For His Glory!
Peter tells us: …because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY. 1 Peter 1:16 (See Lev 20:26 All Scripture taken from NAS, unless noted).
What was Peter talking about? What does it mean to be holy? Are we free to do whatever we want or think?
Peter’s instruction about being holy can not be over-emphasized. The Torah (Genesis thru Deuteronomy) is filled with teachings about holiness.
"The word "holy" is the English translation of the Hebrew word "kadosh", which has to do with something being ‘set apart’ from common use and given over to God. Whatever was to be used in the service of YHVH was to be consecrated ‘set apart’, by being purified with the blood of a sacrificed animal. Once ‘set apart’ it could again be defiled by being used or touched by the common or unclean." (Quoted from Alan Gilman, TorahBytes Communications.)
So we too, once just plain, common, and unclean needed to be made clean, set apart, by the blood of the Lamb, the Messiah. And we also need to maintain the status of being ‘set apart’ for service to the Creator. We cannot mix or put any part of our heart, soul or body to the former ways. As you read through Peter’s writings it is our prayer you better understand why and how to be holy, even as He is holy.
Peter begins his letter reviewing the gospel message and the hope we have in Yeshua (Jesus). Then he brings out his SPS (specific purpose statement), in verses 15 and 16. From there on out he is instructing the reader in accordance to that SPS. This instruction is being given to those who call on the Father, those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb(key words have been bolded for emphasis, you are encouraged to read all of Peter’s letter as his intent was to instruct one in being holy unto YHVH).
1 Peter 1:13-19Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY." If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
22-23Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.
Peter continues his instruction as to what holiness means.
2:1-2Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,
5you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
9But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
11-13Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution…
16-17Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
21-22For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH;
24and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; …
Chapter three is instruction for wives and husbands.
3:1In the same way, you wives …
7You husbands in the same way…
Peter sums it all up:
8-9To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.
For those who desire life:
10-12For, "THE ONE WHO DESIRES LIFE, TO LOVE AND SEE GOOD DAYS, MUST KEEP HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL AND HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT. HE MUST TURN AWAY FROM EVIL AND DO GOOD; HE MUST SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT. FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE TOWARD THE RIGHTEOUS, AND HIS EARS ATTEND TO THEIR PRAYER, BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL." (This is a quotation from Ps 34:12-16)
13Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?
15but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
Peter does not say it will be easy as sin keeps pounding at our door.
4:1-2Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
7-8The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.
19Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
When I started this message I had no idea the depth of Peter’s instruction. We have no right to drag the temple of the Holy Spirit through the sin from which we have been redeemed. May YHVH bless us as we dedicate our life and body to His service, being holy as He is Holy.
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Yeshua tells us in John that the ‘set-apart’ (Holy) Spirit will be with His servants and lead them in understanding. Let us not grieve the Holy Spirit of YHVH.
John 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
John 16:13 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; …
"It takes courage to push yourself to places that you have never been before – testing your limits… to break through barriers."
Becoming totally dedicated to YHVH is indeed a daunting task. Because of the pulls of our nature and the resistance of the world we need special courage. Thankfully we may have the encouragement of our Savior.
John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
Psalm 31:24 Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the LORD.
In our pursuit of humility:
"First is the fact that there may be enthusiastic and active practice of Christianity while humility is still sadly lacking. The disciples had a fervent attachment to Jesus. They had forsaken all to follow Him. The Father had revealed to them that He was the Christ of God. They believed in Him, they loved Him, and they obeyed His commandments. When others fell away they remained faithful to Him. They were ready to die with Him. But deeper than all of this devotion was the existence of an inner power of sin and selfishness. This Power had to be dealt with before they could be witnesses of the power of Jesus to save. It is so with all of us. We may find Professors and teachers, in whom the gifts of the Spirit are many and manifest, and who are the channels of blessing to multitudes, but of whom, when tested, or close interpersonal relationships reveal their true characters, it is only too evident that the grace of humility, as an abiding characteristic, is rarely to be seen. All of this tends to confirm the reality that humility is one of the chief and highest virtues, one of the most difficult to attain, and one to which our first and greatest efforts ought to be directed. Humility is a virtue that only comes in power when fullness of the Spirit makes us partakers of the indwelling Christ and He lives within us." Andrew Murray
Total commitment to the humility of Yeshua is to be of utmost importance that we may be a holy vessel for the indwelling power of Messiah. We must recognize our total need for YHVH.
