Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, October 23, 2020

(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

First Announcement:  We will not be streaming our worship services on Friday or Saturday.  They will be recorded and available at a later date upon request.  Just “reply” to this email (or directly email rabbi@syknox.org) to receive a link to watch the recorded services.  We apologize for any inconvenience.  

Second Announcement:  There will be a Discipleship Training through Song of Songs (class 8) from 4-6 on Sunday.  We are about half way through the series of classes which is scheduled to conclude before the new year begins.  Last week was a week off, but this week we are back.

Third Announcement:  Justin Rizzo  (http://justinrizzo.com/) will be ministering at Shomair beginning at 6pm on Monday.  Justin has made himself available to us for a special service of impartation.  This is a high priority for many of us.  All are invited.

That’s the end of the announcements for today.


The reading plan by Lars Enarson is called “Daily Bread.”  It will soon be available for purchase as a journal.  When it is, I will let you know.  Until then, here is a link to other resources including last year’s journal which is now deeply discounted. https://arielmedia.shop/collections/books 

Don’t you love the name “Daily Bread?”  Connect the thinking brought forth by making a chain out of these Scriptures. 

John 1:14a The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. 

John 6:55 “For My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink.

Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.

Deuteronomy 8:3b …man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of Adonai.

Acts 17:28a for ‘In Him we live and move and have our being.’

That’s right!  The word of God sustains us (gives us power to live and move).  It is our nourishment every day, all day.   The message is clear… (and this might surprise you) the Word of God is important, but it is not enough.  Even Satan knows the WORD of God, but he is not submitted to it.  The WORD must be mixed with FAITH to produce the fruit of righteousness in our lives.  Only then do we have the power of the Spirit at work in us.  

Barry Culberson is the founding pastor of the Knoxville Christian Center, who graciously opened his church to our fledgeling Messianic congregation in 1997.  We met there, rent free, on Cedar Bluff Road for 13 years.  I like what I’ve heard him preach many times.  We must have an answer to the question, “What do I believe?”  His answer…”I believe the promises of God.”  How shall we know God’s promises unless we read them daily and make them part of our lives?

The Word of God is often called the “Law.”  Two days ago, we read how the letter kills but the spirit gives life.  There is a growing error in the body of Messiah to want to REPLACE the Law with Grace.  That’s the other “Replacement Theology” which is just as harmful as the original one.  

Jonathan Settel, the Messianic Jewish recording artist, gets it right when he says, “Instead of thinking of the Bible as the “Law,” we should think of it as “God’s righteous principles.”  1 Samuel 15:22b Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.  This is validated by Romans 8:4, which tells us the Law is not our problem, it’s our approach to the Law that is in error.  The flesh cannot relate, please or satisfy the Spirit.  Romans 8:4 so that the requirement of the Torah might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Ruach.  Read this in context to get the full effect of what I’m trying to communicate here.

Rabbi Trail:  Every time I go down a road (like what I’m writing today) the Spirit always leads me back to my life verse.  Romans 8:4. End RT.

Now, my friends, enjoy the Daily Bread while it is today.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)

Ge 9:18-10:32 Jos 16-17 Ps 17 Mt 12 (2 Pet 2)

I want to write briefly on a small phrase in Psalm 17:3b I resolved that my mouth will not sin.  Every child is raised with a mantra which usually comes from parents, and they are not all complimentary.  Mine was, “Your mouth will get you in trouble.”  And so it is that the worst moments of my life have had the same element, what I said got me into my worst moments.  

Let’s do what King David did.  He is consistent when he wrote in Psalm 34:13 Who is the one who delights in life, and loves to see good days? 14 Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking treachery.  Peter liked this verse so much, that he put it in his book of the New Testament, 1 Peter 3:10 and the rabbis liked it so much they put it into the concluding prayer of the Amidah.  (The standing devotional that is the central prayer of every liturgical service.)

The tongue is a creative force (God spoke the world into existence).  Let’s use it for blessing and not cursing.  Yes, you can curse yourself with your own words.  That one was for me.  In fact, you may recall every RR is for me, you just get to read what God is saying to me; in case you’re ever tempted to think I’m preaching at you.  Blessings, my friends.  R. Michael.  

Week 43
Memory Verse: Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the Good News, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who trusts—to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 In it the righteousness of God is revealed, from trust to trust. As it is written, “But the righteous shall live by emunah.”

211   10/22     Monday:        1 Corinthians 15-16

212   10/23    Tuesday:        2 Corinthians 1-2

213   10/24    Wednesday:   2 Corinthians 3-4     

214   10/25    Thursday:       2 Corinthians 5-6

* 215 10/26     Friday:         2 Corinthians 7-8

Question of the day: Can we unpack this very significant verse found in the reading for today?  2 Corinthians 8:12 For if the eagerness is present, the gift is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he doesn’t have.

Answer:  Here goes my effort to do so.  The Lord spoke this to me many years ago.  “Do what you can with what you’ve got.”  We should never be afraid of putting God’s resources to work.  This is the message of 2 Corinthians 8 and the parable of the talents in (Matthew 25:14-30).  

It is only as we empty ourselves that God can fill us up again.  He wants to show Himself strong.  He is watching the earth to see who is ready to be refilled, refreshed, restored and renewed.  We must make ourselves available to God by pouring ourselves out for His sake.    

Go ahead, ask God how you can be emptied for His sake.  Galatians 5 is all about walking in the Spirit and bearing the fruit of the Spirit.  Right in the middle of that chapter is a phrase by which I will now close.  Galatians 5:13b but through love serve one another.  

What ever problem life is throwing your way, turn it into an opportunity to serve others and see the salvation of our God.  Try it, you’ll like it.