Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, April 21, 2023
(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

Announcement: Congratulations to Keith and Kami Henschen on the birth of their baby girl last night at 9:50.  She is 7lbs 13 oz and 20” and not named yet.  Both mother and child are doing well.

Day 13 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 one week 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 10 – Romans, part 71

Romans 6:17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching under which you were placed; 18 and after you were set free from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness.

Paul is making a strong case here, that flies in the face of much modern “theology.”

Rabbi Trail: I have to put “theology” in quotes because it is a word made of two Greek words.  “Theos” means God, and “Ology” as a suffix means branch of knowledge, so “theology” means knowledge of God.  What we know about God must be consistent with His Testament.  However; sadly, what many believe simply isn’t, hence the quotes.  End RT.

At the end of yesterday’s subject verses, Paul left us with a choice between death and righteousness, saying, “…you are slaves to what you obey—whether to sin resulting in death, or to obedience resulting in righteousness.”  Wait, did we read that right?  The choice is between “sin” (breaking God’s law) and obedience (keeping God’s law) leading to righteousness?

Paul, I thought my choice was between works and grace.  Did you leave that out?  (I’ll have to answer for Paul.  He’s otherwise occupied in another realm.)  Obedience to God’s righteous standard is always our goal.  It’s our approach to that goal which has changed in Messiah Yeshua.  Is it by works (striving in the flesh) or by grace (God-given desire and ability to obey God’s loving command)?

Clearly, we are saved by grace unto righteousness.  Ephesians 2:8a For by grace you have been saved through faith…. 10 For we are His workmanship—created in Messiah Yeshua for good deeds, which God prepared beforehand so we might walk in them.

Yes, we are no longer slaves to sin, but now, by grace, we ARE slaves to righteousness.  His loving commands are the “good deeds, which God prepared beforehand so we might walk in them.”

Deuteronomy 4:40 “You must keep His statutes and His mitzvot, which I am commanding you today, so that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and so that you may prolong your days in the land that Adonai your God is giving you for all time.”

Yippee!  Who doesn’t want that blessing?  And on that happy note, Shabbat Shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Day 13 of the Omer
Fri 21 Apr-2023 30th of Nisan, 5783
Rosh Chodesh Iyar Day 1
Le 14:33-15:15, Nu 28:11-15  Isa 49 Job 6 1 Pet 4 (Mt 9)