Mistreatment

Our family was reading our Daily Torah Portion this morning, and the verses from the New Testament portion were from the book of Hebrews. A few words stuck out to me and I had to stop and think about them.

Hebrews 11:25-26 He chose being mistreated along with God’s people rather than enjoying the passing pleasures of sin. He had come to regard abuse suffered on behalf of the Messiah as greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he kept his eyes fixed on the reward.

These verses are speaking about Moses. The couple verses before this show us that Moses chose to remove himself from the courts of Pharaoh and live with his people, the Hebrews.

The words that stood out to me were, “He chose being mistreated.”

I don’t know about you, but mistreatment is not fun. Mistreatment is actually quite hurtful and frustrating. I would never want to place myself in a position where I would be mistreated. Let’s just say, it would not be high on my list to walk into a “den of lions.”

And yet, that is exactly what Moses did in this situation. He trusted God enough that he left the “treasures of Egypt” and fixed his eyes on the ONE Who would take care of him. He “kept his eyes fixed on the reward.”

These verses made me stop and think, am I willing to stand up for HIS WORD in such a way that I will be mistreated? Am I willing to LISTEN and follow what HE wants me to do even if it means suffering “abuse?” Do I really BELIEVE that HE will reward me in the end?

We know that the Word tells us that we will face suffering. We know that the Word tells us our rewards are not here on earth. So, why do we question so much when suffering happens? Why do we seek rewards here on earth?

These are all thoughts I am pondering. I had a conversation with someone while in Israel and when I mentioned that I did not fit anywhere, his response was that we are not to fit. He reminded me that when you are truly following Adonai, you won’t “fit” in this world. And when you don’t “fit” there is mistreatment.

My prayer now is, “Lord, give me the strength to walk out what YOU ask me to do. If I am mistreated, help me know how to respond. Father, give me the wisdom to be ALL you want me to be, no matter what others around me say. Keep me focused on YOU instead of what is happening around me. YOU will always give me the strength to run the race.”

I pray that as the world becomes darker, and the pleasures of the world look more enticing, that we would all be prepared for whatever gets thrown our way. I might not want to place myself in a position where I will be mistreated, but it will happen. As long as I keep my eyes focused on my Creator, He will give me strength to stay on His path. I pray you can do the same.

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

Photo by Philipp Wüthrich on Unsplash

 

Surrender And Multiply

As I write this I am sitting in a kibbutz in Northern Israel. When you read this I will be celebrating Shabbat with my friends. I will admit that right now it is cold and rainy and not very exciting, but I have no “agenda” and looking forward to simply enjoying some down time and the ability to LISTEN to what HE wants me to do. 

Today I was listening to music. Something I rarely get to do anymore. A Facebook friend put up a song from a group I had never heard before so I started listening to their songs. There was one called, “Multiplied” that I enjoyed. The words made me realize that I needed to completely surrender to HIM in order to multiply. 

As I looked for verses about surrender, the words that came up were, “submit,” “give me your heart,” and “present your bodies.” So many different ones. 

Jeremiah 10:23 Adonai, I know that the way of humans is not in their control, humans are not able to direct their steps as they walk.

Proverbs 23:26 My son, give me your heart; let your eyes observe my ways.

Romans 12:1 I exhort you, therefore, brothers, in view of God’s mercies, to offer yourselves as a sacrifice, living and set apart for God. This will please him; it is the logical “Temple worship” for you.

All three of these verses show a surrender to God. We need to understand that we are set apart and need to be ready to be LIVING for Him. I am relearning this myself. 

Proverbs tell us that we are supposed to “give HIM your heart.” Listen to WISDOM. When we surrender to HIM and let HIM direct our steps, I truly believe that we will see things multiply.

I have attached the link to the song. LISTEN to the Words. Here is one stanza:

God of mercy sweet love of mine, I have surrendered to Your design,May this offering stretch across the skies And these Halleluiahs be multiplied!

