Pray As If …

We used to attend a Reform Synagogue on Friday evenings when we lived in Nashville. There was a song that we sang often during the service, and then I found it in the prayer book:

“PRAY AS IF everything depended on God.

Act as if everything depended on you.”

Mishkan T’filah

A Reform Siddur

Page 165

As I was reflecting on my week, I thought of this song. It started “playing” in my head. Then I thought of verses about faith and works. God wants us to have FAITH and that is the most important. However, He definitely wants us to “act as if everything depends on us.”

God is in charge of everything! He created it all. He desires for everything to worship Him and TRUST Him. When we pray, we truly are DEPENDING on Him. He KNOWS that we put our FAITH in HIM.

Because we put our TRUST in HIM, we should DESIRE to ACT like Him. Here are a few verses that should inspire us to understand this concept of faith and actions:

Hebrews 11:6 And without trusting, it is impossible to be well pleasing to God, because whoever approaches him must trust that he does exist and that he becomes a Rewarder to those who seek him out. (CJB)

Ephesians 2:8 For you have been delivered by grace through trusting, and even this is not your accomplishment but God’s gift. (CJB)

Romans 3:28 Therefore, we hold the view that a person comes to be considered righteous by God on the ground of trusting, which has nothing to do with legalistic observance of Torah commands. (CJB)

(I encourage you to understand this verse based on the Complete Jewish Bible because as you can see it has nothing to do with “law.”)

All of these verses help us see that everything is based on FAITH and TRUST in God. We know that this is the ONLY way to receive God’s gift of eternal LIFE.

James chapter 2 is the one that can cause some controversy because it seems to say in verse 24:

You see that a person is declared righteous because of actions and not because of faith alone. (CJB)

If we read earlier in the chapter from verses 12-17 we see that what is really taught is that Torah brings FREEDOM. Following what Adonai taught us should help us LIVE like He wants us too. If we don’t ACT like He taught us, than why would people believe that HE actually lives?

Keep speaking and acting like people who will be judged by a Torah which gives freedom. For judgment will be without mercy toward one who doesn’t show mercy; but mercy wins out over judgment. What good is it, my brothers, if someone claims to have faith but has no actions to prove it? Is such “faith” able to save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food, and someone says to him, “Shalom! Keep warm and eat hearty!” without giving him what he needs, what good does it do? Thus, faith by itself, unaccompanied by actions, is dead. (CJB)

I understand that this topic can get controversial. My desire is that today we “keep it simple” and stop to think about how we act. May we all realize that what we DO is important. We need to completely depend on God, but we also should make sure our actions are in line with His desires.

Will you take the time today to “Act as if the world depended on you?” Will you share HIS love, grace and mercy with those you meet along the way? Will you care for those around you and bless them as Jesus would? Will you be like Abraham who had FAITH, and acted on his faith, so he was called a “friend of God?”

James 2:23 “Abraham had faith in God, and it was credited to his account as righteousness.” He was even called God’s friend. (CJB)

 

Our FAITH needs to be COMPLETE with ACTIONS that lead those around us to the Father. Our TRUST needs to be strong enough that we bring HIS JOY to the people we come in contact with. This weekend stop and REFLECT on your actions. Are they declaring your faith to those around you? Is your faith drawing you closer to an understanding of what HE wants you to do?

I challenge you to TRUST Him, LISTEN to Him and DEPEND on HIM for everything,

then ACT on what HE is telling you to do.

It might actually change your community, than your world.

 

 

 ~ Rose Horton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just CALM Yourselves Down!

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is from Exodus. It is chapter 14 verse 14 and it says:

Adonai will do battle for you. Just calm yourselves down!” (CJB)

The line, “Just calm yourselves down!” makes me laugh every time I hear it. I can hear Moses delivering that line to the Children of Israel. This situation occurred as they had left Egypt and were by the Red Sea. Pharaoh sent the army to come after them. Moses was telling the Israelites that God had taken care of them so far, so HE would once again come through and DELIVER them.

