ABC’s of Thanksgiving – Letter E

Ephesians 5:20 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tell me to always give thanks to God in all circumstances in Christ Jesus/ Messiah Yeshua. Really?

Enemies, enemies, enemies. They are everywhere. Their purpose is to harm me.

~They are nice to my face while stabbing me in the back.

~They act as friends while tearing me down in front of others.

~They take my love while betraying me with their abuse.

~They make promises of hope only to purposely break them.

God, You say love them?!? How? Better still, why?

My Child,

I have many reasons for My command. Let’s just look at one.

Love your enemy. It might even be you!

Sometimes people overlook what I say. For example, when I summed up the Ten Commandments into two. The first command to “Love Me with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” means to love Me completely. Love Me in every possible aspect (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:39). Love Me in your innermost being, emotions, thoughts, efforts and energy. Love Me with utmost sincerity. In other words, love Me in the same way and extent that I love you (1 John 4:19).

The phrase connecting the two commands is most important but often neglected. “The  second is like it.” The love to be expressed in the second command must carry the same intensity and honesty as the first command.

The second command is, “Love your neighbor (friend or enemy) as yourself.” The phrase ‘as yourself’ is usually ignored. This explains how you love your neighbor. The degree of love you show for yourself will be the same extent of love you can offer others. If there is a deficiency in loving yourself, that carries over in the love you are able to show others and sometimes even Me.

You are to love yourself in the very same way that I love you. Child, self-love is not ‘conceit’. It simply means that you desire to be the best individual possible in all areas of life. That is how I love you. When you speak or think negatively about yourself or your situation, you become your own enemy. Don’t do that. Put yourself in My hands. Follow My paths. Look for My point of view. Then you will find a good friend in yourself.

Love,

Your (best) Friend (John 15:15)

—excerpt from Forgiveness, God-Style by B. L. Wade, available on Amazon

 

 

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Arrogance – Another Take

It’s always good to get other viewpoints on situations. Here is Heaven’s Take on Arrogance.

Angel 2:     Angel 1, whatever are you doing?

Angel 1:     I’m practicing my trembling.

Angel 2:     Trembling? You have nothing for which to tremble.

Angel 1:     I know that. I just want to experience what humans will feel when they encounter God’s wrath on them for calling Him a liar.

Angel 2:     Oooo! I see what you mean. But, wait. I don’t remember hearing people call God a liar.

Angel 1:     Angel 2, have you never heard humans say, “Your actions speak so loud, I can’t hear what you are saying.”?

Angel 2:     Well, I may have heard that. I just never thought much about it. After all, a lot of what they say is idle talk.

Angel 1:     True enough, but this is a meaningful statement.

Angel 2:     Okay, but give me an example.

Angel 1:     Sure thing. Take the people already living in the land that God promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Israelites didn’t want to see   anyone – enemies, I’ll call them – living there. They just wanted to move in and enjoy the benefits of the land.

Angel 2:     Yes, I believe you are correct in that observation.

Angel 1:     But they didn’t realize that the enemies were serving God’s purpose.

Angel 2:     Correct. God never acts randomly. He always has a purpose – actually many purposes – in everything He says or does.

Angel 1:     Right. Take, for example, the land. If people weren’t living there, fields now cultivated would be covered in weeds. That would add extra work for the Israelites and delay food production.

Angel 2:     And what about the fruit trees and grape vines?

Angel 1:     Excellent point. Without proper pruning they would simply grow wild. Not much fruit would be harvested.

Angel 2:     I have another example. Wild animals (De. 7:22). Without humans to keep their population in check, these animals would create a big safety issue for the Israelites.

Angel 1:     Very good illustration. How about the water supply? Without the human enemies, there would be no wells to provide clean drinking water. Then they would complain about that. (Pause) I can just imagine them walking around, striking rocks like Moses did and expecting water to gush out (Ex. 17:6)

Angel 2:     (Chuckles) And how about the lakes and rivers? Without cleaning out debris from floods, the health of fish could be affected.

Angel 1:     So, do you see why trembling is in their future?

Angel 2:     Well…

Angel 1:     Their actions. Think about their actions.

Angel 2:     Oh. Their action was not to enter the Promised Land.

Angel 1:     Yes, and why not?

Angel 2:     They didn’t believe God would take care of them. You know, keep them safe.

Angel 1:     And did God promise to keep them safe?

Angel 2:     Of course. God said He would go ahead of them. He even said He would drive out before them the nations living in the Promised Land (Ex. 34:11,24).

Angel 1:     So? Do you agree that the Israelites, in turning their backs on entering the Promised Land, showed they didn’t believe what God said?

Angel 2:     Yes, I do.

Angel 1:     Then I rest my case. Their decision actually called God a liar.

Angel 2:     (Long pause) I see.               (Both angels tremble)

 

Purim

Being an enthusiastic student of the Bible, I realized the importance of discovering the Jewishness of the Tanakh (Old Testament). So for over six years I have attended a wonderful Messianic Congregation. My pastor and his wife are Jewish. They grew up with the customs, practices and language of their people. I have been blessed as insights and interpretations, that can only come from a Jew, have flavored my Biblical understanding.

Yesterday was the Jewish holiday called Purim. It is a yearly commemoration of how beautifully God worked in behalf of the Jews. The account can be found in the book of Esther.

They have a tradition that really needs to be changed. Whenever the name “Haman” is said, people boo and twirl the groggers. I know why they do this. Haman was the enemy.

As only God could do, events were woven together on His timetable. The result? God’s principle, “You reap what you sow” took effect. Haman’s scheming to destroy the Jews fell on him and his ten sons.

