Today the word comfort came up and it triggered memories for me about a time when God called me to move but my response was how great things were where I was at and how comfortable it was. Later, I realized that God has called me to move because He knew what was coming and was providing me with a way out, a way to avoid it, a way to do something different. My unwillingness to be obedient caused me to have to deal with the casualties. The VP left the company, the org got broken up and I ended up in a new division with new leadership. It further changed as I gave up my old project for a new one which was later was taken away from me and started the downward spiral of bitterness and anger. Each day God would tell me I should forgive them and each day I would have the excuse that He knew what they had done for me, how could I forgive them. Right up till the moment when I discovered the key to freedom being forgiveness! I learned at the same time how when we forgive others, it opens the door for God to forgive us! Later as I changed jobs and was contacted by a recruiter, I shared part of the story about being comfortable and how I should have realized in the moment that there was a problem because I had become comfortable!
Today’s word though begins not with comfortable, but with comfort. No matter where you are you can find comfort. No matter what you are going thru you can find comfort. No matter when you are in your timeline you can find comfort. No matter who you are you can find comfort. No matter why you feel the way you do you can find comfort.
Comfort – receive it from God! Some may call it peace – a peace that goes beyond all understanding. Some may call it hope – a hope for what is dreamed for but not what is yet visible. Some may call it a relief or release or an easing – a freedom from what had or has happened. Some may call it support or reassurance – that sense of support while going into, thru, or out of a tough situation. God’s offer of comfort is what got me started into today’s post. So wherever you are at today, stick close to God! Whatever you are going thru receive His offer of comfort! Whenever you run into challenging time, call out to Him for wisdom and discernment and accept His offer of comfort in and thru it all. Accept His good news! Ever heard of the Good News? It’s Jesus! He came to save! He came to sacrifice! He came to lead! He came to reach us! He came to teach us! He came to embrace us! Be it the Good News of Jesus’ birthGood News of Jesus’ birth…or…the Good News of the Kingdom of God – let’s receive God’s comfort and take hold of the Good News!
Today’s reading begins with Isaiah 40…with a message of Hope to the people of how Jesus the savior will be coming…
Comfort, Proclaim Good News
1“Comfort, comfort My people,” says your God. 2Speak kindly to the heart of Jerusalem and proclaim to her that her warfare has ended, that her iniquity has been removed. For she has received from Adonai’s hand double for all her sins. 3A voice cries out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of Adonai, Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4Every valley will be lifted up, every mountain and hill made low, the rough ground will be a plain and the rugged terrain smooth. 5The glory of Adonai will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together.” For the mouth of Adonai has spoken. 6A voice is saying, “Cry out!” So I said, “What shall I cry out?” “All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. 7The grass withers, the flower fades. For the breath of Adonai blows on it. Surely the people are grass. 8The grass withers, the flower fades. But the word of our God stands forever.” 9Get yourself up on a high mountain, you who bring good news to Zion! Lift up your voice with strength, you who bring good news to Jerusalem! Lift it up! Do not fear! Say to the cities of Judah: “Behold your God!” 10Look, Adonai Elohim comes with might, with His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him. 11Like a shepherd, He tends His flock. He gathers the lambs in His arms carries them in his bosom, and gently guides nursing ewes.
Who Is Like Him?
12Who has measured the waters in the palm of His hand, or measured out heaven with a span, or calculated the dust of the earth in a measure, or weighed the mountains in scales, or the hills in a balance? 13Who can fathom the Ruach Adonai? Or instruct Him as His counselor? 14With whom did He consult, and who instructed Him? Who taught Him in the path of justice or taught Him knowledge? Who informed Him about the way of understanding? 15Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and count as a speck of dust on the scales. Behold, the islands weigh as fine dust. 16Lebanon is not enough to burn, or its animals enough for a burnt offering. 17All the nations are as nothing before Him. By Him they are accounted null and void. 18To whom then will you liken God? To what likeness will you compare Him? 19To an idol? A craftsman casts it, a goldsmith overlays it with gold and fashions silver chains for it. 20One too poor for such an offering chooses wood that will not rot. He looks for a skilled craftsman to prepare him an idol that will not totter. 21Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22He sits above the circle of the earth— its inhabitants are like grasshoppers— He stretches out the skies like a curtain, spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. 23He reduces princes to nothing. He makes the judges of the earth a confusion. 24Scarcely are they planted, scarcely are they sown, scarcely their stem takes root in the earth, when He blows on them and they wither, and a storm carries them off as stubble. 25“To whom then will you liken Me? Or who is My equal?” says the Holy One. 26Lift up your eyes on high, and see! Who created these? The One who brings out their host by number, the One who calls them all by name. Because of His great strength and vast power, not one is missing. 27Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, “My way is hidden from Adonai, and the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”? 28Have you not known? Have you not heard? Adonai is the eternal God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not grow tired or weary. His understanding is unsearchable. 29He gives strength to the weary, and to one without vigor He adds might. 30Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, 31but they who wait for Adonai will renew their strength. They will soar up with wings as eagles. They will run, and not grow weary. They will walk, and not be faint.