The word I heard this week was, “calm.” It’s time to be calm. It’s time to let God fight the battle for you. This is what I felt He wanted me to remind you of this week.

Let’s look at some verses with the word calm.

Psalm 107:29-30 He silenced the storm and stilled its waves,and they rejoiced as the sea grew calm. Then he brought them safely to their desired port. (CJB)

Isaiah 7:4 and say to him, ‘Take care to stay calm and unafraid; don’t be demoralized by these two smoldering stumps of firewood, by the blazing anger of Retzin and Aram or the son of Remalyah; (CJB)

Mark 4:39-40 He awoke, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind subsided, and there was a dead calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you no trust even now?” (CJB)

All of these verses have to do with TRUSTING that God will do what He says He will do. All of them have to do with WAITING for HIM and being patient that HE will take care of you!

In each situation above, God took care of the person(s) involved. If you read the whole chapter of Psalm 107 you will find that David was writing about his ancestors and the deliverance God gave them from the wilderness. David looked to the past to know the PROMISES that God followed through with.

In Isaiah there were people attempting to conquer Jerusalem. The king at the time, Ahaz, was afraid that Retzin and Aram were going to attack. God told Isaiah to meet Ahaz and give him the message that he was supposed to, “stay calm and unafraid.” God was giving the king instructions to TRUST Him because HE had it all under control.

The verses in Mark are well known. We know that Jesus did calm the waters on the Sea of Galilee. For those of you who have visited Israel during the winter months, you will know that the Sea can become quite volatile depending on the weather. It can arise quite quickly at times. Small boats would not be able to sail in this type of weather. The disciples had reason to be afraid and call on Jesus. In this case, they trusted Him enough to cry out and ask Him to help.

When we are in tough situations, do we cry out for help? Do we let HIM know of our need? Do we TRUST HIM to bring the calm to our soul?

Throughout all of the Bible TRUST brings PEACE, REST and CALM. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. That is TRUST. We cannot see the PEACE, we cannot see the REST, we do not experience the CALM, but when we TRUST and have FAITH, it comes.

Being calm, to me, means to REST in the fact that HE has everything under control. When I worry or get angry, I am not trusting HIM to do what He needs to do! When I TRUST Him, the waters will be calm.

I encourage you to find a place to LET GO of your worries and TRUST Him to bring the calm. Find a place to just breathe and let HIM bring CALM and REST to your soul.

When we come to the realization that TRUST in HIM brings us to a CALM place, than we can find REST in Him. We will RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day to day.

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

The picture this week is one my daughter, Abigail, took. She called it “Calm Water.” It is one of her favorites and based on this weeks teaching, one of mine too.

Choose To Praise

I went back and read what I have written the past several weeks and I felt like it was a bit heavy. It led me to want to lighten things up a bit.

This led me to the word, “praise.” There are many verses in the Bible about giving praise. I’m not going to expound on them much because they should simply uplift us and encourage us. They will help us WIN the battles we face everyday.

I Chronicles 16:8-9 Give thanks to Adonai! Call on his name! Make his deeds known among the peoples. Sing to him, sing praises to him! Talk about all his wonders. (CJB)

Deuteronomy 10:21 He is your praise, and he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things, which you have seen with your own eyes. (CJB)

Jeremiah 20:13 Sing to Adonai! Praise Adonai! For he rescues those in need from the clutches of evildoers. (CJB)

Psalm 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise Adonai!Halleluyah! (CJB)

Acts 2:46-47 Continuing faithfully and with singleness of purpose to meet in the Temple courts daily, and breaking bread in their several homes, they shared their food in joy and simplicity of heart, praising God and having the respect of all the people. And day after day the Lord kept adding to them those who were being saved. (CJB)

I discovered something interesting about the word praise… It is not mentioned much in the New Testament. There are many verses in the Old Testament about giving praise and giving thanks. The one in Chronicles is long (I encourage you to read the whole chapter). There are verses scattered throughout the prophets.