As you enter 2020, SURRENDER to HIS DESIGN. Then give a Hallelujah to HIM and let them be multiplied! 

Stand encouraged and with HIM. Watch HIM multiply…

⁃Rose Horton

Image – UnSplash by Slava B

Late

It’s a “New Year.” So many resolutions, goals, preparations for moving forward. So, why did I title this blog, “LATE?” Several words were being tossed around in my mind, and since we just had a day filled with several “time sensitive” happenings – for some reason I kept focusing on “don’t be late!” As I usually do, I looked up verses with the word, “late.” Nothing really focused about being on “time,” but this verse from Psalm stuck out to me:

Psalm 127:2 In vain do you get up early and put off going to bed, working hard to earn a living; for he provides for his beloved, even when they sleep. (CJB)

It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. (ESV)

I’m going to give a few details of our day and then tie this verse into at the end… It’s kind of a story and got a little long, but I hope you can see how GOD put all the pieces together.

We started the day with my son having a supposed soccer practice (it was scheduled last night and had rained hard all night long) and I was supposed to have my hair done. Both were on the same side of town, so we traveled together to get to our respective appointments “on time.” It isn’t fun to “be late.” Since it was raining, we assumed that practice might be canceled, but had not heard for sure, and my hair appointment was scheduled for an hour before practice. We found out after arriving that practice was canceled, which we were actually thankful for once we returned home.

We also were planning to travel to the capitol of Cyprus, which is two hours away from us, to pick up a child’s passport and spend some time together as a family for holiday fun. We thought we had “time” to get there, but when my son and I returned to the house we found out we needed to leave pretty much immediately because we needed to be there by 14:00 (for those on military time) and it was already just after 11. We wanted to plan plenty of time so we didn’t feel rushed. We didn’t want to “be late.” Had my son’s practice not been cancelled we would have had to RUSH.

On our way we needed food. The place we wanted to eat was not able to do an order over the phone because of “technical difficulties” and we were trying to sort how to get gas and food without losing too much time. Details all worked together and all was done within a 15 minute time frame and we were back on the road.

Travel was smooth (in spite of rain in a few places) and we arrived about 15 minutes early. We then had some down time and went to Old Town to walk around in the sunshine and let the children spend some of their holiday money. Since dinner was going to be needed later, we decided to book a table for food and then head to the mall. Once again we had a “time” to be somewhere and didn’t want to be “late.”

At the mall my son made a purchase of a jacket with a zipper. He was so excited to finally have a new one and loved the color. It was the last red one in the size he needed. As we left the mall and went to our restaurant to eat, he tried to zip up the zipper and… it broke.

It happened in the car as we were traveling to our “booked table” for dinner. Traffic was horrific.  We had some heavy rain. We missed one turn and added a bit more time. I wasn’t worried about being “late” and yet it was in the back of my mind, but we made it with time to spare.

We ate dinner and I could tell my son was frustrated and disappointed. He called the store to find out about returning it and they closed at 8, which we didn’t think we could do since we wanted to enjoy dinner. Supposedly they wanted him to return it there even though there was the same store at our mall close to us. Once again we were on a “time schedule” and hoping not to be “late.”

God worked out all the details and he was able to exchange it. We made it back to the mall with about 5 minutes to spare. The manager helped him find one with a zipper that worked, and even though it was a different color, my son realized that the blue he got was probably better than the red.

On our way back (a two hour drive!) I was reflecting on all the things that had happened. I realized that God had everything timed out correctly and allowed us to get where we needed to go without being “late.” He even took care of the rain during the times we were outside.

So, how does all of this story and details of my day tie into the verse I put above? When I read the verse above I realized that I put extra stress on myself several times throughout the day because I was worried about “being late.”

What I should have done is “RESTED IN HIM” and let HIM take the wheel to get me where I needed to go. I just needed to TRUST that HE was leading and guiding and that when HE was in control then exactly what needed to happen would happen.

