When you say something does it hold up? When you say something does it carry any weight? When you say something does it mean anything?
Is your word your bond? Are you good to your word? Can people trust your word? Is there power in your word? Is there meaning in your word? Your word, what does it mean?
Today’s reading from God’s Word…
Persons Excluded from the Community
1“A man is not to take his father’s wife—he is not to expose his father’s nakedness. 2“No one with crushed or cut-off genitals is to enter the community of Adonai. 3No one born of forbidden relations is to enter the community of Adonai—even to the tenth generation none of his descendants are to enter the community of Adonai. 4No Ammonite or Moabite is to enter the community of Adonai—even to the tenth generation none belonging to them is to enter the community of Adonai forever— 5because they did not meet you with bread and water on the way when you came out from Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam son of Beor from Petor of Aram-naharaim to curse you. 6But Adonai your God refused to listen to Balaam, and Adonai your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because He loves you. 7You are never to seek their shalom or welfare all your days. 8“You are not to detest an Edomite, for he is your brother. You are not to detest an Egyptian, for you were an outsider in his land. 9The children born to them—the third generation—may enter the community of Adonai. 10“When you go out as an army camp against your enemies, you are to guard yourself from every evil thing. 11If there is among you a man who is not clean from a nighttime emission, he is to go outside the camp—he may not reenter the camp. 12Now toward evening he is to bathe in water, and when the sun sets, he may reenter the camp. 13There is to be a place at hand for you outside the camp, and you are to go there outside. 14You are to have a shovel for yourself among your weapons. Now when you sit down outside, you are to dig with it and turn and cover up what comes out of you. 15For Adonai your God walks in the midst of your camp, to rescue you and to give your enemies over to you. Therefore your camp must be holy, so that He does not see anything indecent among you and turn away from you.
Slavery, Cult Prostitutes
16“You are not to hand over to his master a slave who seeks refuge with you from his master. 17Let him dwell with you in your midst, in the place he chooses within one of your town gates—the one that is good for him. You are not to mistreat him. 18“None of the daughters of Israel is to be a cult prostitute, nor any of the sons of Israel a cult prostitute. 19You are not to bring the fee of a prostitute or the wages of a dog into the House of Adonai your God for any vow, for both of these are detestable to Adonai your God.
20“You are not to charge excessive interest to your brother—on money, food or anything that may be loaned for interest. 21To a foreigner you may charge interest, but to your brother you are not to charge interest, so that Adonai your God may bless you in every undertaking of your hand on the land you are going in to possess. 22“When you make a vow to Adonai your God, you are not to delay to make good on it—for Adonai your God will certainly require it of you, and you would have sin on you. 23But if you refrain from making a vow, you would not have sin on you. 24Whatever comes out of your lips you are to take care to do, since you have vowed to Adonai your God a freewill offering that you have promised with your mouth. 25“When you come into your neighbor’s vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes; but you are not to put any in your basket. 26When you come into your neighbor’s standing grain, you may pluck the ears with your hand; but you are not to swing a sickle on your neighbor’s standing grain.
–from Deuteronomy 23
How does your word stand up? How does your word impact others? How does your word reflect on you?
Marriage and Divorce
1“Suppose a man takes a wife and marries her. Now if she doesn’t find favor in his eyes because he has found something indecent in her, he is to write her a certificate of divorce, hand it to her and send her out from his house. 2When she leaves his house, she may go and become another man’s wife. 3Now suppose the second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, and he hands it to her and she leaves his house—or suppose the second husband who took her to be his wife dies. 4Then her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after she has been defiled—for that would be detestable before Adonai. You are not to bring guilt on the land that Adonai your God is giving you as an inheritance. 5“When a man takes a new wife, he is not to go out with the army or have any duty passed over to him. He is to be free at home for one year and make his wife happy.
Preserving Life and Property
6“No one is to take a pair of millstones or the upper one as collateral, for this would be taking a livelihood as collateral. 7“If a man is caught kidnapping any of his brothers from Bnei-Yisrael, whether he treats him like property or sells him, then that kidnapper must die. So you are to purge the evil from your midst. 8“Take care in the plague of tza’arat—be very careful to do all that the Levitical kohanim instruct you, just as I commanded them, so you are to take care to do. 9Remember what Adonai your God did to Miriam, along the way when you were coming out from Egypt.
Relief for the Poor
10“When you make any kind of loan to your neighbor, you are not to go into his house to get his pledge. 11You are to stand outside, and the man to whom you are making the loan is to bring the pledge outside to you. 12If he is a poor man, you are not to sleep with his pledge . 13You must certainly restore the pledge to him when the sun sets, so that he may sleep in his coat and bless you—and it is to be righteousness for you before Adonai your God. 14“You are not to oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is from your brothers or the outsiders in your land within your town gates. 15On that day you are to give him his wages—the sun is not to set on it—for he is poor and sets his heart on it. Otherwise he will cry out against you to Adonai, and you will have sin on you. 16“Fathers are not to be put to death for children, and children are not to be put to death for fathers—each one is to be put to death for his own sin. 17You are not to twist justice for an outsider or orphan, and you are not to take as collateral a widow’s clothing. 18But you are to remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and Adonai your God redeemed you from there. Therefore I am commanding you to do this thing. 19“When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you are not to turn back to get it. It is for the outsider, for the orphan and for the widow—in order that Adonai your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. 20When you beat your olive tree, you are not to search through the branches afterward. It is for the outsider, for the orphan and for the widow. 21When you harvest your vineyard, you are not to pick over it afterward. It is for the outsider, for the orphan and for the widow. 22You are to remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt. Therefore I am commanding you to do this thing.