However, the New Testament, although it does encourage giving thanks and praise (see the verses from Acts and we know that Paul sang often in prison), there is not a focus on praise as much as we see in the Old Testament.

I think what we need to realize is, based on the verses from Acts, when the community of faith gathered together and PRAISED God, here is what happened,

“Day after day the LORD kept adding to them those who were being saved.”

PRAISE is where WORSHIP happens and when they went into battle they ALWAYS had the PRAISE first. The battle of Jericho was won by TRUMPETS blowing. I believe that even today, if we CHOOSE to PRAISE, we are better able to do battle against the spiritual forces that try to come against us.

We know today that we face more spiritual battles than physical ones. We need to “Put our praise on” (a song that my kids used to sing). When we make that CHOICE we can WIN the battles, even in our mind. Many of the Psalms are SONGS. I wish we could get back to them. They are TRUE WORSHIP. I wish we could find more songs that are SCRIPTURE and the WORD.

Take time today to SING or WORSHIP. Take time today to PRAISE your Creator. I believe it will lighten your load and help you win the battle.

When we come to the realization that PRAISING HIM is part of winning the battle, than we can find REST in Him. We will RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day to day.

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

 

Image – Benjamin Davies / Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

 

Firm…

I love to just ask Holy Spirit what it is that HE wants me to write about. Often it is something that I need to learn. Today He gave me the word, “firm.” Let’s look at a few verses with this word.

Joshua 23:6

“Therefore be very firm about keeping and doing everything written in the book of the Torah of Moshe and not turning aside from it either to the right or to the left. (CJB)

I Corinthians 16:13

Stay alert, stand firm in the faith, behave like a mentsh, grow strong. (CJB)

2 Thessalonians 2:15

Therefore, brothers, stand firm; and hold to the traditions you were taught by us, whether we spoke them or wrote them in a letter. (CJB)

I would love to go on and on because I enjoy the Word of God, but let’s just stop and see what these couple verses tell us. You can dig around and find more!

Let’s look at the Old Testament verse first. Be “FIRM” about KEEPING and doing EVERYTHING WRITTEN. It really doesn’t have to do with the “law.” It is about understanding what GOD wants and how HE wants us to carry out what HE desires. HIS teachings, Old Testament and New Testament, need to be followed. Even Jesus told us in Matthew 5:18 that:

Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud (dot) or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened. (CJB)

We must understand how the Old Testament and the New Testament work together and that HIS teachings are spread throughout the WHOLE Bible. If you notice, the Complete Jewish Bible uses the word, “Torah” instead of “law.” This is for a reason. When we read “law” we immediately think that all of them have been done away with (except the 10 commandments). This translation clearly tells us that it is not just the “laws,” but the whole Torah. What is taught there is what we need to learn from and realize that heaven and earth will pass away when those teachings have been accomplished.

My favorite verse, that I found several months ago, is the one from 1 Corinthians. Behave like “mentsh.” A “mentsh, according to wikipedia is a yiddish word meaning, “a person of integrity and honor.” If we are to STAY ALERT, STAND FIRM and be a person of INTEGRITY and HONOR, I believe we will grow strong. The stronger we are, the more FIRM we can STAND. It isn’t easy to knock over a person of strength!

2 Thessalonians actually ties in with the verse from Joshua. The word, “tradition” can throw us off. One needs to be careful with traditions and make sure that they are from the Word, and not man made. In this case, if you read the whole chapter (I encourage you to read it in the Complete Jewish Bible for a new understanding, it is clear they are being encouraged to follow what was taught from Torah.

We MUST realize what is in the Torah in order to know who is coming to deceive us. When the Thessalonians were told to hold to the traditions, it would be the ones taught in Torah. They were encouraged to UNDERSTAND ALL that was written so they would not be deceived by the evil one.

In order to STAND FIRM in our day and age today, we must KNOW the WORD of GOD. We MUST SPEAK the TRUTH from it. We must be DESIRING to learn and grow from ALL TRUTHS of the Bible, and challenge ourselves to understand the hidden Truths that are there.

