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(#364 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
“It” is not some lifeless thing or abstract idea. “It” is not an object or some concept that is easily minimized or dismissed with a few popular Christian soundbites. “It” cost everything. “It” is the two letter word from the mouth of the One who redeemed you and made a way for your sanctification and salvation. And what is so very special about this “it?” It is the “it” in “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
The context in which this two letter word is used reveals the word’s powerful intention and also exposes any carnal disregard you may have inherited through doctrinal prejudice. We would do well to define what Yahshua was referring to as being finished. It would be equally as important to emphasize what He was not including. Anything less than a solid understanding about the enormity of what this little word refers to can be very disruptive to your walk as a disciple.
For far too long those He has entrusted to take up His cause, to put on His mantle (Matthew 28:19-20), have failed to embrace what He desired when He promised we would do “greater things” (John 14:12-14). This is because we cannot press on to greater things having interpreted the “it” as meaning anything and everything. If everything is finished, what more is there to do, let alone greater things? Historically, this misperception has caused men to say such things as, “We’re under grace now; it was all finished in Christ; that’s been done away with (speaking about the majority of the Law/commandments); Jesus fulfilled that when He died so I don’t have to; and He did it all for us.”
These soundbites feel good as they conjure up feelings of “freedom in Christ.” The problem, however, is that they are simply not true. To the contrary, the freedom we have in the Messiah is that we have become bondservants, voluntary slaves to do His will, to finish what He started. For this is the will of the Almighty, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of the Almighty. (1 Peter 2:15-16) He left us and is waiting at the right hand of the Father until the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21). This restoration is our job; it is the “greater thing!”
What He did was magnanimous; but it was not so we would need to do nothing. Rather, “it” was so we could do something! “It” was to open our minds and to restore access to the presence of Yahweh Himself. When Yahshua died on the stake, His self-will died and the veil (blindness) was torn (Matthew 27:51). But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains [over their hearts/minds] in the reading of the Old Covenant, because the veil is taken away in the Messiah. But even to this day, when Mosheh is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Master, the veil is taken away. (2 Corinthians 3:14-16) The veil over your mind has been removed so you could see (spiritually perceive) the Father again; understand and obey His word; and know the hope of His calling on your life (read Ephesians 1:15-23; 4:1-13). This is what His “it” is referring to. This is the “it” that is finished.
Yes, His work (“it”) is finished loved one; your “it” remains undone. Where His work left off, your work begins! And you have much work to do. You must work out your salvation (a saved, perfected mind) with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). He did not work out your salvation for you; rather, He redeemed you (Romans 3:24; Ephesians 1:7), which gave you permission, access, and power to do it yourself. The Spirit within you now awakens and empowers you to do everything for which Yahshua the Messiah gave His life; you now possess the inspiration and ability to abide in Yahshua’s love and to obey Yahweh’s commands! Yes, just as the Messiah taught us; “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” (John 15:10) When you argue that “it” means it is all finished, and that you are free from any obligations as a believer, it is like you are still living with a veil over your heart.
Perhaps the next time you hear someone express that Yahshua finished it all, you might allow those words to resonate within you. Meditate on how He certainly did finish His part and how He now expects you to fulfill yours. He would say “It is finished (John 19:30); go therefore (Matthew 28:19), and do greater things (John 14:12).” Yahshua’s “it” meant everything to His Father and finishing it proved His utter obedience. If you truly love Yahweh, you can prove it as well, by acknowledge that your “it” also means everything to Him. How so? You can do it in the same way Yahshua did, by utter obedience. For this is the love of the Almighty, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. (1 John 5:3)
If this is now your declaration, pray: “I stand in You and for You Yahshua. I believe the shedding of Your blood (life, Adam) gave me the ability to shed my blood (Adam). I believe You have given me the right to be perfectly obedient, for You have commanded it. I long for Your purging, Your cleansing that removes all sin from my conscience (Hebrews 10:2; 9:14). I believe that others wait upon us to also be made perfect (Hebrews 11:40). I believe Your ‘it’ allows your chosen ones to finish their ‘it.’ Only then will the Kingdom of Yahweh manifest on earth within perfected men. The Messiah is in me, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). Hallelu-Yahweh!”