Israel… Did You Know?
…Israel, the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world's population, can lay claim to the following:
The cell phone was developed in Israel by Israelis working in the Israeli branch of Motorola, which has its largest development center in Israel.
Most of the Windows NT and XP operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel.
Both the Pentium-4 microprocessor and the Centrino processor were entirely designed, developed and produced in Israel.
Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.
Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R&D facilities outside the US in Israel.
The technology for the AOL Instant Messenger was developed in 1996 by four young Israelis.
Israel has the fourth largest air force in the world (after the U.S, Russia and China). In addition to a large variety of other aircraft, Israel's air force has an aerial arsenal of over 250 F-16's. This is the largest fleet of F-16 aircraft outside of the U. S.
Israel's $100 billion economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbors combined.
Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita
According to industry officials, Israel designed the airline industry's most impenetrable flight security. US officials now look to Israel for advice on how to handle airborne security threats
Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.
Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin - 109 per 10,000 people - as well as one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.
In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world. In absolute terms, Israel has the largest number of startup companies than any other country in the world, except the U.S. (3,500 companies mostly in hi-tech).
With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and startups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world - apart from the Silicon Valley, U. S.
Israel is ranked #2 in the world for venture capital funds right behind the U. S.
Outside the United States and Canada, Israel has the largest number of NASDAQ listed companies.
Israel has the highest average living standards in the Middle East.
The per capita income in 2000 was over $17,500, exceeding that of the U.K.
Twenty-four per cent of Israel's workforce holds university degrees, ranking third in the industrialized world, after the United States and Holland and 12 per cent hold advanced degrees.
Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East….
Major Archaeological Find Uncovered in Galilee
The Media Line - March 14, 2006
Archaeologists have discovered a network of underground chambers and tunnels where Jews prepared for a revolt against the Romans in A.D. (C.E.) 66-70. The find was made at the Israeli village of Kfar Kana, north of Nazareth. According to archaeologists, the underground rooms, connected by tunnels, were built directly beneath above-ground homes in order to provide access to supplies and a place to hide from the Romans. One of the rooms still contained eleven storage jars. The elaborate preparation is being offered as proof that contrary to the conventional wisdom that holds the revolt to have been spontaneous, it was well-planned. The original village under which the rooms and tunnels were built – also a new discovery -- dates back to the 10th and 9th centuries B.C. (B.C.E.).
The Poor Tailor and the French Restaurant
One Hour at Wal-Mart
What I learned in 60 minutes at Life's Super Store.
Did I really need to buy a gas cap for my Toyota on a late Friday afternoon?
I suppose it is a good idea to have a cap on your gas tank. After all, the car does come with one. Somehow mine got lost and I had been driving around without one for weeks. It was starting to bother me. And I have a problem with procrastination anyway.
And so I pulled into my trusty summer locale Wal-Mart in upstate New York. After all, Wal-Mart has everything.
It was dangerously close to 6:00 p.m. on a Friday and the parking lot was brimming with bargain hunters. I resisted my usual temptation to drive around until I find a prime parking spot just 15 seconds or less from the entrance and just grabbed the first available open space -- a full 60 seconds away.
Sprinting my way to the front doors I hardly noticed the steadily sinking August sun. Shabbat would be here soon (7:26 to be exact) and no hurrying of mine would prevent its imminent arrival. I snatched an empty wagon and burst into Shopping Heaven.
I don't visit Wal-Mart very often, but its sheer immensity can actually take your breath away, which is probably why I instinctively grabbed that wagon even though I was only going in for a tiny gas cap. And off I went to find the Automotive department.