The verse above is clear about this. When we get up early and go to bed late – we work and work in vain. We “work hard to make a living.” This doesn’t mean we can be a sloth and not work at all, or be slow in our work. Everything in Proverbs is about being a hard worker and doing things with honesty and not to be lazy. However, we often times take things into our own hands and make plans, or work – work – work to try and make things happen, when really we need to STOP and focus on HIM and let HIM work while we sleep.

Everything about the verse above is about giving everything to HIM. Our FATHER wants to provide for us, we just have to let Him! He wants to bless us, we just have to let Him!

As you enter a new year, are you going to keep working and working in vain? Are you going to “wake up early” and “go to bed late” just because you “need to stay ahead?”

I challenge us all to prioritize our time and make sure that what we are doing is what HE wants us to do. As we all know, when HE is in control than we don’t have to worry about being late because HE is always “on time.” As I head to bed tonight I will GIVE THANKS that HE took charge today in spite of my worries, and hopefully do better next time. I will let HIM provide as I sleep because HE does that best.

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

 

 

 

 

New

New… As we approach the “New Year” of 2020 there is so much focus on new. This happens every year, but because we are entering a “new decade” there seems to be more of an emphasis on it this year.

I go back and forth about “new year” on the Gregorian calendar. Having an understanding of the Hebrew calendar sometimes makes it difficult to know how I want to celebrate. I know God has given us times and seasons to focus on His different attributes and look inward to reflect on what HE wants to do inside of us, but sometimes those moments get lost in the energy that is focused on what is happening externally in the world around us.

The work He wants to do within is lost because of all that we look for outside.

What I do know is that Christ said HE makes ALL things NEW! This doesn’t happen just at a “new year.” This can happen whenever we TRUST HIM with ALL our heart. NEW could happen in June, or August, or whenever we make a CHOICE to follow His leading in a fresh NEW way.

As you prepare your hearts for NEW, don’t become discouraged when it doesn’t look like what you thought. TRUST Him in a NEW way and follow HIS leading even when it might not make sense.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says: He has made everything suited to its time; also, he has given human beings an awareness of eternity; but in such a way that they can’t fully comprehend, from beginning to end, the things God does.

God knows exactly what is going to happen and as we walk with Him, HE leads and guides us in paths of righteousness for HIS name sake. HE leads us beside still waters and RESTORES our souls.

Take time to REFRESH yourself with HIS WORDS as you continue to walk the path He places before you. HIS Word is a lamp to your feet and a LIGHT. When we walk in HIS TIME, we can KNOW that HE is in control and HE will truly make ALL things NEW.

Let HIM and HIS Words make you NEW.

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

 

 

 

Chanukah Self-Control

Self-control… the last fruit of the Spirit. If you think of progressing through emotions and actions, to be honest, I find this one the most challenging. People respond positively when we show love, or joy, or kindness. When we move to matters of the heart, people don’t often comment that we have shown great faithfulness or humility. Self-control is an action that we see outwardly, but when was the last time you heard someone comment, “that person showed great self-control!”

During the holiday season we often make mention of self-control when it is about food. There are sweets everywhere and we must have “self-control” to not eat them.

We teach our children to have self-control when it comes to their reactions. And yet, we ourselves don’t practice the idea. It is not easy to “bite my tongue” or “turn the other cheek.” I want to react to what is said about me, or to me. I want to defend myself and make sure that everyone knows who I am and what I stand for. It takes “self-control” to just let things be…

The definition of self-control is:

the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires, especially in difficult situations.

When we are in a “difficult situation” and someone has upset us, God expects us to “control ourselves.” His desire is that we TRUST HIM to handle ALL situations.

A well-known verse from 2 Timothy has a little different translation in the Complete Jewish Bible, but the same idea, self-control is given by God.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God gave us a Spirit who produces not timidity, but power, love and self-discipline.