(#363 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
“But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty [careless, idle] word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37)
You will be held accountable before the throne of Yahweh Almighty for every word you speak. When your language fails to align with the Holy Mind, when your words are not that of a Kingdom citizen, you must change or answer the charge before the Courts of Heaven. Each of us will give an account of ourselves to the Almighty. (Romans 14:12) All things will be tested by fire; whatever is not of Him will be burned away (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).
Time spent in any culture reveals its language. Prison too has its own vernacular. Phrases like, “Slow your roll” and “Don’t get it twisted,” are commonly used among the men. Both phrases are intended to express the idea of slowing down and thinking things through, before possibly speaking. In the Body of the Messiah, the congregation (the gathering of thoughts intended to be Holy), the totality of all that we think and speak is supposed to express the mind of Yahweh alone. However, so much of what we think and say fails to meet this standard, a lack of power being the proof of this sad affair. Yes, we call it an affair, as it is an affair with the world, an affair with the kingdoms that will perish.
And yet, many professed believers will minimize their affair with the world by simply proclaiming, “I’m covered by the blood.” Let us consider what that means using Hebrew vernacular. “Blood” (dam in Hebrew) refers to life or that which when shed causes death. What is even more piercing is that one of the Hebrew root words for blood is “adam”. With just a little effort and a little time spent seeking for Yahweh’s wisdom, you will be amazed at the depth of what it means that Yahshua shed His blood.
Here is the realignment of that thought using Kingdom vernacular; the shedding of the blood was what the Messiah did. That’s what perfected Him! He shed His “adam”; He shed Adam (Stop and read 1 Corinthians 15:45-49!). The shedding of blood was the death of His ego and self-will in order for His will to become One will with the Father. So you see, you are not covered “by the blood”, you are covered because through Him, the blood (the first man Adam) was removed from you also! You were cleansed “from” blood, not “by” blood! You had to be because, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of the Mighty One, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.” (1 Corinthians 15:50)
Slow your roll. Don’t get it twisted. Seek and you shall find!
“In fact, the Law requires that nearly everything be cleansed [purified] with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no remission [forgiveness of sin].” (Hebrews 9:22)
A Matter’s End
(#362 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
“The end of a matter is better than its beginning. The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” (Ecclesiastes 7:8)
Is it because “it was finally over” that Solomon writes such things. What was he expressing within the exhale of such words as they vibrated over his vocal cords? Would you consider the character of Yahweh in every process loved one? Would you credit the pleasure and the pain, the victories and the defeats, all as the working of His hands?
The process should never culminate with a concession; “I just need to get through this.” A healthier introspection would yield a different inference, “Yahweh has orchestrated this to remove some idol in my life, to decimate a stronghold in my ego.” Pain in the thought world always equals the death of improper attachments to something in the physical realm. And so the conclusion of the matter is the removing of deadly adhesions to unholy things; it is the intent of the supernatural process. And because the intent is supernatural, its conclusion will have supernatural results: “The end of a matter is surely better than its beginning! And patience is always better than pride.”
Yahweh is very patient in removing the pride within you that actually keeps you from Him. Imagine a great love that never fails, His only way of loving, and then imagine how that love longs to envelope your entire being. But by being true love, it has no option but to wait (1 Corinthians 13:4)! This unsearchable perfect love, which longs to envelope you, waits patiently while all that rejects it is removed from within you. All fear must be cast out in order to dwell in perfect love (1 John 4:18). All pride gives way to meekness; and all boasting becomes wrapped in humility (1 Corinthians 13:4). Listen closely to the conclusion of the matter. Because you have been given revelation of this pattern, understanding and wisdom about this process, you can then participate in the supernatural; you can praise Him and give thanks even during the process (Psalm 100:4).
“Be pleased when things go well, but when things seem bad, consider this: Yahweh has made the one as well as the other, so man shall never know what lies ahead of him.” (Ecclesiastes 7:14) And even though you do not know what lies ahead, you do not need to wait for the end of a matter to praise Him; the end is ALWAYS better than the beginning!
Personal Note: As always, I never read the devotions until I open them to edit. But what has transpired in my life over the last few weeks is this EXACT process. I have actually thought this very thing, “I just need to get through this.” I have counted the days until that day that I would not be “REQUIRED” to sit at my computer for hours to write and edit. “I just need a few days off,” I would reason. My arm, hand and wrist have been in agony. I’ve had to change my position and change from mouse to the internal track pad and then to an external pad and back again. It has gotten to the point that on any given day I have to go back and forth between the three just to get through the day, just to manage the searing pain in my wrist. “Just a few more weeks, just a few more days,” I would concede.
