Writing God’s Story — Deuteronomy 31:19

The last command that God speaks to Moses is to tell him to “Write down this song and teach it and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness for me…”

The early Jewish teachers explained that the song that God told Moses to write down and to teach was the Bible itself.

They else taught that every person in each generation is required to write his or her own copy of the Torah.

You may wonder why the ancient Torah teachers required this intense and lengthly project of copying your very own Torah Scroll.  Is it not possible to learn Gods song by just studying or reading books about Gods story?

Continue reading 10 – Writing God’s Story

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But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. — Psalm 52:8
Temple Mount is one of the most hotly contested religious sites in the world.  Currently the Muslim Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock stands where the Jewish temples of Solomon, and Nehemiah once stood.  The Dome of the Rock with its ornate marble and stone with Golden dome is built over the place of the temple itself.  Over and over again, there are clashes between the Palestinians and jewish people on who has authority over the area.
Every time I walk on Temple Mount, I stop and am amazed at the beautiful olive trees peacefully growing in the breeze.  Amid the tension and continual upheaval, the olive tree, the long standing symbol of peace and triumph calmly thrives.
In Psalm 52, David finds himself in the midst of turmoil and desperation.  David writes the psalm when Doeg (Do-ayg), an Edomite, and one of King Saul’s officers, has run to King Saul and informed him that David has found refuge in the city of Nob under the protection of Ahimelek.   David has become hated by King Saul, and Saul sends his men with Doeg, and his men slaughter the entire city.  Innocent men, women and children are destroyed because of providing protection to David.  David in his psalm is wondering how Doeg can be so passionate about his evil actions and deceit.  How this man filled with hatred grew strong by destroying others. 

Continue reading 09 – Flourishing in the House of God

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In Matthew 22:37 A student of the law came to Jesus and asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. 
Jesus was quoting what is known in Hebrew as the Shema (Hear).
Shema is pulled from Deuteronomy chapter 6 of the Torah, the first five books of the Bible.  It is the oldest fixed daily prayer in Judaism, recited morning and night since before the time of Christ.
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One of the most overlooked topics in christian living is the concept of maturing as a Christian.

Our verse today is 2 Corinthians 7:1

“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

This verse should make us all sit up and pay attention.  Do we live our lives in such a way that is focused on “perfecting holiness out of a reverence or fear of God?

Continue reading 07 – Perfecting Holiness

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“Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you forever; from generation to generation we will proclaim your praise.” Psalm 79:13

When you read the Psalms, you quickly notice that most of the psalms focus on the need for a miracle. Each psalm goes back and forth from a sincere call to God for a miracle, and the joyful response of a miracle realized.

However, what should the response be after we receive a miracle? Continue reading 06 – Feeding Sea Gulls

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“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.” Isaiah 54:2

The prophet Isaiah is writing to the people of Jerusalem about 700 years before the time of Christ. His message is that soon their exile would be over, and their people would soon be coming home and they needed to prepare for the homecoming.

The prophet is telling its people to “ENLARGE.” Stretch your tents, don’t hold back…do what you must. Grow, expand, become bigger and better than ever before. Jerusalem, expand your homes because your lost family is coming home.
Continue reading 03 – Enlarge Your Heart

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In Numbers 13, the children of Israel are being commanded by God to send men into the land of Canaan.  God says to send a man from each of the tribes to spy out the land.

Moses quickly gathers 12 men out of the twelve tribes and commands Joshua the son of Nun from the tribe of Benjamin and his men to depart from the Wilderness of Paran.

Moses tells them to “go up to the mountains and see what the land is like; whether the people who dwelling in it are strong or weak, few or many; whether there are forests there or not.  Be of good courage.  And bring some of the fruit of the land.

So they spied out the land from the Wilderness of Tzin to Rehob, through the South to Hebron and up to the valley of Eshcol.”

There in the valley of Eshcol they cut a cluster of grapes and tied it to a pole because of how large the cluster was so that two men could carry it between them.

40 days they spent spying out the land. Continue reading 02 – Looking at Giants

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