It is easy to be swayed today by all kinds of teachings. It isn’t easy to stand strong when others are trying to bring untruth to us. Without a FIRM FOUNDATION in HIS WORD we will be convinced of things that are not WRITTEN in the Word.

Where are you receiving your teachings? Are you taking the teachings back to the Word and asking Holy Spirit to reveal HIS Truths to you?

Once you have received HIS understanding, it might mean that you have to “go against the flow” of the world in order to STAND FIRM on HIS teachings. Are you ready to face that?

The book of Ephesians (6:11) tells us:

Use all the armor and weaponry that God provides, so that you will be able to stand against the deceptive tactics of the Adversary (CJB)

If we have not armed ourselves with the armor HE provides (the WORD of God), than we will not be able to stand firm. The battle is only going to get harder, my friends. Please, take HIS WORD and hide it inside of you. KNOW HIS PROMISES and SPEAK them daily. SING HIS PRAISE and GIVE HIM THANKS. This will make the battle easier.

When we come to the realization that learning HIS WORD helps us STAND FIRM, than we can find REST in Him. We will RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day to day.

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

 

 

 

Trust…

We have a world today where trust is difficult to achieve. People around us break promises. Businesses fail and jobs that were promised are gone. Even in friendships, families, and marriages there are so many issues that arise that can cause trust to be broken.

What does the Word of God say about trust? Let’s look at a few verse with this word in them.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 Blessed is the man who trusts in Adonai; Adonai will be his security. He will be like a tree planted near water; it spreads out its roots by the river; it does not notice when heat comes; and its foliage is luxuriant; it is not anxious in a year of drought but keeps on yielding fruit. (CJB)

Psalm 56:4 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. (CJB)

John 14:1 “Don’t let yourselves be disturbed. Trust in God and trust in me.

Revelation 21:5 Then the One sitting on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new!” Also he said, “Write, ‘These words are true and trustworthy!’”

Once again we have verses from different places in the Bible. One from the Old Testament prophets, one from a Psalm (writing) and this time two from the New Testament. As we look across all spectrums of the Word of God, we will see that this word, TRUST,” is a strong piece that is an anchor in the Words God wants us to BELIEVE.

Jeremiah has taught us that if we TRUST in Adonai, HE will be our security. There is NO trust to be placed in man, just our Creator! If we choose to TRUST in Him, we will bear FRUIT, even in a year of drought. The PROMISES in this verse are incredible, and all it requires is TRUST in God!

David wrote us a Psalm that says when he is afraid, he trusts in GOD. David had many reasons to not trust man. His brothers didn’t really believe in him when he arrived and said he would face Goliath. Others probably wondered if this “boy” would really become a king. Then King Saul became a “mad man” and tried to kill David and David had to flee for his life. Throughout his life David faced people who chose not to like him. In all of these situations, David chose to TRUST in God.

When we move into the New Testament we see the Words of Jesus. He says, “Don’t be disturbed.” He says, “TRUST in God and TRUST in ME.” He is clearly calling people to make a CHOICE. He gave them the option to CHOOSE WHO they wanted to believe.

The Words in Revelation solidify that GOD is the One Who gives us TRUSTWORTHY Words. When we CHOOSE to TRUST Him, He makes ALL things NEW!

I have to emphasize, once again, that too often we look for peace in our surroundings. We look to people and situations to trust in, and we forget to trust in God. Because we tangibly see things happening around us, it is easier to trust in something someone says than it is to TRUST in things unseen. Because we see things happening around us, we can also LOSE trust in people. Either scenario brings us to a place of trusting man instead of God.

The Word of God makes it clear that when we have FAITH and BELIEVE and TRUST in the God Who created us, than we will have ALL things NEW and bear fruit.

I must remind myself DAILY that HE is my source of ALL things. HE provides ALL I have need of. When I simply TELL Him that I TRUST Him, my mind clears. When my mind is clear, than I see people and situations around me in a NEW way. I can then bring HOPE and LOVE and JOY to those my Father sends my way.