But then Yahweh spoke to me. He showed me that this was my “self”, the remnants of my ego (pride) that was scratching and clawing to hang on to the last vestige of hope that it would NOT HAVE TO DIE. I felt as if I could not think straight anymore. After hundreds of days in a row, my mind was blank, numb and in pain. I was confused, angry, depressed and unmotivated. After hundreds of days in which I was 100% confident in His supernatural direction for each devotion, every word edited, and all the scriptures I was inspired to add, I was all of a sudden blank! Nonetheless, each morning when I would wake to read today’s devotion, what came from what seemed to be a blank, numb and unmotivated mind yesterday, was completely heavenly and inspired. What He was showing me was, “None of you, Jeff. All of Me! It has always been Me.” And then on the 361st day of the year, just four days till the end, as I sat to edit this devotion, number 362, I opened to read “A Matter’s End”! All I could say was, “O, Yahweh You are faithful and true. You must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) And the end of a matter is surely better than its beginning.
Sufficient For Today
(#361 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow has its own worries. Each day has enough of its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34)
Listen closely loved one. Yahweh says exactly what He means and He means exactly what He says. And He knows that to raise children; it takes repeating His words (Deuteronomy 4:9-10; 6:7; 11:19) and sometimes a rod as well (Proverbs 13:24). If He says that you should not be worried about tomorrow, then any concern for the future will be absent His anointing. Meditate over and over on these words: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to the Mighty One. And the peace of the Mighty One, which transcends all understanding, will guard the thoughts, feelings and purpose of your hearts [minds] in the Messiah Yahshua.(Philippians 4:6) If you are instructed to not be anxious or worried about anything, then losing your peace or having anxiety over your desires, hopes, or concerns for the future is foolishness. He is your everything today and your everything tomorrow.
Trust in Yahweh, and do good; dwell in the land [what is firm], and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself in Yahweh, and He shall give [grant, set, appoint, assign] you the desires of your heart [satisfy your thoughts, feelings, and purpose]. (Psalm 37:3-4) Do you get how powerful this is? You have no need for anxiety about your future because Yahweh both assigns the desires of your heart and then He grants them. If you are living in obedience, you can be confident that the very desires you have in your heart were place there by the Mighty One and will also be fulfilled by Him. The king shall have joy in Your strength, O Yahweh; and in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! You have given him his heart’s desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips. (Psalm 21:1-2)
You should have no anxiety about tomorrow, but this does not mean that you should not cultivate a vision for what Yahweh has for you, the purpose for why you were created. Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the Law, happy is he. (Proverbs 29:18) There is a call on your life, and obedience to that call brings happiness. Besides, the gifts of Yahweh are irrevocable (Romans 11:29). The desires that He placed in your heart are the very clues which identify your calling, define your purpose, and cultivate Yahweh’s vision for you. “I know the plans I have for you,” declares Yahweh, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) And the key to assuring that your desires are His desires is to be a man after the heart of Yahweh (Acts 13:22). It is the key of David; “I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.” (Isaiah 22:22, Revelation 3:7) When you are after the heart of Yahweh, you have in your hand the keys to the Kingdom.
Those keys unlock Yahweh’s vision for your life and help define your purpose. However, one thing above all will insure that you have no worries about tomorrow. It is to be satisfied with your cup being filled by the Almighty alone. If your happiness, peace, and contentment require a new job, or perhaps a better marriage, then your hope is in idols, something other than Him. It says that your emotional stability is subject to your physical or emotional satisfaction from people or things. To the contrary, when you are complete in Him, everything else is provided automatically (Matthew 6:33)! The mind (heart) longs for nothing else, needs nothing else, and is utterly and overwhelmingly satisfied with Yahweh alone!
If today, you cry out for Him to be your everything, to love Him and His will alone, then you will find that you have more than you could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). It will be too glorious to even think about tomorrow.
My Dream “Don’t Get Your Children a License”
If you want your Prayers Heard, Give Reverence to Yahweh
Death is Gain!