2 Peter 1:5-7 is interesting…

For this very reason, try your hardest to furnish your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with perseverance, perseverance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

This verse is almost backward from the fruits of the Spirit. Faith, goodness, knowledge (instead of humility), self-control, perseverance (patience), godliness, brotherly affection (kindness), and LOVE. These words are almost identical to the fruits we have been studying.

These words were written to BELIEVERS. These people were finding it difficult to “run the race” and Peter wrote to them to ENCOURAGE them. As we read chapter 1 verses 9 and 10 it says:

Indeed, whoever lacks them is blind, so shortsighted that he forgets that his past sins have been washed away. Therefore, brothers, try even harder to make your being called and chosen a certainty. For if you keep doing this, you will never stumble.

And then verse 12 says:

For this reason, I will always remind you about these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you already have.

Peter felt led to KEEP REMINDING them.

So often we think, “I know the fruits of the Spirit. It gets old and repetitive to read them again and again.” This chapter from 2 Peter should make it clear that we are NEVER beyond the realm of forgetting what Christ has done for us and that REMINDERS are important. I don’t want to become blind and shortsighted! I don’t want to forget what HE has done for me! I need to THANK people who bring me the reminders!

Take time today to bring self-control back into your life. Take time to persevere with patience and KNOW that you are firmly established in the TRUTH from HIM. As you LISTEN to Him, HE will give you the ability to LET GO. Remember, the battles we fight are HIS and against spiritual realms we can’t see. When we remember this, we respond with HIS quietness and peace, than HE takes care of the situation. This is self-control.

It is fitting that self-control is the last candle we light. Prayerfully, we begin fresh and NEW with our personal temples re-dedicated to Adonai. When the Maccabees took back the Temple so many years ago, they did it because they KNEW that it was the House of God. It had become defiled and filled with trash.

Today, there is no Temple. Our hearts and homes have become the place Adonai resides. When we exhibit the fruits of the Spirit, we bring HIS PRESENCE into us. When HIS Presence is IN us, than we are HIS LIGHTS to those around us.

The evening of December 22 the LOVE candle will light JOY. For the next eight nights take time to reflect and remind yourselves of WHO God wants YOU to be. Take time to walk in the LIGHT and BE the LIGHT.

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my foot and light on my path.

 

Happy Chanukah,

Rose Horton

 

 

Chanukah Humility

We continue to count the nights of Chanukah and we have reached day seven. We have seen, and observed, the progression of the fruits of the Spirit as moving toward issues in the heart. The next one is as well, although we often look for it in actions.

On night seven the candle we light is HUMILITY. Yes, I put this in capital letters. Yes, we often think it should be something “smaller or less than.” Without understanding humility, we cannot truly tell ourselves if we are humble or not.

Here is the definition of humility: the quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance.

The Cambridge English dictionary says this: the quality of not being proud because you are aware of your bad qualities:

I like the idea from the Cambridge dictionary of “being aware of your bad qualities.” I tend to think that if we are humble, than we KNOW what our faults are. We walk out our “bad qualities” with understanding and repentance. We place ourselves at a lower level when we recognize the personality traits we need to change.

There are many verses in the Bible about being humble, or that give the exhortation to be humble. One I find as a challenge for myself is in the book of Micah. Interestingly enough, we once again have a word difference between most translations and the Complete Jewish Bible.

Micah 6:8 (ESV) He has told you, O man, what is good;and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8 (CJB)Human being, you have already been told what is good, what Adonai demands of you — no more than to act justly, love grace and walk in purity with your God.

In this instance, the CJB uses the word, “purity” to describe being humble. I guess in many ways that is true. If we consider our “bad qualities” and have a “modest view” of ourselves, than we are cleaning ourselves and doing our best to be pure before God. We take the “bad qualities” we know about ourselves and we ask HIM to help us wash them away.

There are LOTS of verses in Proverbs about humility… I encourage you to google them and read them. So many reminders that humility is highly important in our daily walk.

Jesus taught about humility:

Matthew 23:12 (CJB) for whoever promotes himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be promoted.

