If You Love Me, Keep MY Commandments

The-Cross- on-the-hillOne of the great mysteries that has baffled men for centuries is the identity of Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ].

The person of Yahushua is such a uniquely towering figure, that we are compelled to look at Him, examine Him, and search Him out in Scripture, in order to discern His words, and His identity.

What is Yahushua’s message to us?

When we seek out Yahushua’s words, and analyze His ministry, we see that His first and foremost message to us is that He loves us!

But is that the only message He has for us?

Not at all! His second message to us, is that because true love responds in kind, He exhorts us to Love Him, just as He has loved us.

And so we see in Scripture, that Yahushua is seeking for those who love Him, just as a Bridegroom seeks for a Bride.

Brothers and Sisters, did we catch that? Yahushua is seeking for those who love Him!

Yahushua’s main message repeatedly calls out to mankind:

1. I Love you;

2. Love me in return;

3. Love one another, as I have loved you!

We are thankful that Yahushua loves us! But looking at #2 above, we must ask, “How are we supposed to love Yahushua?”

He answers this in Scripture:

“…If ye love me, keep MY commandments.” (John 14:15)

“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.” (John 14:23-24)

“If ye keep MY commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.” (John 15:10)

“He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not HIS commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1John 2:4)

As these Scriptures teach us, to love and to know Yahushua Messiah, is to keep ‘His’ sayings and ‘His’ commandments.

What are the “My” sayings and the “My” commandments He is talking about?

In the New Testament Alone?

If the sayings and commandments that Yahushua spoke to mankind are limited to a 3-1/2 year period on earth, then perhaps we could say that His sayings and commandments are confined to the New Testament alone.

If, on the other hand, Yahushua spoke to mankind over several thousand years before He manifested Himself on earth, then perhaps His sayings and commandments might appear in the Old Testament as well.

But how could Yahushua Messiah speak to us before He was manifested on the earth?

The answer can be seen in the following Scripture passages:

“In the beginning was the word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God” (John 1:1)

“After these things the word of Yahuwah came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” (Genesis 15:1)

“And Moses commanded the children of Israel according to the word of Yahuwah….” (Numbers 36:5a)

Here we see that the Word of Yahuwah appeared to Abram, and also gave the commandments to Moses.

But the real significance of the identity of the WORD of Yahuwah can be seen in the following passages:

“… and the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…” (John 1:14a)

“… the Father is in me, and I in him.” (John 10:38b)

As we saw in Messiah: The Word Made Flesh, Yahushua Messiah is referred to as “the Word” of God and “the Word of LIFE.” We saw that He is the Word who was “made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:1,14; 1John 1:1; 1Timothy 3:16). Here we saw that the WORD of God became a human — the man, Yahushua Messiah. God Himself [the God of the Bible, the LORD God — Yahuwah Elohim], revealed and manifested Himself in the flesh, through Messiah Yahushua!

This is a serious matter!

The Words described as the “sayings and commandments of Yahushua” are not confined to the New Testament. The ‘sayings and commandments’ of Yahushua have been spoken to mankind “from the beginning,” over several thousand years:

“Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.” (1John 2:7)

The Hebrew name for the book of Genesis, the first Book in the Bible, is ‘Beresheith’ — which translates to “In the beginning.” So we see that the apostle John is telling us that the words he writes to us are not new, but are the old commandment, which is the word which ye have heard from “the beginning” — from the Book of Genesis onward.

So we see that the ‘words, sayings and commandments’ of Yahushua are found in the Old Testament!

The ‘sayings and commandments’ of Yahushua Messiah are the Words that Yahuwah Elohim spoke, because Messiah is Yahuwah’s WORD made flesh! Yahushua Messiah is the WORD of Yahuwah, who gave the commandments to Moses, and who spoke to all the prophets throughout the Old Testament.

Thus we see that the ‘sayings and the ‘commandments’ of Yahushua Messiah include all the Words within the ‘Old Testament.’

