Tuesday, 24 August 2021
There are two key phrases of the 2021 Declaration that I would like to highlight today. First, "devoted to prayer and worship." Do you suppose it is worthwhile to be devoted to prayer and worship? Why, of course! Jacob 5:16 So confess your offenses to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.
Notice that "effective prayer" is connected to "praying for one another." This is only done in community. There are over 100 verses that speak to the value of loving one another. God's order is that this would be done in community. Yeshua built a community of disciples. He washed the feet of them all (not just one). Communities must be based on covenant to be legitimate. God is the God of covenant. Loving without covenant is adultery.
What about loving lost people? Of course! We love them into the community of God. Without the support and encouragement of a community they will likely drift back to their lostness. It does "take a village." Not a "village" of the "village people," but a village of the community of believers in Messiah Yeshua.
Now let's change the subject to a second phrase in the Declaration. The way we truly understand covenant is by understanding the beauty of and the blessing that is available by, "Following His teaching." In Messianic Judaism we talk in terms of obeying His Mitzvot. As we mature, we grow to understand that obeying God's Mitzvot is not about "have to," but about "want to." The Mitzvot become the desires of our hearts.
I want to start by asking a question, "How did 'the Law' become so misunderstood?" Surely this is the work of Satan, who sowed weeds among God's wheat. So many of us believe the "Law" is the stick God is going to use to beat us with. Oh contraire mon frere. (Look it up if you were born after 1960.)
Deuteronomy 4:40 You must keep His statutes and His mitzvot, which I am commanding you today, so that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and so that you may prolong your days in the land that Adonai your God is giving you for all time."
It's not a stick, it's a blessing. Here's what will happen to your life when you obey God. It will go well (for you and the next generation), you will live long in a special place that is God's gift to you. And one more thing ... this will last forever, the blessing is eternal. God's word really is true ...
Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far beyond all that we ask or imagine, by means of His power that works in us, 21 to Him be the glory in the community of believers and in Messiah Yeshua throughout all generations forever and ever! Amen.
"His power works in us ... in the community of believers."
Rabbi Michael Weiner,