in her household and did it well. The wise woman can live with or without servants. In either case, she organizes and carries out her work with wisdom, overseeing and advising everyone in her household.
  4. Assumption 4: The Proverbs 31 woman is a healthy woman. The fourth assumption from the text is that the Proverbs 31 woman is healthy, strong and fit for her job. Can a woman excuse herself from being a Proverbs 31 wife, then, if she has not been blessed with a healthy body and a vigorous immune system? If the amount of household tasks accomplished is the rule by which we measure a woman‟s worthiness, then we have established a superficial standard for wisdom. Certainly a healthy body is valuable, but wisdom is not dependant upon physical strength. Being a Proverbs 31 woman does not demand the perfect body. Instead, it needs a healthy spirit that is attuned to the Spirit of God.

In summary, then, although the author of Proverbs 31 delights in all this jewel of a woman does in the ruling of her household, her above-rubies value is not dependent upon her homemaking skills, her worthy husband, her comparative wealth, or her physical health. Her value is in using the wisdom God has given her, a wisdom that springs from her fear of the Lord. 

This is no assumption. The writer summarizes this remarkable wife with these words: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”24 Herein is the key to understanding the entire poem: the noble wife is a woman who fears the Lord. Focusing only on this industrious woman‟s work will cloud this crucial point.

Many women, even non-Christians, out of innate common sense and providential goodness devote themselves to caring successfully for their husbands and children, making the needs of their household the primary focus of their lives. What, then, differentiates the wise wife of Proverbs 31 from her counterparts? It is her fear of the Lord, not her wise shopping or her control over her children.

How does the Proverbs 31 woman‟s fear of the Lord make her different from other accomplished homemakers?

1. Her focus is on God.
2. She hates evil.
3. She is compassionate and fair to all.
4. She delights in the Lord’s commands.
5. She is teachable.

You can read the entire commentary here – http://graceinabundance.com/userfiles//Superwoman%20translit.pdf

1231589_233301463487214_620057480_n

Read Full Post »

74245_446523652422_2578282_n

Dr. David Jeremiah on “Death: The Fear of Dying”

Dr. David Jeremiah on “Fear of Failure”.

485085_558418240858712_278884395_n

Read Full Post »

How Much Mercy Do You Need?

CC Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee

Just in case you were concerned that all this talk of mercy and justice was only an Old Testament concept; today I share the words of Jesus.  Matthew records Jesus’ scolding words in Matthew 23.  If you are afraid to come to Jesus because of some sin you carry, if you have never accepted the amazing gift of God’s grace and mercy that Jesus embodies, if you think becoming a follower of Christ is all about following rules, keep in mind the words of Jesus recorded in Matthew 23 are not for the “sinner.”  Jesus never spoke harshly to a sinner.  God didn’t sacrifice His only Son to lord your sin over you or simply for the pleasure of reminding you how wrong you are.

Too Weary to Love

Jesus’ words in this passage are for those who claim His name.  Jesus’ words do sting, only because God wants His followers to be HIS ambassadors, not free agents who claim His name.  The call of the Christian is not to make our own rules.  The call of Jesus is not to disregard the rules.  The call of Jesus is to give the rules the proper weight.

A few days ago, in the post, Accept No Substitutions I shared my real-life experience with the concept Jesus was trying to get across.  As I read this passage, it stings my heart because I’m content to do my best at what I’m good at doing.  I will, in essence, give a tithe of my spices; for me that’s easy.  Jesus is saying that isn’t enough.

When I look at the call to be merciful, just and loyal, it’s then I realize I underestimate my need for God’s mercy.  How can I possibly be merciful to others, if I don’t completely understand the magnitude of God’s mercy to me?    How can I act justly if I see others as different from me in our need for a Savior?

Seeking God’s Mercy

This month as I’ve read about and pondered the notion of justice and mercy I’ve come to realize how my heart harnesses and stifles God’s goodness.  I’ll admit, I need salvation.  I’ll admit, I need grace.  I’m reluctant to admit I need mercy. Remember, mercy is not getting the punishment you deserve.  If I’m reluctant to admit I need mercy, I’m not very likely to act in mercy toward others.