Yahushua’s WORDs include the sayings and commandments of the TaNaK — the Hebrew-letter acronym for the Old Testament — the Hebrew letters representing the three subdivisions of the Hebrew Bible: Torah (“Instruction”), Nevi’im (“Prophets”) and Ketuvim (“Writings”).

So when Messiah tells us:

“…If ye love me, keep MY commandments” (John 14:15)…

…He is telling us that if we know His identity, and if we love Him, we will keep all of His commandments, including those He gave to Moses.

Whom do you say that I am?

The question that Messiah continues to ask every generation, is the same question He asked of His disciples: Whom do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:29).

He is the One who said throughout the ‘Old Testament’, “Keep My commandments, and do them!” (Genesis 26:5; Exodus 16:28; 20:6; Leviticus 22:31; 26:3; Numbers 15:40; Deuteronomy 5:10, 29; 11:8-15)

He is the same One who said, “…If ye love me, keep MY commandments.” (John 14:15)

The commandments we keep, and those we do not keep, reveal who we believe Yahushua Messiah actually is!

Many fail to truly know Messiah, and to truly love Him in the way He has told us, simply because they have been taught that the “My” sayings and the “My” commandments of Yahushua are confined to the New Testament.

Yahushua did not say to keep the ‘New Testament’ commandments. He said to keep ‘My‘ Commandments.

And Yahushua reveals His identity, to all who seek Him with all their heart! (See Jer 29:13; Matt 7:7; Luke 11:9; Hebrews 11:6)

Which Commandments?

The real test of whether we know Yahushua, and whether we truly love Him, is to simply look to see which commandments we keep.

Do we know Messiah — and love Him — by receiving and following the instructions He wants to write on our heart?

Scripture-scrollHe writes His Law, His Torah [His teachings and instructions], on the hearts of those who honestly receive Him. And because they honestly desire to know Him and love Him, they seek Him out in the Scriptures, to learn how to love Him.

His Torah gives us many instructions and guidelines. The Torah is Father’s ‘house-rules’ for all of His family members.

His Torah gives us the details of how to be holy, so that we can bring honour to His holy name.

Throughout the Old and New Testaments, Yahuwah’s people are exhorted to be ‘holy’ [separate] (1Peter 1:16; Lev 20:7). That is, we are called to live our lives as ‘separate’ from how the world chooses to live. To do this, Father has given us His guidelines for living (His ‘house-rules’), which include His appointed meeting-times for His family gatherings, also called His annual Feasts (Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles, etc.).

Also included in Father’s instructions on how to be holy [separated] unto Him, are His dietary instructions, and His seventh-day weekly Sabbath to observe. These are all included in the “MY” commandments that Yahushua was referring to — and these all bring honour to His name!

Brothers and Sisters, let us learn to truly love Messiah, in the way He has told us!

Let us learn how to walk in obedience to all of His Words, including those He spoke from the beginning.

For He has said… If you love me, keep MY commandments!”

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Patience: The Forgotten Virtue

Today, with instant communication, and with fast-food restaurants everywhere, the idea of ‘waiting’ for something seems strange.

Yet the Bible tells us that the promises that await Believers are inherited though faith and patience!

What is patience?

Patience is a precious and rare jewel of quality character! Patience is a wonderful expression of humility and excellence! But sadly, patience is an almost-forgotten virtue that is sorely lacking in many Believers today!

When we are fretting and restless over difficulties in life, how do we respond to them? Are we calm and prayerful, or do we react with irritation, impatience and anger?

bench-by-the-seaThe Bible tells us:The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit” (Ecclesiastes 7:8)!

We all know that a prideful spirit will ultimately cause grief, for ourselves and for others.

Things are simply much better in every way, for us and for those around us, if we can learn to be patient in spirit!

Inheriting The Promises

Everyone is subject to struggles with fretting, anger, and irritations. We all have moments of impatience. Yet, if we desire to grow up; if we desire to mature and be pleasing to our heavenly Father, then we will recognize that our impatience does not solve problems! Instead, we will see our need to ask Father for His help to be patient!