(#359 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
As no man can control the wind, so no one has power over the day of his death. (Ecclesiastes 8:8)
In the light of this reality, a world of rebellious mindsets and agendas are exposed. It is not just CNN, MSNBC, FOX, the BBC, and your local news channels that become eviscerated, filleted open and exposed, but also your fleshly lusts for their “news and views”. Have you become addicted to their opinions and worldview, or built your identity around their crises and precedences? To the contrary, you should be unaffected by global warming, Wall Street numbers, foreign affairs, liberal agendas, and all of their other seeming priorities and disasters.
Are we saying that you should bury your head in the sand, ignore the things going on around you? Absolutely not! What we are saying is that you should take your rightful place of authority over these things. Yahweh will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of Yahweh your Mighty One that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. (Deuteronomy 28:13) Obey the Almighty and do not let fear of worldly turmoil rule your life. The end of your days is already set; nothing can change that. So, instead of fear and crisis, you should find great joy in Yahweh’s providence.
It is all predestined loved one (Ephesians 1:4). Every aspect of the life you live, as well as the end of that life, has been planned from eternity past; all under the supernatural Providence of Yahweh. Is there any wonder that Yahshua taught us that “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love?” (1 John 4:18) This type of fear (paralyzing fear, dread) exposes a blatant lack of faith in Yahweh’s Sovereignty.
Therefore, with Yahweh there is nothing to fear. If you are afraid, confess it and let Yahweh’s love wash it away. “How can His love cast away my fears?” you might be thinking. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) Yahweh is love (1 John 4:8) and love never fails. And if love never fails, then there is simply nothing to fear.
The entirety of man’s kingdoms on earth is structured to replicate and reproduce fear, and all to one end, to inspire you to believe the lie. “We will take care of you; we will keep you safe: we will tell you the truth; just trust us.” Trusting in man is a curse loved one (Jeremiah 17:5). It’s time to wake up, not to become more concerned about what is happening in the kingdoms of earth, but how you are responding to the Kingdom within you (Luke 17:21). It’s time to place your trust in the dominion of Yahweh. His Kingdom should dominate your center of intellect. From now on, tune into the news reports from the Government of Heaven and let the things of this world pass away. Death (removal of self) is gain! You must die to the kingdoms of this world; for to live is the Messiah and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)
(#358 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
My Son said, My Kingdom is not of this world and I am not from here.” (John 18:36) And, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.”(John 8:23) Surely, then, My supernatural patterns are not for this world either, but for My Kingdom. I save souls and it is always to the soul I speak. Yet, I speak of spiritual things using physical “props”. Props? Yes, everything in the physical world is a manifestation of the spiritual life loved one. If your mind is wicked, your physical world is wicked; if your mind is pure, your world is pure, and so on.
Let’s use the city of Jerusalem as our prop. Jerusalem, as defined in Hebrew, means “foundation of peace; wholeness.” It is meant to describe wholeness and peace of the soul, the mind. Depending on which kingdom you align with, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world,” that allegiance will dictate what you perceive as truth. When I tell you to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” it is likely you think about a physical piece of land. Your thoughts default to this world, the “beneath” and not the “above.” My Kingdom is not of this world loved one, not of land! I do not command that you pray for dirt; but then again, what do you think will happen with that dirt when the minds of Yahweh’s children are whole and at peace?
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6): Pray for a foundation of peace and wholeness in your mind, a mind created for redemption. “Father, give me the wholeness and peace that comes from obeying You.” This is what praying for the peace of Jerusalem means. And when I answer the prayer, it is the supernatural consequence that the land, too, will be blessed. Spiritual thoughts manifest in a physical world loved one. Now, read Psalm 122 with the mind of the Messiah:
I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of Yahweh.”
And now here we are,
standing inside your gates, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is a well-built city;
its seamless walls cannot be breached.
All the tribes of Israel—Yahweh’s people—
make their pilgrimage here.
They come to give thanks to the Name of Yahweh,
as the Law requires of Israyl.
Here stand the thrones where judgment is given,
the thrones of the dynasty of David.
Pray for peace in Jerusalem.
May all who love this city prosper.
O Jerusalem, may there be peace within your walls
and prosperity in your palaces.
For the sake of my family and friends, I will say,
“May you have peace.”
For the sake of the house of Yahweh our Mighty One,
I will seek what is best for you, O Jerusalem.
The house of Yahweh is the Sanctuary of your mind. Let your thoughts become like a well-built city which can no longer be breached by the things of this world. May there be peace within your walls and prosperity in your palaces.