I Peter 5:7 is another well known verse about humility:

Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that at the right time he may lift you up. Throw all your anxieties upon him, because he cares about you.

This verse is literally telling us to “lower ourselves” under God’s hand. When we submit to Him, HE will lift us up. I love how this verse says to “THROW” our anxieties on Him! When we KNOW that HE cares for us, than HE will LIFT US UP!

In our family we have discussed the idea of a “false humility.” Sometimes we try to “live lower” than someone else, and talk about how we don’t have the same “worldly goods” or the same thoughts as the other person, but inside of our hearts we have pride. It is a form of pride when we compare ourselves and say we are “lower,” but our hearts are far from being lower. The reason we are making the comparison is so that people will think better of us, which is NOT being humble.

Our reflection during this time should be looking inward and examining our hearts. Are we quietly submitting to HIS will for our lives? Are we seeking HIM in SPIRIT and TRUTH?

Our daily walk should reflect HIS LOVE and LIGHT to those around us. Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t allow the enemy to creep in and bring pride to your thoughts. The minute you begin to believe you have all the answers and promote yourself is the minute that Adonai will bring things your way to humble you.

I think these verses about LIGHT can also bring understanding to humility:

Luke 11:34-35 The lamp of your body is the eye. When you have a ‘good eye,’ [that is, when you are generous,] your whole body is full of light; but when you have an ‘evil eye,’ [when you are stingy,] your body is full of darkness. So take care that the light in you is not darkness!

Don’t let your “evil dark eye of stinginess” affect your walk. Be GENEROUS and HUMBLE as you let your LIGHT SHINE. When people look into your eyes let them see HIS LOVE.

 

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

Chanukah Faithfulness

Night six of Chanukah we light the LOVE candle again… Five candles and reminders of who HE wants us to be brings us to FAITHFULNESS. What does it mean to have faithfulness inside of us?

One of the most popular verses about faithfulness is in the book of Lamentations. Putting several together we read:

Lamentations 3:21-24 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.[On the contrary,] they are new every morning! How great your faithfulness! “Adonai is all I have,” I say; “therefore I will put my hope in him.

God’s great LOVE is what compels us to keep going. It is clear that when we RETURN to something that brings us HOPE, we will see the COMPASSION of Adonai. The last verse explains His FAITHFULNESS. I think it is easy for us to forget that Adonai is FULL of LOVE, COMPASSION, and FAITHFULNESS. HE really will never LEAVE us or forsake us.  HE ALONE brings us HOPE.

As I looked for the word, “faithfulness” in the Word of God, the only person I could find that faithfulness was attributed too was God. Verses in the PSALMS. Verses that bring understanding to God’s greatest attribute – being faithful. Both of these are encouraging to us as we understand WHO God is.

Psalm 119:90 your faithfulness through all generations; you established the earth, and it stands.

Psalm 36:6 Adonai, in the heavens is your grace; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

I said last week that as we move through the fruits of the Spirit, the attributes become closer to the heart. Faithfulness takes it a step deeper for sure… Lots of people were considered “full of faith.” We have the faith chapter in the book of Hebrews.

 

As I looked at chapter 11 in the Complete Jewish Bible, I noticed that they used the word, “trust” instead of faith. Now my thought process on all of this is highly intrigued! I want to know WHY????

What is the difference?

The definition of faith is:

1. complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

2.    strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.

 

The definition of trust is:

firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something.

I do not have a way right now to inquire with Complete Jewish Bible to find out why they used trust. I fully believe they have a good reason. I found a long article written in 2007 that has a great explanation. To go into all the details here is just tough.

Here is one paragraph from the conclusion:

So, we can see that true faith is more than just belief in the existence of God. It is not just believing in God; it is believing God. It is trusting God. It is trusting in what God is, what God has done, and what God promises to do. It is performing what God instructs us to do in his word.