When we are being patient, we are learning a valuable key ingredient to our faith, because it is through faith AND patience that we inherit the promises of God’s Words: Be followers of them who, through faith and patience, inherit the promises! (Hebrews 6:12)

When we are patiently waiting on Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God], then that is a victory for us! That is when we are ‘walking in the Spirit’ because patience [longsuffering] is a “Fruit of the Spirit!”

Patience’s Requirements

Those who want to learn patience will discern that patience requires a quiet nature — a willingness to listen and to receive the instruction that Yahuwah is trying to give us. Being patient in spirit means we will begin to slow down, calm down, listen, and wait. Simply being quiet is a huge step in the right direction!

Let’s keep in mind that Patience is Waiting!’ Patience is l-o-n-g–suffering. It is enduring. It is forbearing and persevering. It is continuing to have fortitude, even in the midst of troubles.

If we want answers to our prayers; if we want the wisdom of Yahuwah imparted to us; if we desire to be mature and strong in our walk with Father, then we will value, and cultivate, this precious Fruit of the Spirit — patience.

It is through patiently waiting on Yahuwah that He hears our cry! (Psalms 40:1)

It is through patience that we gain in understanding! (Proverbs 14:29)

It is through patience that we grow, become mature and complete, and lack nothing! (James 1:4)

It is through patience that we learn to keep Father’s commandments, as well as obtain the faith of Yahushua [Jesus]! (Revelation 14:12)

What great rewards are ours, when we learn to be patient!

Wisdom and Patience

Scripture tells us that those who hear the Word of Yahuwah, and keep it, are wise, and they will bring forth fruit with patience (Matthew 7:24; Luke 8:15).

So if you wish that you could see more fruit in your walk with God; if you wish you could “walk as He walked” (1John 2:6); if you wish you had more of Father’s wisdom and understanding, then patience could well be your need!

Do not grow weary in patiently studying the Word of God (Psalms 119:11)!

Do not give up in learning to be as our Saviour, learning to be of a meek and lowly in spirit (Matthew 11:29)!

Do not think that your obedience to Father’s Words is unfruitful (Deuteronomy 5:29, 33)!

Do not stop patiently sowing seeds of God’s truth to your family and friends (Psalms 126:6)!

Do not stop seeking Father in your secret prayer time (Matthew 6:6)!

For it is through faith AND patience that we inherit the promises:

In your patience, possess ye your souls….
And thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly….
And he that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed,
shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
(Luke 21:19; Matthew 6:6; Psalms 126:6)

May you and I determine to value and cultivate this wonderful and precious Fruit of the Spirit — Patience!

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God Has Put Eternity Into Our Heart

still-waters-with-verseKing Solomon was known as a man whose ‘wisdom excelled the wisdom of all others’ (1Kings 4:30).

God gave King Solomon extraordinary wisdom and insights into multiple issues of this life. One issue Solomon addressed was the gnawing emptiness deep inside every person. It is an emptiness that only Yahuwah Elohim [the LORD God] can fulfill and satisfy:

God has put eternity into man’s heart…. (Ecclesiastes 3:11b ESV)

This little phrase reveals the inescapable reality that eternity resides within us. We are born with this reality of eternity!

Within every human heart is a deep-rooted, central core yearning for the everlasting, eternal God. We will never escape what has been created deep within us.

We may try to ignore and deny the truth of this eternal reality of our Creator’s design within us, but willful ignorance and denial only hardens our heart to truth.

If we are honest, we will recognize the inner longing deep within us — a longing that only our eternal Creator can resolve!

Whether we like it or not, we are all linked to the LORD God from deep inside ourselves. And whenever we encounter our Creator’s Words, His truth, His ways, and His Presence, if we are honest, our spirit responds with a powerful, resounding ‘Yes!’

We are created and born with an inner desire to know and love and follow our Creator, Yahuwah Elohim. That is exactly what He intended, as the Scriptures tell us. From the moment of our beginning, in our mother’s womb, God placed within us a desire to follow His instructions and to love Him:

“… the people which shall be created shall praise Yahuwah [the LORD]” (Psalms 102:18b).