Have you asked God for His mercy?  How much do you think you need?  A few weeks ago, I would have shrugged at both of those questions.  I’ve come to realize I need an infinite supply of His mercy.  I can follow the rules good enough to be accepted by those around me, but I need a huge, daily shot of God’s mercy; more than I ever realized, to be truly obedient.  I need God’s mercy not only to be obedient in my motives and actions, but also to make sense of the world around me.

Lamentations 3 is one of my favorite chapters.  I looked at it differently today.  Life is a constant barrage of consequences, inconvenience, suffering and in some cases pain.  In the middle of all of that, regardless of the situation, God offers new mercy each morning.

For what?  To make it through the day.  Each day, I need to rely on God’s mercy for the events of the day.  I need God’s mercy; not for some Herculean task but simply to make it through the day.  I need mercy.

How about you?

Father, thank you for your infinite mercy.  Thank you for giving it freely.  Help me truly understand your desire, not for robotic obedience, to act in justice and mercy and to seek a deeper relationship with You.

By • February 14, 2014 

Reblogged from http://blog.febc.org/faith/much-mercy-need

1013754_679289258799820_1403669211_n

Read Full Post »

1514132_536357706471396_1009338070_n

Priorități și valori

Avem oare nevoie să ne cunoaștem prioritățile în viață? Dacă da, ar trebuie să ni le definim sau ele sunt implicite? Dacă ar fi să facem o listă a valorilor și priorităților pe care le avem, cum ar arăta ea?

Iată un tip de întrebări pe care cred că ar trebui să ni le punem la acest început de an 2014. M-am regăsit de multe ori în anul care tocmai a trecut dând prioritate unor lucruri care nu reprezentau priorități esențiale, făcând de multe ori ceea ce mi-a plăcut în loc să fac ceea ce a trebuit. M-am luptat mult cu disciplina personală și am eșuat de multe ori. Este o luptă pe care uneori o căștig, și mă bucur pentru asta dar de mult prea multe ori am pierdut-o. Disciplina personală nu este ceva ușor pentru mine. Poate că pentru alții lucrurile sunt mai ușoare, însă pentru mine lupta pare uneori imposibilă de dus.

Am discutat de curând, în grupul nostru de părtășie, despre valorile și prioritățile pe care ar trebui să le aibe un creștin în viață, și am rămas plăcut surprins să văd că, prin harului lui Dumnezeu, împărtășim în general aceleași valori spirituale care ne leagă împreună. Dar sunt și lucruri personale pe care fiecare și le cunoaște. Fiecare se cunoaște pe sine, își cunoaște părțile tari și cele slabe, suișuri și coborâșuri, și de aceea este nevoie și de o cercetare personală, de o stabilire a unor priorități personale în funcție de starea fiecăruia, de problemele prin care trece, de planurile fiecăruia, ș.a.m.d.  Dar  trebuie să înțelegem că există niște priorități și valori universale spirituale de care nu ne putem ascunde sau fugi pentru că ele reprezintă caracteristica vieții creștine.  Și cred că o trecere  în revistă a prioritățile și valorile pe care le avem și care ne ghidează viața ar trebui să fie un proces serios și periodoic în decursul vieții noastre. Iar acest proces, confruntat cu Biblia, ar putea să aibe cel puțin doua efecte: 1. să ne arate că valorile și prioritățile noastre sunt greșite, și 2. să ne corecteze unele dintre ele.

De aceea, ca și creștini, dacă vrem să avem o viață echilibrată spiritual trebuie să știm și să ne conștientizăm valorile și prioritățile și apoi să le comparăm cu prioritățile lui Dumnezeu, iar apoi… să trecem la treabă. Aici cred că poate fi cheia echilibrului spiritual.

Însă ca să nu lungesc textul prea mult, am făcut mai jos o listă  generală/universală de priorități biblice pe care le consider de bază în viața unui credincios. O evaluare personală nu cred că face rău nimănui.

1. Dumnezeu și relația personală cu El.

Ce loc ocupă Dumnezeu în programul nostru? Nu mă refer aici la lucrare, la studiu pentru predică, sau la discuții despre Dumnezeu. Ci mă refer la acel timp petrecut cu Dumnezeu, singur, în care cauți pur și simplu prezența lui Dumnezeu, hrana Cuvântului și acea stare de rugăciune în care comunci efectiv cu Dumnezeu, nu doar bălmăjești o rugăciune standard sau te lupți să nu adormi. Avem nevoie să ne analizăm disciplina spirituală pentru a putea să ne dăm un răspuns sincer și să putem face schimbările necesare în acest domeniu esențial.