Choose today to TRUST your Father. Our Father tells us to have “faith like a child.” We can TRUST Him to take care of us and catch us. When we make the choice to TRUST Him, we will find FREEDOM.

Choose today to SPEAK the words, “I trust YOU, Lord. YOU are all I need.”

When we come to the realization that TRUST in HIM is what brings us security, than we can find REST in Him. We will RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day to day.

 

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

 

 

 Image by Lauren LuLu Taylor / UnSplash

Set Apart

I have been listening to different teachings this week and asking myself the question, “what does it mean to be ‘set apart?’’

This has always been a struggle for the people of God. Everyone wants to “fit in.” Everyone wants to “be liked.” Everyone wants to “be a part of the crowd.”

When the Word of God tells us to be “set apart,” what does that mean? How do we do that? What does it take to “be different?” Does “set apart” mean to “be different?”

Let’s look at some verses that use these words. Let’s use the Word of God to see if we can gain a better understanding about what He expects of us.

Deuteronomy 14:2

because you are a people set apart as holy for Adonai your God. Adonai your God has chosen you to be his own unique treasure out of all the peoples on the face of the earth. (CJB)

Psalm 4:4

Understand that Adonai sets apart the godly person for himself; Adonai will hear when I call to him. (CJB)

I Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen people, the King’s cohanim, a holy nation, a people for God to possess! Why? In order for you to declare the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (CJB)

In Deuteronomy the Children of Israel were told that they were “set apart as holy.” Adonai CHOSE them to be His unique treasure. They were called to be different than all other peoples on the earth.

The Children of Israel were given the Ten Commandments. They were told not to worship other gods. They were told to keep the Sabbath Holy. They were given days that were to be set apart and holy. All of these commands “set them apart” from other nations and people groups.

In Romans 11 the Gentiles are told they are grafted in. When anyone who is not Jewish chooses to follow Jesus, they become part of this community that is “set apart.”

I Peter continued this thought. The book was written by Peter to “God’s chosen people living as aliens in the diaspora.” He wrote this to Jewish followers of Jesus. He was reminding them that they needed to understand WHO they are as God’s people. Peter made it clear that they needed to remember they were called out of darkness and declare praises because they now saw the Light.

I have a feeling that many of the communities of faith struggled with knowing how to be “set apart.” It is why Paul wrote so many letters to different communities. He knew that each one faced their own situations that caused them to stumble at times. It caused them to blend into the people groups around them, instead of being known as a chosen people. Paul wrote to them to remind them that they were supposed to be unique.

The verse in Psalm is directed toward an individual. Adonai “sets apart” a godly person for Himself. Adonai is willing to hear a godly person when he calls. David knew, being part of the chosen people, that when he would call on God, Adonai would answer.

So how should being “set apart” effect us today? Do we BELIEVE we are set apart?

Too often we just walk next to those around us and “go with the flow.” We are not willing to say, “I’m sorry, but I am not able to participate in that.”

In our communities of faith today, how do we differ from other organizations and groups? Do we have something unique to offer those who choose to spend time with us? Do we really act like we are a “chosen people” who have been called to be LIGHT? What makes us stand out?

There are many communities of faith, and people, today that are beginning to blend in to their surroundings. They are choosing to become more like the world with thoughts and actions. Instead of choosing to walk in the fruits of the Spirit, they respond with the same anger and frustrations their peers do. The outward is not reflecting a person that has been “set apart.”

I wrote about peace last week. I truly believe that a way we can, and should, be different is by carrying PEACE and JOY. IF we BELIEVE that Jesus is Who He said He was, the Son of God, and we are following HIS teachings, than we should have a PEACE that people gravitate to. We should have a JOY that draws people into the LIGHT.

We need to stop trying to have peace around us, and carry HIS peace within us. We need to stop expecting people around us to bring us joy, and be HIS joy to those we meet.

