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Life’s Reflection

Is my life reflecting God’s Word?

“This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.” ~Titus 3:8 KJV

Father, please forgive me for my thoughts, words, and actions which are unprofitable, vain, or an obstruction to the reading, understanding, and acceptance of Your Word.  In the Name of Jesus, our blessed Yeshua Messiah, amen.

 

Beyond 2016

This month there will no doubt be hundreds if not thousands of reviews written about 2016.  I am not about to throw my hat into that ring, but wish to show support for the brethren who have already summarized the year’s events from a Christian perspective.

2016 was full of end time prophetic markers with Israel occupying the center of world attention once again.  While thousands of Christians suffered horrific persecution at the hands of radical Isis and other terrorists, many western evangelicals focused their attention primarily on the U.S. Presidential election.  Muslims are increasingly convinced that their long-awaited Imam will appear on the world stage soon.  Some fear that we are on the verge of the Gog-Magog War, or WWIII.  Evidence shows that more Jews are accepting Jesus as their promised Messiah, while other Jews are becoming more excited that their long-awaited non-Jesus messiah is coming soon.   Intricate preparations are being made as even the Israeli police seem to believe the Messiah is coming soon.

Another article by Jan Markell, Top Bible Prophesy Stories of 2016, sums up the year 2016 pretty well with eighteen Biblical end time prophetic events.

But why do so many people of diverse faith believe that we are on the verge of a world-changing event?  And if so, “Why is any of this relevant to me?” you may ask.

I just felt like pointing out that while many Christians may be focused on New Year’s Resolutions, politics, or faith seminars, some Christian leaders remark that the church is lukewarm and not actively supporting Israel; nor is it overly concerned with preparations for the imminent return of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

What do you think?  What is beyond 2016?

Silver – Not Gold

“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” ~ Psalm 12:6 KJV

Purity is absolute:  Pureness means flawless and undefiled.  God’s words are Truth.  They can be tested for eternity and never change.  God wants us to know that we can rely on His words.  God’s words stand up to any test.  God’s words are a testament to who He is.  That is clearly understood by man, as throughout history, even an imperfect man is known by whether or not he keeps his word:

“For I am the LORD, I change not: ….” ~ Malachi 3:6 KJV

Properties of silver:  The more times heat is applied to silver, the more pure it becomes.  This is true of any metal such as gold. Why does King David describe the words of God as being pure “as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” instead of gold?  Well, not all silver is pure silver unless the impurities are removed by the process of smelting.  The heat of a furnace (or crucible) extracts silver or gold from the slag (bronze, iron, lead, or tin), leaving the desired metal in its pure state – undefiled.  Only silver that is refined in a furnace of earth (in those days) seven times is pure enough to describe God’s words.

The number seven: In God’s Word the number seven is known to be symbolic of completion; i.e. the priest sprinkled the blood of a bull before the Lord seven times at the veil of the sanctuary in the tabernacle (Leviticus 4:6); the leper was to be sprinkled seven times for cleansing from leprosy (Leviticus 14:7); the Israelites marched around the city walls of Jericho seven times before the Lord caused the walls to fall, giving His people a complete victory over the Canaanite city (Joshua 6:4) – it was the first battle victory of many  to follow that enabled God’s chosen people to inhabit the land that God had promised to them.  God’s words are complete.  They are final and unchangeable.

Value of silver:  We understand that gold is more valuable than silver even today – just as it was in the ancient world.  So why not describe God’s words as being pure as gold instead of pure as silver?

Durability:  Who was David’s audience?  A people whose economy was based upon silver currency would understand the high value placed upon silver as a traded commodity and also its availability to the common people in everyday life.  God inspired David around 800 B.C.E to describe His messages to man in common terms that man could understand across the millennia of time.  Even today silver is more commonly minted as coinage than is gold, so the average person is more familiar with its monetary value than gold.