–from Isaiah 40
Jesus is the conqueror! He conquered the grave and defeated death! He gave His life on the cross to conquer sin! He was the ultimate sacrifice for you and me so that we could be reconciled back unto God! He took justice into His own hands since He knew we couldn’t do enough to be able to do it ourselves!
No matter where you are today, turn to God! No matter what you are going thru, turn to God! No matter how life is going, turn to God! No matter who you are, turn to God! No matter the date or the time, no matter when in your life you are at, turn to God!
Ask Jesus into your life and be transformed!
1“Be silent before Me, O islands! Let peoples renew their strength. Let them draw near, then let them speak. Let us come together for judgment. 2Who has stirred up one from the east? He calls justice to His feet. He gives nations over to him and subdues kings. He makes them like dust with his sword, as driven stubble with his bow. 3He pursues them, passing on safely, by a path his feet had not traveled. 4Who has performed and done it? Calling forth the generations from the beginning, I, Adonai, am the first and the last, I am He!” 5The coastlands have seen and fear. The ends of the earth tremble. They draw near and come. 6Each one helps his neighbor and says to his brother, “Be strong!” 7The craftsman encourages the smith, who smooths with the hammer, who strikes with the anvil, saying of the soldering, “It’s good!” as he fastens it with nails so that it will not totter.
My Servant, My Friend
8“But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, descendant of Abraham, My friend— 9I took hold of you from the ends of the earth, and called from its uttermost parts, and said to you, ‘You are My servant— I have chosen you, not rejected you. 10Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Surely I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. 11Behold, all who were angry at you will be ashamed and disgraced. Those who quarrel with you will be as nothing and perish. 12Though you will look for those who contended with you, you will not find them. Those who warred against you will be as nothing at all. 13For I am Adonai your God who upholds your right hand, who says to you, “Fear not, I will help you.” 14Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I will help you.” It is a declaration of Adonai, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. 15“Look, I will make you a threshing sledge, new, with sharp, double-edged spikes. You will thresh the mountains and grind them up, and will make the hills like chaff. 16You will winnow them, and a wind will carry them away, a storm-wind will scatter them. But you will rejoice in Adonai. You will glory in the Holy One of Israel. 17“The poor and needy ask for water, but there is none, Their tongues are parched with thirst. I, Adonai, will answer them, I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. 18I will open rivers on the bare hills and springs in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water and the dry land into fountains of water. 19I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree, the myrtle and the olive tree. I will set in the desert the cypress tree and the pine together with the box tree— 20so they may see and know, consider and understand together, that the hand of Adonai has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.”
Challenge to Idolaters
21“Present your case,” says Adonai. “Bring forth your reasons,” says the King of Jacob. 22Let them bring forth and tell us what will happen. The former things, what were they? Tell us, that we may consider them and know their outcome. Or announce to us things to come. 23Declare the things coming afterward, so we may know that you are gods! Indeed, do good or do evil, so we may all see and be awestruck. 24Behold, you are nothing, and your work is null. Whoever chooses you is loathsome. 25“I have stirred up one from the north, and he has come. From the rising of the sun, He will call upon My Name. He will trample rulers as on mortar, like a potter treading clay.” 26Who told this from the beginning, so that we may know? Or from former times, so we may say, “He is right”? In fact, no one foretold it, In fact, no one announced it. In fact, no one heard Your words. 27First it was to Zion: “Behold, here they are!” And to Jerusalem: “I will give a herald of good news.” 28But when I look, there is no one. There is no counselor among them. When I ask them, they have no response. 29Indeed, they are all a delusion. Their works are null. Their molten images are wind and waste.
–from Isaiah 41
Been thru a tough time? Natural tendency is to go back to what you know, what is comfortable, but is that really where God wants you? Imagine being thru the trauma of having watched Jesus be taken away, beaten, and crucified! Imagine your hopes and your dreams when He was buried in that cave! The way they must have felt…The thoughts that went thru their minds…The fear and doubt of what they were to do next…Do try to go back to being comfortable! You can allow God to comfort you thru each day, because we know that in this world we will have troubles but we also know that we can take hope because Jesus has overcome the world! You can allow God to comfort you thru each day, because we will face trials and with God’s comfort, He can help us walk thru the trials of each day considering them pure joy, because it tests our faith and the testing of our faith produces perseverance and when we allow perseverance to complete its work, it will bring us to the place of maturity and completeness, lacking nothing!