The written Scriptures [the Bible], inspired by the Holy Spirit, reveal the unchanging, eternal instructions that Yahuwah intended for us to follow. When we study the Bible, we discover that its message is a single, unified, and consistent message woven throughout its writings.

The Bible’s Basic Message

The Bible’s Basic Message is this:  Yahuwah created us according to an eternal design, and if we choose to accept His design and follow His instructions, things will be well with us! But if we choose to disregard and reject His instructions, and do whatever our own imagination wishes, then we will ultimately be miserable!

It shall be well with them that fear God! (Ecclesiastes 8:12b)

God clearly admonishes in the Scriptures, over and over, that it will be well with those who fear Him.

The ‘fear of God’ is not a slave-like fear. No, it is a humble, trusting, reverence and respect, as a son has for his father.

Yahuwah Elohim is the heavenly Father above, and we are as little children here on the earth. This fact alone makes Him worthy of our adoration and honour and respectful fear. He is MUCH bigger than you and me, in every way!!

We fear Yahuwah Elohim by a genuine desire to please Him because of His righteousness, His purity, and His holiness — and, because of His great love for us! He tells us of His intimate loving attention: His eye is upon us at all times, and His ear is open to our cries, as the Psalms repeatedly tell us (Psalms 3:4; 33:18; 34:15; 77:1; 116:1,2)!

Choose Life

wisdom-scriptureLet us remember that Yahuwah is MIGHTY! He is not wishy-washy! He is not sentimental or lovey-dovey! He excellently and thoroughly explains His ways to us, and then He expects us to follow His ‘house-rules’ — His Torah [His teachings, instructions, and guidelines], so that things will be well with us!

He has told us that His ways are not burdensome, and that His ways are not grievous. He tells us we CAN obey Him. And He tells us that His strength is available to ENABLE us to obey Him, to walk according to His ‘house-rules’ (Matthew 11:28-30; 1John 5:3; Deuteronomy 13:4; Jeremiah 7:23; Acts 5:32; 2Corinthians 9:8; 12:9; Hebrews 4:16; 12:28).

When Yahuwah says that it shall be well with those who fear Him, He is telling us that He will come to our help, by His Holy Spirit, and He will bless us, whenever we genuinely seek to obey His Words.

But He also tells us: Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him (Isaiah 3:11). Yahuwah warns us over and over, to avoid the way of the wicked! He urges us to choose life and blessing [His eternal ways, as expressed in His commandments] — and to shun death and cursing [the way of sinners, who continue to disobey His commandments]!

The Essence of Our Fear Toward God

King Solomon declared the duty of each person:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

Such wisdom that this verse reveals is truly profound and enduring throughout ALL generations! Our duty is simple and uncomplicated — to fear God and keep His commandments, as they are written in the Bible!

Our earnest obedience to Yahuwah and His Word establishes us in a greater level of understanding and peace-of-mind! Why? Because we are finally fulfilling our Creator’s plans and intentions for us!

Our earnest obedience to Yahuwah and His Word satisfies the persistent yearning we have for the eternal reality! Why? Because we are finally functioning smoothly and correctly, according to the design we were created for — to love and follow the everlasting Creator — Yahuwah Elohim!

Man was made in the image of God, and nothing will satisfy man but God, in whose image he was made.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

Father in heaven, thank You for Your great love and care for me! Help me to love You and honour You by following Your Word with my whole heart. In the name of Your Son, Yahushua Messiah, I pray. Amen.

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“I am rather inclined to silence, and whether that be wise or not, it is at least more unusual nowadays, to find a man who can hold his tongue than to find one who cannot.”
— Abraham Lincoln

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The Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit comforts us with Father’s great grace, enabling us to remain hopeful, joyful, and peaceful. We may be familiar with the Holy Spirit’s work as The Comforter, but have we really thought about how truly comforting The Comforter is?

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