–from Deuteronomy 24
Do you use your words for good? Do you use your words to build up? Do you build your words to tear down? How do you use your words? Do you know where to turn? Do you know where to run? Where will you put your hope and your trust? Where will you find your place of rest and refuge? Turn to God!
Dwell in the Shelter of Elyon
1He who dwells in the shelter of Elyon, will abide in the shadow of Shaddai. 2I will say of Adonai, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. 3For He will rescue you from the hunter’s trap and from the deadly pestilence. 4He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge. His faithfulness is body armor and shield. 5You will not fear the terror by night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6nor the plague that stalks in darkness, nor the scourge that lays waste at noon. 7A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8You will only look on with your eyes and see the wicked paid back. 9For you have made Elyon your dwelling, even Adonai, who is my refuge, 10so no evil will befall you nor any plague come near your tent. 11For He will give His angels charge over you, to guard you in all your ways. 12Upon their hands they will lift you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. 13You will tread upon the lion and cobra, trample the young lion and serpent. 14“Because he has devoted his love to Me, I will deliver him. I will set him securely on high, because he knows My Name. 15When he calls on Me, I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble, rescue him, and honor him. 16With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.”
–from Psalms 91
He is our source of truth! Jesus is the word we can trust and believe in! Let’s turn to Him! Let’s stick with Him! Let’s trust in Him! Let’s allow our words to bring praise, honor, and glory to God!
Greetings from Paul
1Paul, an emissary (sent not from men or by man, but by Yeshua the Messiah and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), 2and all the brothers with me. To Messiah’s communities of Galatia: 3Grace to you and shalom from God our Father and our Lord Yeshua the Messiah— 4who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father— 5to Him be the glory forever and ever! Amen.
No Other Gospel
6I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from the One who called you by the grace of Messiah, to a different “good news”— 7not that there is another, but only some who are confusing you and want to distort the Good News of Messiah. 8But even if we (or an angel from heaven) should announce any “good news” to you other than what we have proclaimed to you, let that person be cursed! 9As we have said before, so I now repeat: if anyone proclaims to you “good news” other than what you received, let that person be under a curse! 10Am I now trying to win people’s approval, or God’s? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Messiah.
How Paul Was Sent Out
11Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the Good News proclaimed by me is not man-made. 12I did not receive it from any human, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Yeshua the Messiah. 13For you have heard of my earlier behavior in Judaism—how I persecuted God’s community beyond measure and tried to destroy it. 14I was even advancing within Judaism beyond many my own age among my people, being a more extreme observer of my fathers’ traditions. 15But when God—who set me apart from birth and called me through His grace—was pleased 16to reveal His Son to me so I would proclaim Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with any human. 17I did not go up to Jerusalem to those who were emissaries before me, either. Instead I went away to Arabia and returned again to Damascus. 18Then three years later I went to Jerusalem to visit with Peter, and I stayed with him fifteen days. 19But I saw no other emissaries except Jacob, the Lord’s brother. 20(In what I’m writing you, before God, I do not lie.) 21Then I went to the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22But I was personally unknown to Messiah’s communities of Judea; 23they only kept hearing, “The one who once persecuted us now proclaims the Good News he once tried to destroy!” 24So they were praising God because of me.
–from Galatians 1
Let’s point people to God! Let’s allow our thoughts, our words, and our actions point people to God! Let’s be Jesus with skin on to those who may never walk into a church so that they may get to experience and turn back to God and trust in Jesus! Sense the urgency! Act with diligence! Be a part of the story before it is too late! Keep watch! Be on your guard! Stick with Jesus because in the end – Victory is His!
Signs of the End
1As Yeshua was going out of the Temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, look! What stones and what buildings!” 2Yeshua said to him, “You see these great buildings? Not one stone here will be left upon another. Every one will be torn down!” 3As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the Temple, Peter, Jacob, John, and Andrew were questioning Him privately, 4“Tell us, when will these things happen? What will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5Yeshua began to tell them, “Watch out that no one leads you astray! 6Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and they will lead many astray. 7When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed, for this must happen but it is not yet the end. 8For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines. These things are only the beginning of birth pains. 9“Watch out for yourselves! They will hand you over to the courts, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will stand before governors and kings because of Me, as a witness to them. 10The Good News must first be proclaimed to all the nations. 11When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Say whatever is given to you in that hour, for it is not you who speaks but the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 12Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. And children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. 13And you will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
Birth Pangs Before Deliverance
14“But when you see ‘the abomination of desolation’ standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. 15The one on the roof must not go down, nor enter to take anything out of his house. 16And the one in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. 17Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 18Pray that it will not happen in winter. 19“For in those days there will be trouble such as has never happened, not since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will. 20And unless Adonai had cut short those days, no one would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He cut short the days. 21“And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here’s the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there He is!’ do not believe it. 22For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and show signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, the chosen. 23So be careful! See, I have told you everything beforehand.”
24“But in those days, after that trouble, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.’ 26And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 27Then He will send out the angels and will gather together His chosen from the four winds, from the end of the earth, to the end of heaven.”
28“Now learn the parable from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So also, when you see all these things happening, know that it is near, at the door. 30Amen, I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. 32But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven nor the Son, except the Father. 33“Keep on the lookout! Stay alert! For you do not know when the time is. 34It is like a man away on a journey. After leaving his house and putting his servants in charge and giving each his task, he also commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35Therefore stay alert, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, when the rooster crows, or in the early morning. 36So watch in case, coming suddenly, he finds you asleep. 37What I say to you I say to all: ‘Stay alert!’”
–from Mark 13
Speak in truth! Speak in love! Speak life! Speak hope!