Most coinage is silver, since gold is softer than silver.  Gold is good for beating into stunning and valuable temple ornamentation or jewelry, but its soft properties do not meet the standards of coinage. It is so awesome that God’s Word never fails to explain His messages to man in terms that man can best understand.  God’s message here is to the ancient generations of Hebrews living during King David’s rule of Israel.  Yet it is also easily understood in modern times.

Silver as a symbol: Silver symbolizes wealth and position.  Palaces, temples, kingly furnishings and other royal objects of wealth have been adorned or traded in silver.  One example given at the link below of traded silver is that of Solomon’s Egyptian chariot bought with 600 shekels of silver (I Kings 10:29).

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Old Israeli Agora Shekel Coin

The smelting or refining of silver as well as the trading of silver assigned a symbolic value to the virtue of wisdom for the Israelites:

“For You, God, tested us; You refined us like silver.” ~ Psalm 66:10 NIV

“Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.” ~ Proverbs 3:13-14 NIV

God’s Promise and our hope:
“So that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” ~ Hebrews 6:18-20 NASB

Prayer:  Abba, Father, thanking You today for drawing us a picture using silver to explain how Your words are pure, absolute, complete, lasting, valuable, and worthy of our attention.  We accept Your words as holy and full of wisdom.  Help us to remain faithful to read Your Word, the Holy Bible, daily; and keep Your words in our hearts.  Give us opportunities to share them with others, and to apply Your words to our lives.  In the Name of our our Redeemer Jesus, King of Kings and LORD of Lords, Yeshua Messiah. Amen.

Further information on the values of gold and silver to the ancient Jewish people can be found at The Library, Encyclopedia Judaica: Metals & Mining.
Feature Photo courtesy ©Can Stock Photo Inc/HOMONSTOCK
Old Israeli Agora Coin photo courtesy ©Can Stock Photo Inc/asafeliason

When Nothing Makes Sense

When nothing makes sense, we can completely trust that God is in control of all that matters.

Reading scriptures Habakkuk 1-3:

The prophet Habakkuk lives in a time around 600 B.C., when Babylon is about to invade Judah.  He is extremely troubled about the time in which he lives.  For him, it is the end times.  Christ followers believe that we also live in the end times.  Habakkuk questions the Lord in chapter one about world evil much the same as believers do today:

How long, Lord, must I call for help, but You do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but You do not save? ~Habakkuk 1:2 NIV

God gives Habakkuk a revelation in chapter two – just as the Apostle John was given The Book of Revelation in the New Testament by Jesus Christ – the last book of God’s Word, our Bible:

Then the Lord replied, “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay… Look at the nations and watch – and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” ~ Habakkuk 1:2,3,5 NIV

As I watch what is going on in our world today, and the perplexing changes taking place in the nations, I am utterly amazed, just as the Lord predicted.  Nothing makes sense anymore, except God’s Word.  We must continue to watch, wait, and pray for strength like Habakkuk.

Easier said than done.  Watching the world crumble is heartbreaking.  Waiting does not mean we should complain as we wait.

Prayer: Forgive my impatience, Father, and replace my complaints with faithful expectations from Your Word. Nothing makes sense anymore but I will rejoice and trust in You. Help me to glorify You with a willing and cheerful heart for your service as I stand watch. Prepare me in Your strength with courage to face battles yet won. May I run with the fleetness of the deer as a herald with Your revelation given to a lost world and seek Your Presence at all times.  In Your Son Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.

The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him. ~ Habakkuk 2:20 NIV

If you are seeking God’s Truth, His Word has the answers.  If you have never trusted in Him, click this link.

Leading Quiet Lives

Keeping our focus on living the way Jesus lived; humbly and with solid purpose for doing the will of our Father in heaven.

Life Project Blog

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

1Thessalonians 4:11-12

What great advice! Paul’s instructions here need little amplification from me or anyone else, but I might just add this…

Leading quiet lives is out of fashion these days with tweets, texts and people sounding off all the time.  I used to tell my kids that their friends don’t need to know about every little thought that passes their consciousness.  Of course teenagers tend to think their parents don’t know anything and they texted or posted or spoke frequently, and frequently got a face full in return… Hardly an example of leading a quiet life.