It is ALL about what is INSIDE. Remember, God looks at the HEART. God knows ALL that happens in our minds.

When we are truly “set apart,” we will carry those traits inside of us, and then they will flow to those around us.

When we come to the realization that to be “set apart” is to be a LIGHT to those around us, than we can find REST in Him. We will RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day to day.

 

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

 

 

Peace

It’s Monday and I realized I needed to get my blog written! I don’t usually like to write under pressure, but suddenly my deadline looms. That truly does not bring peace, and yet that is the word I clearly heard as I asked Holy Spirit what I should write about.

As you have probably already noticed, I always want to focus on what the Word of God says about a subject. So, here are some verses about peace:

 

Luke 1:79

to shine on those in darkness, living in the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the paths of peace.” (CJB)

John 16:33

“I have said these things to you so that, united with me, you may have shalom. In the world, you have tsuris. But be brave! I have conquered the world!” (CJB)

Isaiah 26:3

“A person whose desire rests on you, you preserve in perfect peace,because he trusts in you. (CJB)

Two of these verses are from the New Testament. The one in Luke is about John the Baptist. It was at the moment that Zechariah could speak and he prophesied these words concerning his son. He stated that John would “shine on in the darkness” and “guide our feet into the paths of peace.”

John the Baptist was not always known to be a man of peace. He spoke against the religious leaders of the day and told them to repent. He lived in the wilderness and was most likely a member of the Essene community, who were known to be a bit more radical than the other sects of the day.

For those of us who believe that John was the forerunner of Jesus, we can clearly see how John the Baptist did guide our feet into the “paths of peace.” John was the man who called people to turn to Jesus and follow Him. He paved the way for Jesus to be known as the Messiah. The Messiah was the person who was to bring peace into the world.

The verse from John was Jesus speaking. He was telling His followers that when they are united with HIM they will have peace. The word, “tsuris” is a Yiddish word that means “problems” or “trouble.” We all know that trials exist and we all face them every day. The enemy is constantly trying to keep us from peace, so he will send problems and situations our way that will “knock us off our peace.”

Jesus tells us that when we stay close to Him than we will conquer the world. HE is the One Who brings us the ability to move forward and have peace even when the problems and troubles come.

The verse in Isaiah should complete for us the thought that ONLY when we TRUST in Adonai can we find peace. RESTING in Him we can find “PERFECT PEACE.” This happens when we place our DESIRES into HIS desires.

We know that Jesus did not bring peace to the world, Jesus brought PEACE TO OUR HEARTS. This looked different than everyone was expecting. People were looking for peace to happen around them, not within them. This is still our problem today. We are looking for peace to happen around us, instead of seeking for peace WITHIN us.

The Word of God is clear that as we come closer to the Messiah’s return, there will be wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, famines and the list of problems and tribulations continue… You name it, we will face it.

Technology has brought issues and trials of its own. Phones and social media, as positive as they can be, also bring depression and isolation. We have become a society that continues to search for peace externally and forget about the internal. We have become more focused on how to take care of the world, and have forgotten how to care for ourselves.

I think the KEYS to internal peace is found in a couple of words found in these verses:

 

BE BRAVE

 

REST

 

TRUST

 

GIUDE

 

SHINE

 

UNITED

These are words we should apply daily as we walk out the path HE has us on. I believe that if we apply them, we will have internal peace. They are WORDS from Adonai and HIS promises are true.

When we come to the realization that PEACE needs to happen inside of us, than we can find REST in Him. We will RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day to day.

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

 

 

 

 

 

When Weariness Tries To Settle In

Some days weariness settles in. Sometimes it is because of weather. Sometimes it is because we are ill. Sometimes we did not care for our bodies and had lack of sleep. Sometimes it can happen because of accusations thrown against us.

All of these scenarios and situations cause us to become lazy and lack motivation to fulfill daily tasks. Sometimes we lack energy because of physical symptoms, but we must remember that emotions affect us as well.

