Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, November 24, 2020


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

Tue 24-Nov-2020 8th of Kislev, 5781 

Ge 29:18-30:13 1 Sa 4-5 Ps 49 Mk 6:30-56 (1 Co 2)

This has been one tough day in my battle against COVID.  I would have written more, but I was feeling too bad.  What follows is a reprint of my RR from two years ago.

Week 48
Memory Verse: Philippians 3: 7 But whatever things were gain to me, these I have considered as loss for the sake of the Messiah. 8 More than that, I consider all things to be loss in comparison to the surpassing value of the knowledge of Messiah Yeshua my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things; and I consider them garbage in order that I might gain Messiah

236   11/19    Monday:         Philippians 1-2

* 237 11/20    Tuesday:        Philippians 3-4

238   11/21    Wednesday:   Hebrews 1-2    

239   11/22    Thursday:       Hebrews 3-4

240   11/23    Friday:         Hebrews 5-6

Question of the day: Dear Rabbi Michael, which 4 verses (2 from each chapter) speak to you the most and why?

Answer:  See the verses and my comments below…

Philippians 3:9 and be found in Him not having my righteousness derived from Torah, but one that is through trusting in Messiah—the righteousness from God based on trust.

Comment:  When we have our own righteousness, we have what is unacceptable to God.  Our performance does not impress God.  God wants us to trust Him.  Out of that relationship of trust, God enables us to please Him.  Faith and trust are used interchangeably here.  Hebrews 11:6 Now without faith it is impossible to please God. For the one who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Philippians 3:13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself as having taken hold of this. But this one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,

Comment:  In many places, Paul invites us to follow his example.  Here he says “forgetting what is behind.”  This is an important instruction we tend to forget.  (Meaning we forget to forget – our past.)  All of us who have lived long enough have a past.  Where is the man or woman who says, “I’ve never made a mistake?”  Only a liar would say that.  For the rest of us (and that’s all of us) we are invited by Paul not to let our past define us.  God says, Micah 7:19b You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.  Who are we then, to hold on to them?

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything—but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.  

Comment:  Our Father owns the cattle on 1,000 hills (and more).  He tells us to ask Him to meet our needs.  Matthew 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Messiah who strengthens me.

Comment:  This may be the most empowering verse of the Bible.  “All things” seems rather all inclusive.  It means we have the power to be and do the whole calling of God in our lives.  

The Lord has a destiny for each of us.  The tendency is to allow the cares and concerns of this world to distract and derail us from our full potential in Messiah Yeshua.  This is why Paul precedes this verse with (I paraphrase here), “I’ve been up and I’ve been down, and I’ve learned how to be content in both.”  

Content does not mean nonchalant or lazy, but not concerned.  Being rich is a lie. (What do we ever really own?  If you can’t take it with you, you don’t own it.)  And being poor is also a lie (it’s a shortage of zeros to the left of the decimal.)  We cannot allow our bank balance to define us.  God fills our “account” with 86,400 seconds every day.  Let’s use them and all the other resources God has gifted to us for His glory.