So let’s not grow weary in doing good works! Let’s not try to get comfortable rather than finding comfort through Jesus! Let’s allow Jesus’ love restore us!
Fish for Breakfast with the Risen One
1After these things, Yeshua revealed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. Now here is how He appeared. 2Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in the Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two of the other disciples were together. 3Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.” “We’re coming with you too,” they said. They went out and got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing. 4At dawn, Yeshua stood on the beach; but the disciples didn’t know that it was Yeshua. 5So Yeshua said to them, “Boys, you don’t happen to have any fish, do you?” “No,” they answered Him. 6He said to them, “Throw the net off the right side of the boat, and you’ll find some.” So they threw the net, and they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish. 7Therefore the disciple whom Yeshua loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tied his outer garment around himself—for he was stripped down for work—and threw himself into the sea. 8But the other disciples came in the boat from about two hundred cubits offshore, dragging the net full of fish. 9So when they got out onto the land, they saw a charcoal fire with fish placed on it, and bread. 10Yeshua said to them, “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught.” 11Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net to shore. There were 153 fish, many of them big; but the net was not broken. 12Yeshua said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?”—knowing it was the Lord. 13Yeshua comes and takes the bread and gives it to them, and likewise the fish. 14This was now the third time that Yeshua was revealed to the disciples after He was raised from the dead.
Love Restores Peter
15When they had finished breakfast, Yeshua said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs!” 16He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Take care of My sheep!” 17He said to him a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him for a third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know everything! You know that I love You!” Yeshua said to him, “Feed My sheep!” 18“Amen, amen I tell you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19Now this He said to indicate by what kind of death Peter was going to glorify God. And after this, Yeshua said to him, “Follow Me!” 20Peter, turning around, sees the disciple following. This was the one whom Yeshua loved, who also had reclined against Yeshua’s chest at the seder meal and said, “Master, who is the one who is betraying You?” 21Seeing him, Peter said to Yeshua, “Lord, what about him?” 22Yeshua said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” 23Therefore this saying went out among the brothers and sisters, that this disciple would not die. Yet Yeshua did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?”
24This is the disciple who is an eyewitness of these things and wrote these things. We know that his testimony is true. 25There are also many other things that Yeshua did. If all of them were to be written one by one, I suppose that not even the world itself will have room for the books being written!
–from John 21
So let’s walk out our lives as God’s plan! Let’s walk out our lives as God’s created it to be! Let’s walk out our lives thru the highs and lows allowing God’s love and comfort to protect us through the journey! Let’s come together in unity pursuing the things of God! Let’s be Jesus with skin on to the world around us! Sharing Him with each one God brings into our lives!
1Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Messiah.
Headship and Coverings
2Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firm the traditions just as I passed them on to you. 3But I want you to know that the head of every man is Messiah, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Messiah is God. 4Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered dishonors his head. 5But every woman praying or prophesying with her head uncovered dishonors her head. For it is one and the same as having been shaved. 6For if a woman does not cover her head, let her cut off her hair. But if it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut off or to be shaved, let her cover her head. 7For surely a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God. But the woman is the glory of man. 8For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9Neither was man created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake. 10For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11In any case—in the Lord—woman is not independent of man and man is not independent of woman. 12For just as the woman came from the man, so also the man comes through the woman—but all things are from God. 13Judge for yourselves—is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14Doesn’t the natural order of things teach you—if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace for him; 15but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory, for her hair was given to her as a covering. 16But if anyone intends to be contentious, we have no such custom—nor do God’s communities.
Unity at the Lord’s Table
17But in giving you this instruction I do not praise you, for when you meet together it does more harm than good. 18For first of all, when you come together as Messiah’s community, I hear that there are divisions among you; and to some extent I believe it— 19for there must be factions among you, so that those among you who are tried and true may be evident. 20Therefore, when you meet together in the same place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper— 21for each one takes his own supper beforehand, and one goes hungry while another gets drunk. 22What! It is certainly not that you do not have houses, is it? Don’t you have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise God’s community and try to humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? I don’t praise you for this! 23For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you—that the Lord Yeshua, on the night He was betrayed, took matzah ; 24and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you. Do this in memory of Me.” 25In the same way, He also took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in memory of Me.” 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. 27Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the Lord’s cup in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28But a man must examine himself, and then let him eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29For the one who eats and drinks without recognizing the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and quite a few have died. 31For if we were judging ourselves thoroughly, we wouldn’t be coming under judgment. 32But when we are judged, we are being disciplined by the Lord so that we might not be condemned along with the world. 33So then, my brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34If anyone is hungry let him eat at home, so that when you meet it doesn’t lead to judgment. And the rest I will put in order when I come.
–from 1 Corinthians 11