Sermon by Philip Edwards

May 19, 2007

Copyright 2007, Philip Edwards

Studies in the Word of God

If we understand faithfulness in ourselves to be the idea that we do not just believe IN God, but that we TRUST God enough to know that HE will do what He says He will do, than I think we get the right concept. Having FAITHFULNESS inside of us is more than just a belief that God exists. If someone says that we are filled with faithfulness, it would mean that we truly believe God and trust God with EVERYTHING.

When we grasp FAITH in this manner, than we have to realize that carrying the attribute of FAITHFULNESS should not be taken lightly. We have shared things that everyone can agree should be shared (LOVE, JOY, PEACE…). Now we have reached faithfulness and we must acknowledge that the attribute goes deep. This is not “on the surface I believe in You.” Faithfulness is more than just confidence, it is TRUSTING Adonai so deeply that we WANT to do what He says.

If we say that someone has at the gift of FAITH, it needs to mean someone that is trustworthy. Someone who will “do what God asks” because they TRUST God so deeply that they do everything with Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness…

How are you in your faithfulness? Do you TRUST God so completely that others are drawn to Him? Or more importantly, do you TRUST Adonai so fully that others know you follow Him?

Faithfulness… It’s time to do a heart check and see where you stand. You might believe “in God,” but do you truly BELIEVE GOD? WHO is your heart putting faith in? Man, or God?

I know this is what I struggle with. I often want to believe man over God… Tough to trust when man fails. But, if we truly believe the statements above about God, than we have NO reason to not carry faithfulness inside of us.

Chanukah LIGHT… let’s think about HIS LIGHT.

Psalm 27:1 Adonai is my light and salvation; whom do I need to fear? Adonai is the stronghold of my life; of whom should I be afraid?

BE FAITHFUL. BE the one that TRUSTS so much. Share that LIGHT with others…

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chanukah Goodness

On the fifth night of Chanukah the “Love/Servant” candle lights the Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness and finally the Goodness candles…

Goodness… What exactly does this mean? The definition of goodness is: “the quality of being morally good or virtuous.”

If you are kind, isn’t that being good? If you show love, isn’t that being good? If you are patient, that is being good. And yet “goodness” is definitely set apart in this understanding.

As I reflect on this “fruit of the spirit,” it seems to have a deeper quality to it. From this definition, it is the quality of being “morally good.” When one stops to think about it, a person could show an act of kindness and not technically be a “morally good” person or full of virtues. One could show love to another person and not be “good” within their heart. Even joy and patience can be accomplished without having “good intentions.”

I believe that as we move through the fruits of the spirit, we move closer and closer to heart issues. We begin with “acts” that can be done and are a part of many people’s lives, even if they don’t believe in God. Most people would say we should show love, be joyful, have patience, show kindness, and definitely want peace.

This “fruit” of goodness begins to move us to the heart. It should make us stop and reflect on what is happening inside ourselves and ask “why” we are doing something. It should make us think about the reason we are kind, or loving, or patient.

Being “good” is deep. It means that at the heart your intentions are trustworthy and honest. You are not just doing something to “get a reward.” Being filled with “goodness” means that you are focusing on accomplishing something because it needs to be done and is the right thing to be done, even if there is no reward in the end.

What are some verses with the word, “goodness?” I actually found many with the word “good,” but only the fruits of the spirit and a verse in Psalm had the word “goodness.”

Psalm 27:13 If I hadn’t believed that I would see Adonai’s goodness in the land of the living, . . . (CJB)

Psalm 27 is such an encouraging Psalm. I challenge you to read the whole chapter. Here is the last verse, verse 14:

Put your hope in Adonai, be strong, and let your heart take courage! Yes, put your hope in Adonai! (CJB)

David knew that Adonai truly cared for him. David believed that the GOODNESS of God was there for him to see and experience ALL the time. After everything David had faced, he still believed that God’s GOODNESS was there for him. David was said to be a “man after God’s own heart,” which means that David had goodness in him. David’s motives and actions were moral and full of virtue.

