Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, April 14, 2023
(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

Day 6 of counting the Omer

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּֽנוּ עַל סְפִירַת הָעֹֽמֶר

Baruch Atah Adonai Elohenu Melech Ha-Olam, Asher Kid’shanu B’mitzvotav, Vitzivanu Al Sefirat Ha-Omer.

Blessed are You O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us by his commandments and commanded us about the counting of the Omer.  Today is no weeks and six days of the counting of the Omer.

Follow up that prayer by remembering a blessing from the Lord and give Him thanks.

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Victory Over Sin 5 – Romans, part 66

Romans 6:7 For he who has died is set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Messiah, we believe that we shall also live with Him.

So, let me get this straight… we have to die with Messiah before we can live with Him?  Sounds counterintuitive, but then again, so do most of the principles of life in the kingdom of God.

Rabbi Trail:  Let’s review a few of those counterintuitive principles of the kingdom of God.  Yeshua covers a great many of them in His Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 5).  Here are a few… “do not resist an evildoer” (from verse 39)… Matthew 5:41 Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two…. Matthew 5:44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.  End RT.

Therefore; Paul is teaching us, if we want to live (with Yeshua), we must first die with Him.  That phrase, “to die with Him” means to deeply identify with His sacrificial death.  Sometimes that is called death to self.

John 12:24 Amen, amen I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it produces much fruit.

This verse is in the middle of a sandwich.  In the previous verse, Yeshua is speaking about His own death…. John 12:23 Yeshua answers them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified!  But in the following verse, He is speaking about us…. John 12:25 He who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it forever.

This is another great example of the counterintuitive ways of the kingdom of God.  “Love your life and lose it… hate your life and keep it.”  Don’t misunderstand Yeshua’s meaning of love and hate.  To “love” something in Yeshua’s terms means to put it first.  Likewise, to “hate” something in Yeshua’s terms means to put it any place other than first.  The point He is making is that we must all put Him first in our lives.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

What does it mean, “all these things?”  Search out the context.  Yeshua is speaking about what we will eat or drink and what we will wear.  Psychology calls it the hierarchy of needs.  God is turning this upside down too.  Put Him first.  Value His kingdom and the ways of His kingdom (righteousness) and watch Him provide in every way for all your needs.

Philippians 4:19 My God will fulfill every need of yours according to the riches of His glory in Messiah Yeshua.

May I offer one more thought today?  (Of course!)  One reason we hurt so much (especially through offense) is that we haven’t died with Messiah Yeshua.  The born again experience is great, but it must be preceded by our death with Him.  Once we do, we are ready to live with Him, free from pain, guilt, shame, and offense.  Paul put it this way, and we’ll give him the last word today….

Galatians 2:20 and it is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me. And the life I now live in the body, I live by trusting in Ben-Elohim—who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Thank You, Lord.  In Yeshua’s name.  Amen.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Day 6 of the Omer
Fri 14 April-2023 23rd of Nisan, 5783
Le 9:17-23 Isa 43 Job 1 Jas 3 (Mt 3)