As a parent it is never fun to see your children coughing, sneezing, blowing noses and just genuinely feeling yucky. We also do not like it when they face attacks from others. We want them to be ALL we know they can be. We want them to run, play, and be full of energy.

If this is the desire of our heart for our friends and family, how much more does our Father and Creator want us to be HEALTHY and FULL of energy? How much more does HE want us to overcome the weariness and walk in HIS strength?

Most of us know what the Word of God says about being weary, but here are a few reminders:

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (CJB)

This verse is probably one of the top Scriptures used when others want to encourage you to give HIM your struggles. If we struggle physically, HE is our rest. If we struggle emotionally, HE is our rest. He TELLS us to GIVE Him all of our issues, trials, and burdens.

How we release them to Him is different for everyone, but usually writing them down and burning them bring a release to our soul. It is a physical act of “letting go” and releasing our heavy yoke to Him.

Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in Adonai will renew their strength, they will soar aloft as with eagles’ wings; when they are running they won’t grow weary, when they are walking they won’t get tired. (CJB)

Yet another very popular verse we hear when others know we are struggling. My question to you about this verse is, “DO you HOPE???” We hear this verse so often, but what do we do with it? Do we REALLY HOPE? It is quite clear that one way to NOT grow weary is through HOPE!

After releasing your burdens to Him, write down ALL that He has done for you and find HOPE!

Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat rich food, drink sweet drinks, and send portions to those who can’t provide for themselves; for today is consecrated to our Lord. Don’t be sad, because the joy of Adonai is your strength.” (CJB)

This verse was a surprise to me when I Googled verses for those who are weary. This is how it was on the site I found, so then I wanted to look at the scenario around the words. “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

When I read chapter 8 of Nehemiah I found that Ezra, the prophet, was teaching the Children of Israel from the Torah. As he was reading, the Israelites began to weep. It doesn’t say if they were convicted, or just overwhelmed with God’s love, but we know they began to cry. In response, Ezra told them to not be sad, but go enjoy the day because it is, “consecrated to our Lord.”

The Children of Israel were READING the WORD of God. They found ALL they needed in it and were told to go eat, drink and care for those who cannot provide for themselves. They were told to ENJOY all they were given! ALL of this came because they LISTENED to the WORD of God.

The final words of the verse are key: “Don’t be sad, because the JOY of Adonai is your strength.”

Friends, I truly believe that when we GIVE Him our burdens and we find HOPE in HIM, than we do not have to grieve. We can find JOY and STRENGTH. We will be able to face any trial that comes, whether it be physical or emotional. Whether it be an attack from our body, or those around us, when we look to HIM, He will be our source of ALL we need.

The final reminder is to READ His WORD. It is through HIS Words that we find HOPE and JOY. HIS PROMISES that will help us face every day.

When we come to the realization that reading HIS Word brings Hope and Joy, than we can find REST in Him. We will RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day to day.

 

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

 

 

 

Change

On Sunday’s the blog Restored Ministries posts is a song.

This past week it was a song called “Changing Me.”

A beautiful song that requires us to realize that change MUST occur in our lives. As God changes us, we can recognize that His voice is like the water running through us. As I listened, I wondered, “Who wouldn’t want God’s voice running through us like water?” It made me want MORE! So then, how do I get more?

When we KNOW that He is God and that only HE can change us, we WAIT on Him, and in the end we receive MORE!

Malachi 3:6 “But because I, Adonai, do not change,you sons of Ya‘akov will not be destroyed. (CJB)

Hebrews 13:8 Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today and forever. (CJB)

James 1:17 Every good act of giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father who made the heavenly lights; with him there is neither variation nor darkness caused by turning. (CJB)

In other versions this says, “Who does not change as shifting shadows.”

Numbers 23:19 “God is not a human who lies or a mortal who changes his mind.When he says something, he will do it;when he makes a promise, he will fulfill it. (CJB)

The verses above are HIS PROMISES to us that HE will never change. HE will be the same “yesterday, today and forever.”