Back in Paul’s time, working with your hands would…

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Encouragement – “see pg 381”

The Word of God is living and active.  It pries, prods, kicks and squirms;twists, shoves, rips and tears its way into every crook and cranny of the minds and hearts of men until all is “open and laid bare”.  Then – redemption.

The Apostle Paul sums up Dad’s message in the most compelling statement:

12″For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13And before Him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” ~ Hebrews 4:12-13 (Dad’s NT Bible)

 

Paul points out that God’s works were finished from the foundation of the world.  Then He rested on the seventh day (Sabbath).  God intended for man to enter into that rest with Him, but man rebelled (Heb. 4:1-5).  Without accepting God’s plan of redemption through faith in Jesus , man may never enter God’s rest.  Without acknowledging his sin, and accepting Jesus as Messiah, man is eternally barred from entering into an everlasting relationship with his Creator.

BUT GOD!  In His infinite mercy and grace, God provided His living Word as a testament to His abiding love for all men.  He made a plan for redemption. His Son fulfilled the Father’s plan on the cross. Christ defeated death, and God gave His Living Word to proclaim the Good News to let men know about it.

again He sets a certain day, “Today”, saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, when you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” ~ Hebrews 4:7 (Dad’s NT Bible)

I thank and praise God for laying my sins bare.  His living Word pursued me like a Lion. It found my hidden parts; then pierced my mind and heart, dividing me asunder. I give Him glory everlasting and thank Him for allowing me to strive for rest in Him.  When I get discouraged it’s usually because I have spent too much time caught up in the “cares of this world” with less time in God’s Word.  Those distractions cause me to be fruitless, while choking God’s Word (Mark 4:18-19).

So here is the last part of the message of encouragement that Dad marked at the bottom of page 381:

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I think it means perseverance.  What do you think?

 

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Encouragement – “see pg 397”

“22But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who observes his natural face in a mirror: 24for he observes himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer that forgets but a doer that acts, he shall be blessed in his doing.” ~ James 1:22-25 (Dad’s NT Bible)

What does a “doer of the Word” look like?  A good picture could be found in Matthew chapter 11.  John the Baptist was imprisoned by King Herod and sent two of his disciples to Jesus:

3to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” ~ Matthew 11:3-6 (NIV)

So, do what Jesus did.  He lived the Father’s plan for His life on earth.  He didn’t just read the redemption plan up in heaven and never came to earth to fulfill it.  Believers are to live out God’s plan for them in the same way; not just read about it in His Word.

A hearer of the Word remembers to look at himself in the mirror every morning but forgets the Word as soon as he leaves the house.  A “doer of the Word” forgets to look in the mirror in the morning but remembers the Word as soon as he leaves the house – and does it.

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What does it take to be a “doer that acts”?  Faith that is genuine.  Even though Dad may have become discouraged in his walk with Christ, his faith was genuine.  He has been gone for almost 40 years but neighbors still mention him not as just a “good guy”, but as a man who lived for God.  Some still don’t believe in Jesus, but they respect Dad for showing that he did.

The great news is that a doer of the Word shall be blessed in his doing!

6 “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy ,for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” ~ 1 Peter 1:6-10 (NIV)

Encouragement – “see pg 381” is the last notations from Dad in his NT Bible and contains the most important message that he personally left in my keepsake from him on encouragement.

God bless.

 

Photo credit: ©Can Stock Photo Inc/Ha4ipuri
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Indecision – The Spirit of Fear

Remaining in a state of indecision is like casting one’s mind into the midst of a tornado. Thoughts like a whirlwind can churn so chaotically that a person’s moods and behaviors may be adversely effected.  Indecision is not fear that you will be late for an appointment, but is more encompassing.  Indecision is the spirit of fear.  It can affect individuals and even nations:

“A double minded man is unstable in all of his ways.” ~ James 1:8 (KJV)

Indecision is one symptom of chronic stress that is brought about by fear and may manifest as panic; not knowing which way to turn.  One may become stuck; virtually paralyzed by fear; thinking that no course of direction seems safe; or conversely, may charge off in random directions without purpose.  Fear, if unchecked, can destabilize anyone.  Indecisiveness, in all of its debilitating forms, is clearly shown in God’s Word as being ruled by the overshadowing spirit of fear, which can lead to broken relationships, loss of employment, depression, poor physical health; and ultimately, self destruction.  If you have been struggling with fear or indecision,

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You may be on shaky ground emotionally, but you are certainly not the Lone Ranger.  It can happen to anyone – believers or unbelievers alike.  If you can’t seem to make up your mind in today’s complicated world, take heart!  God understands:

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” ~ I Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

So God didn’t create our spirit of fear, but He HAS given us the power to overcome it and to restore us with a sound mind through faith and the study of His Word.  Our magnificent Father is mighty to save and powerful to heal.

But wait!  There may be another contributing factor in the valley of decision ruled by the spirit of fear.  Have you ever felt like screaming, “I am at a loss!”?  Sometimes indecision can be caused by information overload:

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“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” ~ Daniel 12:4 (KJV)

 

Most people in the world are immersed in data; to the point of many being in a constant state of information overload via computers, the internet, television, media, and access to mega data storage/retrieval systems. Is there a connection between time of the endrunning to and fro, increased knowledge and the problem of both individual and national indecision?  Increased knowledge, or data, may be adequately managed by computer systems, governing systems, or economic systems, but what effect, if any, does it have on human mental health?

There are many Bible scholars, ministers, and believers who are convinced that we are living at the time of the end; or in the end times; just prior to the time when Jesus will return to this earth, destroy man’s failed governments, then set up and rule His own perfect kingdom of 1,000 years, otherwise known as The Millennium, or Millennial Age (Revelation, chapter 20).

The end times is not defined as a specific number of years in the Bible, but only a time period that is near the end of this world as we know it.  During the end times, as told in the Old Testament to the Prophet Daniel by an angelic messenger from God, many humans will be running to and fro.  Some believe this scripture in the Book of Daniel refers simply to a time when world-wide travel is very advanced compared to ancient times of this prophecy.  It could also mean an age of distress; when people are in a condition of panic mode; wildly running scared from some terror (or terrorism); or frenzied racing around without direction (spirit of fear).  Today even the movie industry has capitalized upon end times prophesy by promoting an apocalyptic view of disaster and foreboding – possibly contributing to further infection of audiences with a dreadful spirit of fear.

The end times is also described as a period of time when knowledge is increased.  Increased knowledge has ushered in an age of space exploration, scientific and medical advancements;  but no peace.  In our present technologically advanced age, most people would agree that knowledge has increased rapidly since World War I (WWI), but no community on the planet is out of reach from the threat of total annihilation from weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

 

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Since WWII there have been wars fought in the name of WMDs prevention; and treaties made between nations regulating WMDs.   Yet this global effort has not brought peace or stability to the earth so far.  This is evidence to many that we already live in the perilous times of the last days.  Generations of populations living under this evil threat could be so fearful of impending doom that it is a pervading underlying cause of national fear – which sparks nations to produce more such weaponry in the name of defense, and the cycle continues.  Because of a spirit of fear of global annihilation, entire doomsday-thinking populations may be easily manipulated and controlled by power-seeking or terrorist governments.  Yes, as if WMDs are not scary enough, earth’s global community is now operating under a spirit of fear due to terrorist attacks.