2. Familia. Ce loc ocupă responsabilitățile noastre familiale în viața noastră.

Când mă refer la familie mă refer atât la responsabilitățile material, spirituale, cât și cele emoționale și psihologice, și asta pentru că pentru mulți familia reprezintă doar o responsabilitate materială. Să avem ce să punem pe masă, cât mai mult dacă se poate, să avem cu ce ne îmbrăca, cele necesare traiului, etc. În familiile cu copii mulți lucrurile sunt și mai complicate în acestă privință, dar familia nu înseamnă doar cele materiale. Familia este celula societății dar și a bisericii. În familie se formează deprinderile sociale și spiritual, dar și profilul moral și psihologic al viitorului adult. Familia este cheia unei societăți sănătoase dar și a unei biserici sănătoase. Așa dar, avem datoria biblică de a forma persoane care să fie de folos societății dar să fie de folos mai ales lui Dumnezeu. De aceea ne numim creștini, pentru că îl urmăm pe Cristos. Și să nu uităm cel mai important lucru – familia trebuie să fie cadrul unde copilul aude Evanghelia și pașii lui sunt îndreptați către Dumnezeu.

Știați că până prin anii 90, bisericile evanghelice din SUA erau populate în cea mai mare parte (cam 80%) cu copiii credincioșilor? Însă pe măsură ce familiile au devenit tot mai slabe d.p.d.v. moral și spiritual, copiii credincioșilor au părăsit bisericile pentru că nu exista o corelare între mesajul Bisericii și viața practică pe care o vedeau acasă. Și în mod natural au ales lumea nu biserica. Iată un exemplu despre cum  prioritățile părinților influnețează atât viața lor cât și a generațiilor următoare.

3. Părtășia creștină.

Ce loc ocupă părtășia creștină în prioritățile mele?  Cine sunt prietenii mei cei mai buni? Sunt ei creștini serioși sau sunt vecinii de bloc?  Simți libertate în a mă ruga cu alții, în a studia Cuvântul împreună? Dacă nu, ce ne ține?

4. Serviciul.

Consider că fiecare dintre noi ar trebui să ne facem o analiză a modului în care ne îndeplinim atribuțiile de serviciu. Și asta pentru că ține de mărturia și caracaterul creștin să fim buni profesioniși, serioși și oameni care își dau interesul în a face o treabă cât mai bună.  Dar desigur că trebuie să analizăm și cealaltă parte a problemei: nu cumva serviciul meu sau afacerea mea este dumnezeul meu? Nu cumva serviciul meu este mai important decât Dumnezeu sau familia?

5. Administrarea resurselor.

Cum imi administrez banii?  Sunt serios în a da Domnului procentul pe care l-am hotărât în inima mea?  Este nevoie să decid ceva în această privință la începutul acestui an?  Am datorii? De ce? Și dacă am datorii, mi le plătesc la timp? Sunt la zi cu plata facturilor?  Sunt un bun ispravnic al bogățiilor nedrepte, pe care mi le-a dat Dumnezeu?  Există și aici cealaltă parte a paharului: sunt unii care dau pe la biserici bani crezând că așa o să îi ajute  Dumnezeu să câștige mai mult sau să le meargă afacerile. Se păcălesc singuri. Cuvântul spune că prin chibzuință se zidește o casă, și prin înțelepciune i se umple cămările. Deci .. la disciplină și la făcut planuri realiste care se pot duce la îndeplinire.

Ar mai fi multe alte lucruri de scris însă fiecare dintre noi avem problemele noastre și ocupațiile noastre. Avem vârste diferite și priorități diferite, și chiar valori diferite. Fiecare trebuie să își facă propria listă și să o compare cu valorile biblice, și așa să lupte pentru creșterea lui spirituală și a celor din jurul lui.

By Emi Zarnescu on 06/01/2014 on http://emizarnescu.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/prioritati-si-valorithe-gift-of-time

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: