Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, December 1, 2023
(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

Prayer Requests:  Please continue to pray for Raymond Finney.  He’s been hospitalized for over a month and is very weak.  He got COVID in the hospital just as he was going in for surgery.  This has led to multiple complications.  He wrote the Sunday RRs for many years and only asked for retirement as he was going into the hospital.

Next, I want to ask you to lift up David Harwood.  He write for the RR on Saturdays (and has for several years).  He and his wife Elaine are scheduled to visit us at Shomair in two weeks.  He’s having a robot assisted surgical procedure today.  Please pray for his speedy recovery.

Also, please join us in prayer for Jonathan Bernis, founder of Jewish Voice ministries.  He was cleared to receive a liver transplant earlier this week and he got his new liver on Wednesday, super fast, PTL.  Please continue to lift him up in prayer, that his body will accept the new liver and it will function properly.

Lastly, there are many people in our Shomair community who are battling illness.  Rebekah sends out prayer requests regularly.  If you would like to receive them, please let her know with an email to crockettnbecky@gmail.com.

Separately, if you have a prayer request, we have a form for that on Church Center.  After you sign in to Church Center (get the app for Shomair), go to “People” (drop down in the upper left corner), then “Forms” (top line options), then “Prayer Request” where you can determine who will get it and what it will say.

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Life In The Body part 48 – Romans, part 223

Romans 14:21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything by which your brother stumbles.

We are all “Followers of ‘The Way.’”  This was the name of the earliest believers.  In Judaism, everyone adopts the ways of their rabbi.  Philippians 4:9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—put these things into practice, and the God of shalom will be with you.  To be clear, our Rabbi is not Paul, but Yeshua.  John 13:15 I have given you an example—you should do for each other what I have done for you.

We should be removing obstacles so the people of God are not tripped up.  Isaiah 57:14 Then it will be said: “Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every stumbling block out of the way of My people.”  That’s what our subject verse is saying….  Don’t let your eating or drinking habits (or any other practices) stumble others.

How could that happen?  Let me give it to you in spiritual terms.  There are two main trees in the Garden of Eden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life.  We want to correct Adam’s error and live by the tree of life.  The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is the letter of the law, while the tree of life is the spirit of the law.

2Corinthians 3:6 He also made us competent as servants of a new covenant—not of the letter, but of the Ruach. For the letter kills, but the Ruach gives life.  A few verses later, Paul makes a distinction between the ministry of condemnation and the ministry of righteousness.  Let me just say, in Messianic Judaism (as well as in the larger Christian Church) I know far too many people involved in the ministry of condemnation.  That is the devil’s work.  Those involved in the ministry of condemnation are doing the devil’s work for him.

Build up (don’t tear down) God’s people.  1Corinthians 14:26b Let all things be done for edification.  We have already studied this next verse a few days ago… Romans 14:19 So then let us pursue what makes for shalom and for the building up of one another.  Paul is being consistent here, reinforcing the message.

Let’s close today with this thought… Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any virtue and if there is anything worthy of praise—dwell on these things.  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Fri 1-Dec-2023 18th of Kislev, 5784
Ge 35:12-36:19 1 Sa 9 Ps 49 Mk 6:30-56 (1 Co 8)