By understanding there is a connection between time of the endrunning to and fro and increased knowledge in God’s Word, we may go deeper and offer that the angelic messenger who visited the prophet, Daniel, described an age identical to our century.  Increased knowledge and data overload or the activity of manipulating data (think of cell phone texting alone) may also be linked to the problem of both individual and national indecision.  There is no question that knowledge has increased (past tense).  People already do run to and fro (again, past tense).  There also seems to be an epidemic of double mindedness world wide, as evidenced by reports of political and social upheaval in the news daily.  Whether or not we are living in the time of the end, scripture seems to support in favor.

If you are gripped by a spirit of fear for whatever reason and still don’t understand why, just take a deep breath.  Turn off the news, and spend time with YHVH, our Elohim.  Ask God to clear your head, bring peace into your heart, and settle your spirit.  Ask Him for guidance over your life and wisdom in decision making.

The Apostle Paul had this to say about the end times in his second letter to Timothy:

“But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” ~ II Timothy 2:16 (KJV)

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves …” ~ II Timothy 3:1-2a (KJV)

“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. ~ II Timothy 3:5 (KJV)

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” ~ II Timothy 3:7 (KJV)

Tips to consider (in laymen’s terms):

  • Avoid egotistical, profane blabbermouths (II Timothy 2:16), for associating with them will only escalate into more ungodliness.  Foul speech is indecent; it is a slippery slope that spirals ever downward into hopelessly confusing indecisiveness.

“But I did find this: God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:29 (NLT)

  • Study God’s Word:

For God is not the author of confusion.” ~ (I Cor. 14:33).

  • In the end days, self centeredness will abound.  People will appear to be saintly or Godly, but their associations prove their hypocracy.  Consider how that may be playing out in our modern age today.  God’s Word says not to hang with them and if we are in doubt about who these people are, the Apostle Paul identifies them in a list of the ungodly: lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God (II Timothy 3:2-5).  It reads exactly like the attributes of the Antichrist!  So then, is ungodliness similar to indecisiveness?  This is where we started – at the crossroads of decision.  Time to choose the path that is straight, not crooked; the path of wisdom.  Don’t walk – RUN from them!
  • In the end days, there may be an increase in knowledge along with an increase in education but neither advancement appears to lead people to Truth (II Timothy 3:7).  God’s Word is saying that He understands what leads to indecision, that these are scary, perilous times, but there is only one Hope; only one Truth.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” ~ John 14:6 (KJV)

Pray for deliverance from a spirit of fear.  God is faithful, and will set you on the path of assertiveness and stability, which means peace of mind.  There is nothing like it. Promise.

“The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him.” ~ Lamentations 3:24 (KJV)

“And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” ~II Timothy 4:18 (KJV)

Peace to you, and God bless.

For anyone who is interested, there is a list of end time prophetic signs at this link 26 End Time Signs.

 

 

 

Encouragement – “see pg 49”

Page 49 of Dad’s New Testament Bible has a faint penciled box around verses 37-40 of Matthew 25.  It is as if Dad could not boldly circle these verses in ink; just humbly and gently scribe the page with a blunt pencil; as a servant awed by the sheer power and majesty of his Almighty King.  When I first read the noted verses 37-40, I was not seeing a message of encouragement.  In the words of Jesus Himself:

37Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? 39And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ 40And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’“ ~ Matthew 25:37-40

Matthew scripture chapter 25, verses 31-46 is known in modern times as “The Parable of the Sheep and Goats”.  It is the last parable that Jesus spoke to His disciples privately at the location of the Mount of Olives just two days before his betrayal and arrest during Passover in Jerusalem.  Jesus is speaking of the judgment of the nations in this passage which will take place at His Second Coming.  I encourage you to read the entire passage if you have not already.  A link is provided at the end of this post.  The parable’s meaning is very controversial; even to the point that there is no agreement as to whether it is a parable or not!  I have avoided links to opposing views on this parable, but feel that we can surely ascertain that the verses speak of King Jesus separating the goat nations to His left for everlasting punishment, and the righteous sheep nations to His right hand for eternal life, based upon their treatment of “the least of these My brethren”.

