Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, February 6, 2020
Pillar Five: The Kingdom is Expressed in a Life of Character – part 2
I’m actually glad Dan Juster put pillar 5 in his 12 pillars at all. Many believe that character is a part of the soul of man that cannot be a part of the kingdom of God. After all, (they would say) aren’t we evil? Ask such a person, “How are you doing?” and they are likely to respond, “I’m just a sinner saved by grace.”
My answer to that is, “Maybe you were just a sinner, but now in Messiah Yeshua you are made new. Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood—the removal of trespasses—in keeping with the richness of His grace. And once we are washed clean, we dare not return to the pigsty. Ephesians 1:13 After you heard the message of truth—the Good News of your salvation—and when you put your trust in Him, you were sealed with the promised Ruach ha-Kodesh.
Then there is this verse… 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. “All things” would include our character, right?
Let me “turn the corner” slightly. We read at the end of Matthew, Yeshua’s words to the 11 disciples after His resurrection. Matthew 28:18 And Yeshua came up to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.” Let me ask you, if all authority is given to Yeshua, how much is left for you and me? That’s right, none! It means we are to be completely submitted to Him in everything, including our character.
To say, “That’s just how I am” is no longer acceptable. The kingdom of God is about change. How do we change? Most people change over time. I admire those people who have sudden transformations, I’ve just never been one of them.
As members of His body (in our connection to His kingdom), what part of “discipleship” is optional, for any of us? Discipleship involves change, and it’s not optional. Every disciple must be coachable. He is the potter and we are the clay. A coachable disciple is like soft clay on the potter’s wheel. If we become uncoachable, we are like clay that has become rigid. The potter can no longer shape it. Stay moist my friends.
Memory Verse: Genesis 50:20 Yes, you yourselves planned evil against me. God planned it for good, in order to bring about what it is this day—to preserve the lives of many people.
26 2/03 Monday: Genesis 48-49
27 2/04 Tuesday: Genesis 50, Exodus 1
28 2/05 Wednesday: Exodus 2-3
* 29 2/06 Thursday: Exodus 4-5
30 2/07 Friday: Exodus 6-7
Question of the day: There is so much content in these two chapters. It’s hard to choose just one question. Okay, here’s a question. “What do you mean no straw?”
Answer: Moses arrives in Egypt and speaks with Pharaoh. The children of Israel are immediately set free and everyone lived happily ever after. NOT! That’s how it would be written if the Bible were a fairy tale. But God knew that the people were not ready for a season of freedom. Also, He knew that He wanted to get glory.
What does this mean to us today? Many times God wants to take us places we are not ready to go. So God has to bring circumstances to bear in our lives that will prepare us. He also wants to receive glory for the wonderful things He does in our lives. So He makes us overcomers.
The people want to blame someone, so they blame Moses. Moses then turns to blame God. Exodus 5:22 So Moses returned to Adonai and said, “Adonai, why have You brought evil on these people? Is this why You sent me? 23 Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your Name, he has brought evil on these people. You have not delivered Your people at all.”
The story picks up in chapter 6 with tomorrow’s reading. However; let’s don’t miss the lesson here. Following God is not a ticket to paradise (as some would have you believe). It is a life of relying on God NO MATTER WHAT.
The Word of the Lord comes near the end of the Torah as Moses speaks to all Israel.… Deuteronomy 31:6 Chazak! Be courageous! Do not be afraid or tremble before them. For Adonai your God—He is the One who goes with you. He will not fail you or abandon you.” Then in verse 8 Adonai—He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you. Do not fear or be discouraged.” This word is then confirmed to Joshua in Joshua chapter 1.