NB: This is quite a long post so, please excuse me as I process some thoughts. This post also links to earlier ones on Grave verses the Law here and here. There are also some interesting links at the end of the post. Shalom x
I’m spending Shabbat (Sabbath) at home today, as I have done off and on since January 2014. I was on a journey and knew I was being called to sit at the feet of Yeshua. My beliefs were slowly diverging from that of the congregation I was in, as they were moving ever deeper into a place of legalism I was seeking and needing to experience a different truth and intimacy with YHWH. The thing that I really miss about that congregation was the love and sense of community there, there is a definite hunger for the people to have a deep knowing of who YHWH is however the enemy is at work there also. Just before I left YHWH used Eke and I to preach on several occasions, messages of the love, grace and restorative power of YHWH over the man-made doctrines and legalistic rituals found in many Messianic and mainstream churches. However, when it was time to leave I left but with that congregation still holding a piece of my heart.
I recently heard that a ‘law’ had been passed in the church, I have no idea whether it’s true or not. The law is that they should not say God, Adonai (I think) or amen. I was asked if I wanted to go back there to visit, my answer of late has been no – I don’t want church politics, or ambitious striving to be seen/heard, my Sabbaths are waaaaaayyyy too precious to me – to blink and ask myself where the day has gone to. So today, I’m at home again and I’ve been reading God’s Word and reflecting about the struggle of grace vs the law within the Messianic church and the wider Body of Messiah. Continue reading Messianic Legalism, Christian Liberalism or something else?
According to Hebrew tradition on the Day of Trumpets (Yom Teruah) the righteous are written in the Book of Life, I think that it is very easy to see all references to life in the Bible as eternal spiritual life but I believe that we can and should also view life as our temporal life here on earth.
When God entered into covenant with those who had been led out of Egypt (mixed multitude of Israelites and non-Israelites) He laid two things before them: life and death, blessing and a curse. Yes, this life was linked to an eternal state but it was also linked to the quality of life that they would experience whilst on earth. The blessings included a number of things but in summary we would say that the blessings were of provision (fruitfulness) and security in all areas of their life.
There was only one thing that God requested of the Israelites in order to receive these manifold blessings, that one thing was obedience:
“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
Deuteronomy 30: 15-20
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Today I started to do my shopping for Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, this is the fourth year that Eke and I will be celebrating these feast days and as the time has gone by we have learnt a lot about what it means to us and what it means to fellow Believers. There will be many Christians and Messianics joining their Jewish brethren in this celebration, for some Christians this may seem strange but really it’s not because Jesus (Yeshua) is our Passover Lamb, saving us from death and leading us into the promised land. There are some great teachings on Passover from a Messianic Perspective, this is the one we read from last year – Passover for Christians.
I had an interesting experience shopping, I had to go down to our nearest orthodox community to purchase kosher for Passover lamb and boy was it expensive!!! I think Kosher meat is even more expensive than organic meat and that’s saying a lot, for just enough meat for 2-3 people it cost us £20. The Kosher butcher was mayhem, they had hired in extra staff and I had to wait nearly half an hour for our meat to be especially cut and rolled. While I was waiting I had ample opportunity to watch how the Orthodox community were preparing for Pesach, family after family came in or rang up to place their meat orders in advance, they had bought huge boxes to place the orders in and deliver them to each family. The men in the kitchen cut, diced, minced and rolled before bringing the orders out to be carefully checked over against hand-written lists before they were placed in the boxes for delivery. I saw a young girl come in and hand over nearly £400 for her family’s supply of meat! Whew, it seems that a lot of saving has to be done in order to comfortably afford the costs of preparing for Passover!
Watch a short-clip showing a UK family getting ready for Passover Continue reading Thoughts on preparing for Passover