As we reflect on what it means to be “filled with HIS LIGHT” and GOODNESS, check your heart. Ask yourself if your motives are pure. Ask yourself if your intentions are “good.” Than move in those actions and be HIS LIGHT to those around you. Spread HIS GOODNESS to all you come in contact with. The fruits of the Spirit really will draw all men to HIM, if we just let HIS SPIRIT flow through us.

This concept is told to us directly by Jesus Himself in Matthew:

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven. (CJB)

Take time today to REFLECT on the GOODNESS of Adonai and let HIS goodness flow through you and SHINE HIS LIGHT to those around you.

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

Chanukah Kindness

The fourth night of Chanukah is marked for us by the word, “kindness.” The “LOVE” candle lights Joy, Peace, Patience and now Kindness…

The moment I hear this word I think back to a song from years ago that Leslie Phillips sang and the words say, “It’s your kindness that leads us to repentance oh Lord…”

It truly is amazing to think that we have a GOD who loves us so much that He will carry ALL our worries and sins. HIS KINDNESS should lead us close to Him, and then we SHARE that kindness with others.

What happens when someone treats you with kindness? When you know you have done something wrong and the person still treats you with kindness, your life is changed. When you take the time to treat someone else with kindness, both your lives are changed. Acts of kindness are a way to share HIS LOVE with those we come in contact with. Kindness can CHANGE the world we live in!

What does the Word of God say about KINDNESS?

In Genesis 40:14 But remember me when it goes well with you; and show me kindness, please; and mention me to Pharaoh, so that he will release me from this prison. (CJB)

This is the story of Joseph. He was in prison and had just interpreted the dreams of the cupbearer and baker. He asked them to “show him kindness.” Joseph requested that they remember him when they went before the king. Joseph’s kindness was repaid to him.

As I was researching verses, I found that many translations have exchanged the word “kindness” for the word “grace.” Here is an example:

Isaiah 54:8 in the NIV says: In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer.

The Complete Jewish Bible says: I was angry for a moment and hid my face from you; but with everlasting grace I will have compassion on you,” says Adonai your Redeemer.

This happened in many verses throughout the Old Testament. It shows that God’s GRACE was there throughout the time that many believe laws abounded.

Many believe that the Old Testament is only filled with God’s judgement when they didn’t follow those laws. Many people read the Old Testament and think that GRACE began when Jesus came. This is something we need to reconsider. GRACE was shown to the Children of Israel many times. God should have, and could have, completely destroyed the nation. They walked away from His TRUTH and were not following what HE desired them to obey. By showing them GRACE and KINDNESS, HE allowed them to LIVE.

Through this line, our Messiah was born and now we really have a reason to show KINDNESS and extend GRACE to others. OUR sins and wrongdoings should cause us to be destroyed. It is only because of the GRACE of GOD and HIS KINDNESS towards us, that when we REPENT, HE turns to us and receives us.

Our ministry, Touched by Grace, says that God’s GRACE:

God

Rescues

Adopts

Completes

Equips

us for HIS SERVICE. God really does care about His children and He will do whatever it takes to HELP THEM SUCCEED. Once they are taken care of, HE wins because they share that KINDNESS with others.

What does the New Testament teach about kindness? Most of us know many verses that explain we are simply required to “be kind.”

Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with feelings of compassion and with kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  (CJB)

2 Corinthians 6:6 We commend ourselves by our purity, knowledge, patience and kindness; by the Ruach HaKodesh; by genuineness of love (CJB)

Titus 3:4 But when the kindness and love for mankind of God our Deliverer was revealed, (CJB)

Clearly, every community of FAITH in the New Testament was responding out of KINDNESS to those Holy Spirit brought to them. This was done because (as it says in Titus) the “kindness and love for mankind was revealed…” When the communities of faith did NOT respond in kindness, Paul challenged them.