But what does this mean?  Who are the least? Scripture supports, explains, or backs up scripture, so let’s look at a passage in Exodus:

21Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. 22Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. 23If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry, 24And My wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless. 25If thou lend money to any of My people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury. 26If thou at all take thy neighbour’s raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down: 27For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? And it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto Me, that I will hear, for I am gracious.” ~ Exodus 22:21-27 (KJV)

Consider: Here in Alaska it would be thought inhumane in extremely cold weather to accept the coat of another unless the circumstances were dire (survival related) or the recipient of the coat knew it was a spare coat of the giver.  Yes, and return it by nightfall!  But I can also witness that some Alaskans will go out of their way to cover a freezing homeless person with their own coats in sub-zero weather.  Whether believers or not, I cannot say, but the gesture of mercy for the poor and naked is not lost on this writer, nor with Jesus, I am confident.

Don’t forget “My brethren” are fellow believers, the Jews (Yeshua was definitely a Jew).  Show kindness to one another.  Help one another.  Pray for and lift up all men, as only God knows who is of the sheep nations or who is of the goat nations.  We are not to discriminate or judge anyone.

I hear all the time that there is no salvation in good works.  Baloney!  True, Jesus is our Messiah, and He is our Redeemer.  There is no other way to salvation but through belief in Him.  Yet His ministry on earth was a life of good works.  He fed the hungry.  He healed the sick.  Let His example be our guide, in order to be more like Him.

I think James, the Lord’s brother, clarifies the question of good works :

14What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? 15If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” ~ James 2:14-18 (KJV)

So where is the message of encouragement on page 49 of Dad’s Bible?  For me, it is “THE PROMISE” of great reward that Jesus taught us: He knows His sheep, and is known by them. King Jesus is The Great Shepherd who carefully tends His flock (sheep nations) and keeps it safe from God’s wrath.  He refers to His sheep as being “righteous”.   But Jesus warned, in His own words, that there is a terrible and final consequence for the goat nations who are not charitable; who do not feed the poor, but rob the poor; who do not help orphans or widows, but abuse and sell them into slavery; who love themselves more than their neighbors; who judge the sins of others as being worse than their own.

The Gospel of the Kingdom of Christ is to love one another, as the King loved us.  As we walk that out, take encouragement from pg. 49 of Dad’s Bible.  Jesus rewards the faithful and obedient servants of His Word with everlasting life.  How much more encouragement do we need?

The cost:

There is nothing on pg. 49 of Dad’s Bible that will make us prosperous by the world’s standards.  The Gospel is totally free as our gift from our Father in heaven.  He sacrificed His Son for us.  There is no way to take up our cross and follow Him except to humbly serve others less fortunate and without expecting personal gain or earthly honor.  Our true reward is His spiritual blessing of life everlasting with Him; which is treasure immeasurable.

20Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the Sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. ~ Hebrews 13:20-21 (KJV)

God bless!

Note:  I apologize to the readers of these “encouragement posts” for lack of citing Bible translation versions of the scriptures that Dad circled or otherwise referenced in his New Testament.  The reason I cannot cite is because I am transcribing the featured scripture text verbatim from his Bible (other than taking liberty to capitalize His Holy Name out of reverence).  The first 12 numbered pages of his Bible, which would have included Matthew chapter 1-7 are entirely gone; including the title, publishing and copyright pages.  The Bible text begins simply on page 13 with verse 12b of Matthew chapter 8.  I could guess at the version, but will forbear.  Fortunately, there is nothing noted at the bottom of each page by Dad which references those missing pages, so we at least have Dad’s complete message.  Thank you for following the “encouragement posts” in spite of this issue.  YOU are giving ME great encouragement!

Thanks also, to those following importantstuff.live.  The next post Encouragement – “see pg 130” will be posted soon, Lord willing.

Here is a link to the entire scriptural passage on the Parable of the Sheep and Goats for those interested at biblegateway.com.