Ever finished a big project and then people setup meetings to have a retrospective or post mortem? Ever found people tend to focus on what went bad more than what went well? What we need to fix or stop vs what went well and should continue? It seems to be human nature to do that, but what we really need to do is to make an effort to celebrate the good! Have meetings to lift up the good news! Have conversations about all the things that have gone well! Be able to help those around you to see there is good taking place! Otherwise, we end up with a team, a group, a society where everyone is feeling doom and gloom.
Consider the news! How much good news do you find on TV or the Radio or the Web?
So how will you make a difference? How will you motivate? How will you encourage? How will you respond? How will you build up? How will you lift up? How will you be a transforming power?
Today’s reading starts with a celebration…blowing the shofar…
Yom Teruah: Day of Shofar Shouts
1“On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a sacred assembly. You are to do no laborious work. It is for you a day for sounding the shofar. 2You are to prepare a burnt offering as a pleasing aroma to Adonai: one young bull from the herd, one ram, and seven male lambs a year old, without flaw, 3with their grain offering of fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths of an ephah with the bull, two tenths with the ram, 4and one tenth with each of the seven lambs, 5as well as one male goat as a sin offering to make atonement for yourselves. 6Also offer the burnt offering for the month with its grain offering, the regular burnt offering with its grain offering, and their appropriate drink offerings as a pleasing aroma to Adonai, as an offering by fire.
Yom Kippur: Day of Atonement
7“On the tenth day of this seventh month, you are to have a sacred assembly. You are to deny yourselves and do no work. 8You are to present to Adonai a burnt offering as a pleasing aroma, one young bull from the herd, one ram, and seven year-old male lambs without defect, 9along with their grain offerings of fine flour mixed with oil: three tenths of an ephah with the bull, two tenths with the ram, 10and one tenth with each of the seven lambs. 11Also offer one male goat for a sin offering, in addition to the sin offering for atonement, as well as the regular burnt offering with its grain offering and their drink offerings.
Sukkot: Feast of Tabernacles
12“On the fifteenth day of the seventh month you are to have a sacred assembly. You are not to do any of your work, and you are to celebrate the Feast to Adonai for seven days.
13You are to offer a burnt offering by fire to Adonai as a pleasing aroma: thirteen young bulls from the herd, two rams, and fourteen year-old male lambs without defect,
14their grain offerings of fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths of an ephah with each of the thirteen bulls, two tenths with each of the two rams,
15and one tenth with each of the fourteen lambs,
16plus one male goat as a sin offering, besides the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink offering.
17“On the second day, you are to offer twelve young bulls from the herd, two rams, and fourteen year-old male lambs without flaw,
18with their grain and drink offerings, with the bulls, rams, and lambs as appropriate by their number according to the regulations,
19plus one male goat as a sin offering, as well as the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink offerings.
20“On the third day, offer eleven bulls, two rams, and fourteen year-old male lambs without defect,
21with their grain and drink offerings, with the bulls, rams, and lambs the number specified,
22and a male goat as a sin offering, in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink offerings.
23“On the fourth day, ten bulls, two rams, and fourteen year-old male lambs without flaw,
24their grain offerings and drink offerings with the bulls, rams, and lambs by their number according to the regulations,
25and one male goat as a sin offering and the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink offerings.
26“On the fifth day, nine bulls, two rams, and fourteen male one year old lambs without defect,
27with their grain and drink offerings by their number as specified,
28and one goat for a sin offering, in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink offerings.
29“On the sixth day, eight bulls, two rams, and fourteen male lambs a year old without defect,
30with the bulls, rams, and lambs, their grain and drink offerings according to those numbers specified,
31and one goat for a sin offering with the regular burnt offering and its grain and drink offerings.
32“On the seventh day, seven bulls, two rams, and fourteen male lambs without defect a year old,
33plus their grain and drink offerings, for the bulls, rams, and lambs according to the numbers specified,
34in addition to one male goat for a sin offering and the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink offerings.
35“On the eighth day there shall be for you an assembly. You are to do no regular work.
36You are to offer to Adonai a burnt offering, a fire offering, a pleasing aroma, one bull, one ram, and seven male lambs a year old without defect,
37and their grain and drink offerings, with the bull, ram, and lamb corresponding to their number according to the regulations,
38and a goat for a sin offering, besides the regular burnt offering with its grain and drink offerings.