When people react to Haman by their booing and noise-making, they show shortsightedness. Instead, when Haman’s name is mentioned people should praise God for His deliverance. After all, if there were  no Haman, God’s love for His people would not have needed displaying.

Yes, definately this Jewish tradition of booing Haman’s name needs to change. Sift focus. Praise God instead. After all, without God Haman would have won. Give credit where credit is due. Recognize the Defeater not the defeated.

Read more about God’s point of view concerning our enemies in Forgiveness, God-Style by B. L. Wade. Both e-book and printed version are available on Amazon.com.

 

Love Your Enemies – A Letter from God

Dear Child,

Love your enemies. I use them to bless you.

Fear gripped the heart of Balak, king of Moab, when the Israelites camped next to his country. They were too numerous for his people to defeat. He believed that pronouncing a curse on the foreigners would enable him to drive them out of the land and insure Moab’s safety.

The well-known heathen soothsayer, Balaam,was called to do such a service. However, in My usual creative way – a talking donkey -, I captured Balaam’s attention. I informed him that he would only speak My words. Even though he told this to the king, Balak insisted that Balaam make his pronouncement.

Three times My people received blessings, not curses. I used enemies to emphasize My protection (Numbers 22-24).

Consider the Jordan River. If flowing in a straight line, it would cover about 65 miles. But I created it with a winding course. That allows the river to water two times more land.

Similarly, I use enemies to throw curve balls in your life so My blessings can cover more territory.

Love,

Controller of Enemies (Proverbs 16:7 implied)                       Excerpt from Forgiveness, God Style

 

 

Published in: on December 29, 2012 at 3:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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Love Your Enemies – A Letter from God

Dear Child,

Love your enemies. They were created in My image.

When you look at a painting and praise it, your accolades are really directed toward the one responsible for the picture – the painter. When you see a beautifully landscaped yard where the height and colors of various plants complement one another, your admiration is directed to the one who made the selections – the gardener.

The same is true about how you view your enemies. It becomes an indictment on the one ultimately responsible for that life – Me!

You are instructed to love for a good reason. To be indifferent is very hard. So, if you do not love, you put yourself in the position to ‘hate’. Those who ‘hate’ are murderers (1 John 3:15). You murder a reputation, a relationship, a future, ambitions and hopes. Hate affects three ways: the one who hates, the receiver of that attitude and those aware of the situation.

Please understand. To love doesn’t mean to like. They are different. Love people; dislike their actions. Hate evil; cling to what is good (Romans 12:9). In other words, look for the good in your enemies. You may be surprised by what you find.

Word of caution. When you believe hatred has been directed toward you, take note. Constructive criticism is judgment meant to bring about positive results. When criticized, pick apart the comments. Bring them to Me. Together we will analyze them to see if there is any truth. If not, toss the words over your shoulder and move on. If there is truth in the criticism, make it a learning experience to improve yourself. Truth should never be treated as a stumbling block. It is a stepping stone to betterment.

Love,

Creator (Genesis 1:1)                                                                                       Excerpt from Forgiveness, God-Style

Published in: on December 15, 2012 at 4:11 am  Leave a Comment  
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Love Your Enemies-A letter from God *

Dear Child,

Love your enemies. I want them to be My children, too.

You enjoy an intimate relationship with Me. Your enemies are witnesses to the blessings I give you. They see that you do not walk in fear.

Displaying an attitude of love and good works toward them act as a magnet. It causes them to desire a similar life-style. This puts them in a position to seek and receive My forgiveness. That will lead to their salvation, and My family will increase.

This pleases Me. Remember, you were never meant to live for yourself.

Love,

LORD God Who Loves and Befriends the Stranger

(Deuteronomy 10:18)

*Excerpt from Forgiveness, God-Style

Published in: on December 9, 2012 at 3:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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Praying God’s Name and Will for Israel

We call on the name of God who is Boundary Setter (Name: Exodus 23:31 implied). Release Israel’s leaders and that of friendly nations from pressure to give away land which is contrary to Your word. You set the boundary of the land of Israel. It is land that You, LORD, assigned to Your people (Will: Deuteronomy 11:9,12). Let them rest in the thought that Your enemies cannot prevail and succeed against You. Ultimately, they will be destroyed as You promised (Deuteronomy 32:41-43).

Published in: on September 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Praying God’s Name and Will for Israel

Let Your people remember Your past deeds of deliverance that their fear be turned into praise. You called forth the enemy’s greed and jealousy as ambushes against each other (2 Chronicles 20:22,23). Your weapons are limitless.

LORD, let Your people understand the battle is Yours, not theirs (2 Chron. 20:17). Receive the honor when nations realize that You fight for Israel (2 Chron. 20:29).

Let hearts be still as they watch You work on their behalf, for You are Silencer of Enemies. (Name implied in Psalm 143:12).

Published in: on July 19, 2012 at 2:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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Praying God’s Will and Name

You are pleased when I follow Your command to love my enemies. You instruct me to pray for them and use my resources to provide for their material needs. In doing this I follow Your practice–blessing the just and the unjust. You are God Without Prejudice and sometimes You use my enemies to accomplish Your will in my life. (God’s name implied in 2 Chron. 19:7; God’s will found in Matt. 5:44-45; Prov. 16:7 and 25:21)

Published in: on November 17, 2011 at 10:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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Praying God’s Name

Please protect me today from discontent and feelings of ineffectiveness and hopelessness for Your name is Rebuker of (My) Enemies. (God’s name implied in Deuteronomy 28:7)

Published in: on October 12, 2011 at 2:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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