His desire is for us to “wait for Him” and let HIM show up to work in us. He wants us to be OPEN and moldable. He wants to “run through us.”

We are not to be afraid. We are to TRUST. This verse in Lamentations should bring us HOPE that HE really is ALL we need. If we truly TRUST Him, than change should not be too hard.

Lamentations 3:21-22 But in my mind I keep returning to something,something that gives me hope —that the grace of Adonai is not exhausted,that his compassion has not ended. (CJB)

The song ends with a question, “How can I not be changed when You’re all around me?”

If God is truly all around us, and He does NOT change, than we should desire to be LIKE HIM and change ourselves.

I know these are all words we have heard before. I know that if we have been walking as a believer and following Jesus for years, this is not a new message. However, it is an important message. It is vital to our growth.

If we choose NOT to change, we are ultimately saying that HE is not enough. We are denying that HE is WHO He says He is and that we don’t trust.

My challenge to all of us today is too take a hard look inside and ask ourselves what we need to change. Is there anything hindering us from the PROMISES of God because we are stubborn and irritable? I am asking myself the same question as I type this and re-read it…

The song challenged me to once again, “wait and listen.” Two words which are not easy to do. Waiting and listening are not fun, but are required. Waiting and listening for HIS voice. Waiting and listening for HIS command.

Once we KNOW and we CHANGE, than we have HIS compassion and HIS promises.

When we come to the realization that allowing HIM to change us brings comfort and peace, than we can find REST in Him. We will RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day to day.

 

Love and blessings,

Rose

 

 

Look Up

I keep hearing the words, LOOK UP.

This week as we read our Torah Portion these words teach us WHY we need to do this. We look up to be HEALED. When we LOOK UP we acknowledge that our Father is in charge and that HE will take care of us.

Numbers 21:9 Moshe made a bronze snake and put it on the pole; if a snake had bitten someone, then, when he looked toward the bronze snake, he stayed alive. (CJB)

John 3:14-15 Just as Moshe lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life. (CJB)

Psalm 121:1 If I raise my eyes to the hills,from where will my help come? (CJB)

In the wilderness the Children of Israel were dying because of their disobedience. God sent snakes that bit the people. As they cried out to Moses for a solution, Adonai told Moses to build a snake and all of those who looked on it would be healed and live. This required them to look up!

The book of John tells us the story of Nicodemus. He approached Jesus and asked how a man could be born again. The explanation Jesus gave included the incident of Moses and the snake. Nicodemus was told that just like Moses lifted the serpent up in the desert (a story Nicodemus would have known well as a scholar of the Torah), so the Son of Man was to be lifted up. It is through belief in HIM that eternal LIFE is found. Nicodemus found that he had to LOOK UP for his LIFE.

The verse from Psalms takes us back to David, but it is clear that David found his way to help was by LOOKING UP. He had to raise his eyes to the hills and BELIEVE that his help was coming. If you have ever been to Israel you know that there are lots of hills. To see above them one must look up.

How should all of these situations affect us today? HOW do we look up today?

So often we trust man to bring healing. We look to those around us to bring us health and peace. Yes, God sends people to us to help us. God brings ideas through people that might help us with our health or life situations. We must, however, take all ideas and thoughts to our Father and Creator. HE gives guidance and direction.

Moses actually had to build a pole to look at. I don’t recommend building anything like that today, but I have found that sometimes having a “reminder tool” in my room or house is beneficial. Maybe it is a verse card, maybe it is a painted rock, maybe a simple souvenir from a trip… something that REMINDS me to LOOK UP and BELIEVE in my Father.

KEEP TRUSTING that HE wants you WHOLE. He wants us to KNOW that HE is in control. HE wants to receive the glory for HIS accomplishments. I have found that when I keep my eyes on HIM, PEACE is in my soul.

When we come to the realization that LOOKING UP brings healing and peace, than we can find REST in Him. We will RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day to day.

 

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

 

Photo Credit is given to Serena Geiger who captured it in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre while we were in Israel several weeks ago.