As we are entering Thanksgiving season, prepare your heart now with KINDNESS. Kindness that will lead you to repentance and LOVE for your fellow communities of faith. Kindness that shows HIS GRACE to others. KINDNESS that leads others to HIM.

Since Chanukah is known as the Festival of Lights, we can also focus on verses about LIGHT:

I John 1:7 But if we are walking in the light, as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of his Son Yeshua purifies us from all sin. (CJB)

When we WALK with the LIGHT, than HIS GRACE cleanses and we show KINDNESS to others. Take time to show KINDNESS today and be HIS LIGHT.

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

Listen to the song by Leslie Phillips below
 https://youtu.be/t5aFoxyrL4E

Chanukah Patience

On the third night of Chanukah the “Love” candle lights Joy, than Peace and now PATIENCE…

The word patience usually stirs up lots of emotions in people. Most parents are constantly telling their young children, “just be patient.” As adults we struggle when things don’t happen right away and we often get impatient. As a society, we constantly want something and want it instantly. As a society, we often supply things pretty instantly as well.

Today, as I sat down to type this, I struggled with patience myself. Interesting that God always places things in our lives and has ways of forcing us to think about our actions. Once again we need to look at what the Word of God says and ask Him what HE wants us to learn.

Proverbs 15:18 Hot-tempered people stir up strife, but patient people quiet quarrels. (CJB)

Psalm 37:7 Be still before Adonai; wait patiently till he comes. Don’t be upset by those whose way succeeds because of their wicked plans. (CJB)

There are not too many Bible verses in the Old Testament that use the word patience. These two are clear that patience is a virtue God wants us to have. If “hot-tempered people stir up strife,” that would obviously be something we should get rid of. We should not answer with a temper. We should be patient and quiet a quarrel.

David teaches us in the Psalm that we must “wait patiently” until Adonai returns. I know that you can read this clearly for yourself, but really stop and reflect on those words today… What does that mean? My initial response is that it means not to complain about what is happening currently in my life.

It says, “Don’t be upset if others succeed in wicked plans.” I admit, I struggle with this. It is hard to watch when people who are not trusting God have plans that move forward and the plans you believe God has given you seem to be stalemate.

As I reflected on this verse, and the fact that the word patience is not in the Old Testament too often, Holy Spirit reminded me of all the people in the Old Testament who had to wait. He brought to my mind all the people that had terrible things happen to them, and because they did not stop trusting, things came to pass later. All of these people had to have PATIENCE!

We can all name these people… Joseph, Job, David, Hannah, Ruth, Daniel etc… the list is LONG. People in history, that we can reflect on, that should encourage us to BELIEVE that PATIENCE is a virtue we should have!

The New Testament has many verses about patience… Here are a few that are common, but great reminders as we reflect on how Adonai wants us to act.

Ephesians 4:2

Always be humble, gentle and patient, bearing with one another in love, (CJB)

Romans 12:12

Rejoice in your hope, be patient in your troubles, and continue steadfastly in prayer. (CJB)

James 5:8

You too, be patient; keep up your courage; for the Lord’s return is near. (CJB)

I admit to being very scattered in my thoughts tonight as I write this. I know that the thoughts I write here today are not profound or new. My prayer is, that as you reflect on the word “patience,” you TRUST and BELIEVE that God has GOOD THINGS in store for you. That as you READ His Word, CLAIM IT as TRUTH for your life, and continue in FAITH with ALL that He asks you to do, that your PATIENCE will be rewarded.

As we continue to move towards Chanukah, reflect on being a LIGHT for Him by showing PATIENCE to those around you. When you face difficult situations and circumstances, STOP and reflect on ALL He has done for you. Find a way to be PATIENT in the midst of it and let HIM handle it all.

Matthew 5:16

 In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven. (CJB)

May you find a way to be “patient in your troubles” this week. May you “keep up your courage.” May you “rejoice in your hope” and pray. Always be humble. Be gentle. THESE virtues will help you have PATIENCE!

Love & Blessings,

Rose Horton