The first distraction was the Produce section. Grapes (of several colors) were on sale for 79 cents a pound! What a bargain! I snapped up a bunch. Right next to them were hard peaches. I gave one a feel. They were really hard. And my wife loves really hard peaches. "I'll be a hero," I thought as I corked a bunch of them in a plastic bag and laid them in the bottom of the wagon.
Next I scooted down a main Wal-Mart boulevard and passed aisles of cereals, paper goods, chips, and frozen stuff on my right. They all looked kind of tempting, especially since some of the shelves had bright yellow 'come-on' signs, declaring to the world how cheap they were. But time was short, and I made my way past them.
But then, out of nowhere, I was met face to face with a huge geometric mound of Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi boxes -- 24 cans in each -- for (are you ready?) $5.99! Even my dulled division skills could quickly reckon that I'd be paying less than 25 cents each for my beloved soda! "This is my lucky day," I muttered as I stashed two crates in my cart (probably smashing the grapes) and drove away.
I then asked a clerk where the Automotive section was and he gave me an Easterly wave. I probably should have checked MapQuest before I left, but I ventured along in that general direction.
"Wait! Look at those shirts!" The summer season was winding down and those benevolent Waltons were practically giving away these gorgeous knit shirts (in 8 or 9 colors) for $9.99! The sign said that they were originally $29.99! Truthfully, I didn't really need more shirts, but at that price I wasn't going to pass them up. It took me a few minutes to figure out the right size (I ended up with XX large... they run small) and to choose the colors, but I grabbed two of them and went merrily on my way.
Strange how you meet certain people in certain places, isn't it? Well, I hadn't seen Barry in years, but there he was running down Aisle 11 with two bottles of horseradish and a big jar of dill gherkins in his hands. "Shabbat essentials," he called them. We were both in a rush, but I couldn't resist catching up on family news for just a minute. "He looks good," I thought as he cut me short and sprinted to the checkout line.
The clock was picking up momentum as I dragged my way past Broadloom, Digital cameras, Athletic socks, Fishing equipment, Toddler toys, Toiletries, Reading glasses, Luggage, Fax machines, Fake flowers, Sandals, Electric blankets, Sun umbrellas, and Industrial extension cords. "I'll come back next week to check out some of that stuff," I declared. There just was no time.
I thought I smelled tires (a good sign), but made a brief pit stop to check out the rechargeable batteries that were also on sale. Using rechargeable batteries is such a sensible idea. There were a few different types of battery kits on the shelf and it definitely took me longer than it should have. But I finally made my choice (the cheapest one, of course), and swung a hard left turn into AUTOMOTIVE... finally.
I checked my cell phone (I never wear a watch). It was nearly 7 o'clock! Where did the time go? I frantically combed the shelves for my indispensable goal -- the holy gas cap.
Rummaging my way past the anti-freeze, wiper fluid, tire inflators and Odor-eaters, I eyed my prize at last. There were only two gas caps left on the shelf. "Must be a popular item," I mused. But which one, if any, would fit my Toyota? The packaging gave no indication.
Panting around the bend I began a desperate search for assistance.
"I don't work in automotive."
"Maybe they're all the same."
"You're gonna have to wait your turn, I'm helpin' this lady with a pressure gauge."
"You gotta go outside, pull your vehicle into the shop around back, and ask one of the mechanics there to try it for you. If it doesn't fit, maybe they'll find you one that does. I'm not really sure."
Not sure? Wait my turn? DON'T THESE PEOPLE KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?!?
By now, my entire body was sweating profusely. I flipped the stupid gas cap into the wagon, flew up aisle 24, nearly killing innocent children and seniors with my cart, and sought out the shortest check out line. There were at least 16 counters open... AND EVERY SINGLE OF THEM WAS PACKED!
I poked my nose into the carts in front of me. Why, in heaven's name, do people need to buy outdoor carpeting? How many cartons of Enfamil can one baby consume? Does that lady really need a dozen boxes of raisins? And where did these cashiers get their training? The Cayman Islands?