39“You are to prepare these for Adonai at your moadim in addition to your vow and freewill offerings, along with your burnt offerings, grain offerings, drink offering, and fellowship offerings.”
40So Moses told Bnei-Yisrael all that Adonai commanded Moses.
–from Numbers 29
We need to remember the truth! We need to remember that Jesus has already won the victory! We need to remember that in the end – even in the final battle – God wins! We need to remember how much Jesus did for us! We need to remember His love! His sacrifice! His example! so that we can live our lives with the joy and peace of God in order that others may come to know Him! We may be the only experience of Jesus anyone ever gets as they may never go to a church, but they will spend time with us!
So let’s rejoice in the Lord! Let’s celebrate all the good things that are taking place in and around us!
The Victory of the Resurrection
1Now I make known to you, brothers and sisters, the Good News which I proclaimed to you. You also received it, and you took your stand on it,
2and by it you are being saved if you hold firm to the word I proclaimed to you—unless you believed without proper consideration.
3For I also passed on to you first of all what I also received— that Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
5and that He appeared to Kefa, then to the Twelve.
6Then He appeared to over five hundred brothers and sisters at one time— most of them are still alive, though some have died.
7Then He appeared to Jacob, then to all the emissaries,
8and last of all, as to one untimely born, He also appeared to me.
9For I am the least of the emissaries, unworthy to be called an emissary because I persecuted God’s community.
10But by the grace of God I am what I am. His grace toward me was not in vain. No, I worked harder than them all—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
11Whether then it is I or they, so we proclaim, and so you believed.
12Now if Messiah is proclaimed—that He has been raised from the dead—how can some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Messiah has been raised!
14And if Messiah has not been raised, then our proclaiming is meaningless and your faith also is meaningless.
15Moreover, we are found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified about God that He raised up Messiah—whom He did not raise up, if in fact the dead are not raised.
16For if the dead are not raised, not even Messiah has been raised.
17And if Messiah has not been raised, your faith is futile—you are still in your sins.
18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Messiah have perished.
19If we have hoped in Messiah in this life alone, we are to be pitied more than all people.
20But now Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also has come through a Man.
22For as in Adam all die, so also in Messiah will all be made alive.
23But each in its own order: Messiah the firstfruits; then, at His coming, those who belong to Messiah;
24then the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all rule and all authority and power.
25For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.
26The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
27For God has “put all things in subjection underneath His feet.” But when the psalmist says that “all” has been put in subjection, it is clear that this does not include God Himself, who put all things under Messiah.
28Now when all things become subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also become subject to the One who put all things under Him, so that God may be all in all.
29Otherwise, what will they do who are immersed for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, then why are they immersed for them?
30And why are we in danger every hour?
31I die every day—yes, as surely as the boast in you, brothers and sisters, which I have in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.
32If, for human reasons, I fought with “wild animals” at Ephesus, what good is that to me? If the dead are not raised, “let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”
33Do not be deceived! “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
34Come to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning! For some have no knowledge of God—I say this to your shame.
35But someone will say, “How are the dead raised?” and, “With what kind of body do they come?”
36Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.
37As for what you sow—you are not sowing the body that will be, but a bare seed, maybe of wheat or something else.
38But God gives it a body just as He planned, and to each of the seeds a body of its own.
39All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of humans, another flesh of animals, another of birds, and another of fish.
40There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one thing while the earthly is another.
41There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.
42So also is the resurrection of the dead: Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption!
43Sown in dishonor, raised in glory! Sown in weakness, raised in power!
44Sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body! If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
45So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
46However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.
47The first man is of the earth, made of dust; the second man is from heaven.
48Like the one made of dust, so also are those made of dust; and like the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.
49And just as we have borne the image of the one made from dust, so also shall we bear the image of the One from heaven.
50Now I say this, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and what decays cannot inherit what does not decay.
51Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—
52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar. For the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.
53For this corruptible must put on incorruptibility , and this mortal must put on immortality.
54But when this corruptible will have put on incorruptibility and this mortal will have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55“Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?”
56Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Torah.
57But thanks be to God, who keeps giving us the victory through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah!
58Therefore, my dearly loved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord—because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
–from 1 Corinthians 15