Month 8:1, Rosh Chodesh, Year:Day 5941:207 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Friday 20 October 2017
Rosh Chodesh VIII
Becoming Yahweh's Witnesses
Chag sameach Rosh Chodesh chaverim! Welcome to the first day of the eighth month and to the beginning of the long period of time between the last festival of Shemini Atseret and the New Year in Aviv which, 14 days later, starts the annual divine moedim (appointments) all over again beginning with Pesach (Passover). That's roughly a six month interlude - half a year!.
However, that does not mean we need by idle or 'hibernate'. The Enemy isn't and we have our ongoing commission:
Harvest Time is All the Time
"'My food,' said Yah'shua (Jesus), 'is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work. Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest'" (John 4:34-35, NIV).
Year in and year out, there are souls ready to be harvested for the King and His Kingdom. True, there may be more souls ready at certain times than at others, but there are always souls ready to hear the Davar (Word), to respond affirmatively to it. Some will turn up at your proverbial doorstep unannounced, others you will be sent to. If you're ready, and willing, I guarantee they will find their way to you, and you will be guided in divers ways to find them. And if you happen to be in the Atacama Desert or in the middle of the Southern Ocean where there are no souls about to witness, unless you're there for a season for a reason, the chances are it's time for you to move back to green turf or get onto terra firma. We were none of us called to be cloistered monks or nuns. Yes, we need 'time alone' with Him but it's not supposed to be indefinite.
Called to Greater Things
We are all on this planet for a reason and for a purpose greater than education, career, having families and being model citizens. Yes, nearly all are called to be educated and have careers; almost all are called to have families and we're all supposed to be model citizens - but the main thing is the harvesting of souls. Yahweh said through the apostle Peter:
You are My Witnesses
"He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9, NIV).
Now I know this may be hard, for a variety of reasons, for most of us to accept, but the fact of the matter is that Yahweh has chosen us to be His agents in the mission field, even if the mission field is your local town rather than in some far off land. 'Every believer a witness' (and not just the big evangelists) would not be far from the emet (truth):
Love is the Only Qualification
"We are therefore Messiah's ambassadors, as though Elohim (God) were making His appeal through us" (2 Cor.5:20, NIV).
"'You are my witnesses,' declares Yahweh" (Isa.43:10, NIV).
Are you aware, then, that He has given you and me the honour of speaking on His behalf, no matter how inadequate or unworthy we may feel? The only qualification is a regenerated spirit and a heart filled with His selfless ahavah (love). You don't have to be a theologian or be an expert theologian because what people really need is an answer to heart-questions rather than head-ones. They need to be able to see with their own eyes that life can be 'done' the way it was intended to be done. Yes, some are called to answer the difficult head-questions (the Torah-teachers), and yes, we do need some basic theology and Scriptural knowledge (about salvation at least), but we don't need to be experts in order to witness. What people are looking for - what they need - is the hope that you can offer them for the darkness in their own souls. They need to see a light shining in another human being so that they can know that Elohim (God) can be reached for and grasped tightly.
Be a Spiritual Contagion
Yahweh wants us to be contagious - to be contagions! If you've ever had a cold and given it to someone else you'll get what I mean. Yahweh's ahavah (love) - the genuine agapé article - is infectious. People will start catching it all around you as soon as you start sneezing. This is the ahavah (love) that makes you perfect, the message I shared with you last Sabbath.
Start an Epidemic!
Being an evangelist, missionary or witness isn't complicated. Once you have 'caught' Yah'shua's (Jesus) ahavah (love), and aren't hiding it away somewhere, soon enough others will start 'catching' it too. They won't be able to help themselves. Not everyone, to be sure, but those who are ready - whom Yahweh has prepared, bringing them to such a moment - a moment ready for planting and watering. Once this happens, there will be an epidemic - rather like the cold epidemic we had at the beginning of the autumn (fall) here when everyone caught that bug!
Our Spiritual Food
Yah'shua (Jesus) told us what His spiritual food was when He was first speaking to that wayward Samaritan woman at the well and then His talmidim (disciples) offered Him food. "My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work", was His reply. That is what sustained Him. When I prepare, preach and publish sermons like this one, this is what sustains me. It's why I work so much in this ministry because I get fed thereby. If I don't do it, someone else will, and I will stop being fed from above. This is how I play my part in fulfilling Yahweh's objective. And it's the same for all of us. It was the same for Yah'shua (Jesus). What is that objective? To reach a messed-up world. That is why are are to eat. Yah'shua (Jesus) calls this activity "food" because when you serve in this way then, like eating, you not only get full but you also grow.
The Satisfaction of Doing His Work
Nothing satisfied Yah'shua (Jesus) more than doing His Father's work. Whatever your calling may be, work hard, be filled and grow. Together we become co-workers in Yahweh's redemptive purpose for humanity, "you in your small corner, and I in mine", as the song goes, each in his or her own divinely reserved patch. When we take part in harvesting souls longing for Elohim (God), we reap personal spiritual benefits. Our own relationship with Yahweh then becomes an exciting adventure as He stretches us beyond our comfort zones. As we tackle the challenges that are a part of advancing His Kingdom, our emunah (faith) becomes stronger. As we routinely go beyond our comfort zone, we know we're alright because Yahweh is in control.
Hoarding vs. Sharing
By holding on to our emunah (faith), rather than sharing it, we put our spiritual life at risk. Then assembling for meetings and worshipping just become things we do. But when we flee spiritual lethargy and experience others turning to Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), our desire for fresh glimpses into Yahweh's character and emet (truth) flourishes. With the effort to spread our emunah (faith) comes the motivation for spiritual growth. For one thing, we've got to read and study our Bible to know what we're talking about! Prayer and worship? How could you not express gratitude to Elohim (God) who so graciously and patiently extends His ahavah (love) to rebels like we were and like many of our friends still are? And as for personal purity, we're Yahweh's Witnesses - His Representatives - so our behaviour really matters, because it positively or negatively impacts the lives of others.
The Compensation For Weakness
OK, so you feel weak and inadequate. Don't be afraid. Yahweh compensates for our weakness according to the promise Yah'shua (Jesus) made:
He Promises to Equip
"You will receive power when the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) comes on you; [then] you will be My witnesses...!" (Acts 1:8, NIV).
Wherever you are, in whatever situation, Yahweh will equip you. All that is required is that you be yourself within your sphere of influence, and walk out in emunah (faith).
A Cost to Be Paid
Yes, there's a cost for sharing the ahavah (love) and emet (truth) of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) - there is always potential rejection and eye-rolling, being avoided or mocked - but it is worth it when you understand that the costs are ultimately investments that pay eternal dividends.
Have a blessed and fruitful new month in Yah'shua (Jesus)!