I must have switched lanes literally eight times in three minutes. Anyone on line with ice cream would soon need a straw to consume it. This was ridiculous. WHY CAN'T THESE PEOPLE GO SHOPPING IN THE MORNING, WHEN I'M NOT HERE?
My cell phone said 7:12. Shabbat would arrive in 14 minutes and I was clearly losing my mind. I took a deep breath and looked down at my wagon. There lay the batteries... and the soda... and the now-not-so-hard peaches. I checked out the cashier situation; nothing was moving. I eyed my blinking cell phone clock. And I looked one last time at my very lonely gas cap... and then I said good-bye.
I wasn't going to make it. Right then and there, I abandoned all of my would-be purchases and tore out of the store empty-handed.
I jumped into my gas cap-less Toyota (a full 60 seconds away) started the engine and felt a tear roll down my left cheek. It wasn't a tear of sadness. It was a tear of shame.
Less than five minutes later I entered my summer bungalow. Brushing past my freshly bathed grandchildren I headed straight for my bedroom without saying a word. I couldn't. The clock read 7:22.
A LOT OF LESSONS
It took a few days of serious contemplation, but I learned a lot from my hour in Wal-Mart.
We come into this world with everything available to us. This planet is truly the ultimate Super Store. In many respects our potential is unlimited; our possibilities endless. But we are only here for a certain amount of time, so we must plan accordingly.
We each have a goal, a mission, a purpose, perhaps a certain wrongdoing that we need to correct or a hole that we need to "cap," and we are given a wagon to wheel around. But the distractions are everywhere. The fruit looks so fresh and inexpensive, but maybe it is forbidden. The peaches can make me "a hero." Surely there is time for that. So we stop... and pick.
We see signs that beckon us to stop and browse and choose, but we withstand the temptation and feel proud and maybe also a bit complacent. So that seconds later when our "favorite soda" is really cheap, we cannot resist and we take an enormous amount -- maybe more than we need?
We continue on our road, seeking our destination, and we ask for help or direction. But we don't always ask the right people. Maybe we should have done our homework before, so we would know where to look.
Old friends will cross our path. We want to catch up, but they are running and are sometimes more focused on reaching their goal than we are. So they have no time for us. Isn't that sad?
We check the clock. Our time is truly running out. But we cannot shift gears. We continue to pursue our original quest, no matter how mundane or unnecessary it really is. We fail to see that sometimes it's just not working. We delude ourselves and believe that somehow there is time for everything. Our priorities are clouded or are completely out of sync.
And then, at long last, when we finally arrive at the finish line, we don't even know if the solution will fit anymore. Frantically, we ask anyone for immediate advice, but they are busy or don't even work in that department.
Despairingly, we just collect all the "junk" we've accumulated and run like crazy (while inconveniencing others) to try to acquire it and take it with us. But the lines are long...very, very long. Even then, after all we've been through, we are blinded. Instead of taking responsibility for our actions and decisions, we ask ridiculous questions that shift the blame to anyone and everyone but us.
In the end, we must leave the wagon behind. All our work was for nothing. Poor planning, skewed priorities, too many distractions, and not enough time.
Yes. Wal-Mart does have everything. Just make sure you get what you really need.
True freedom consists of totally resigning ones life into the hands of the Lord.David Wilkerson
If you don't like something, change it.
In preparation for the receiving of the Commandments, Yahweh commands the congregation to be clean and to stay off the mountain. Any time we wish to draw near to Yahweh we must make an effort to be clean.Tom Schattke
Paul understood that principle:
Where there is no submission to God, there can be no holiness.
There is a discipline in submitting ourselves to God, a breaking down of our own will, a renunciation of our own ideology, and a willingness to serve, obey, and follow after Him with all our hearts, and minds.Michael Boldea
1. That person would be answerable to the Sanhedrin - Matthew 5:22
3. To heaven - 2 Kings 2:11
4. Two years - Acts28:30
5. False prophets - 1 Kings 22:1-23
6. Nimrod - Genesis 10:9
7. The angel Gabriel - Luke 1:28
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