Australia Ministry Trip (Sept 26-November 10, 2017)

Australia Ministry Trip (Sept 26-November 10, 2017)
From September 26 to November 10, 2017, my husband, daughter and I will be on a ministry trip in Australia and New Zealand. The places we will be visiting are shown on the map above - along with the dates in which we'll be in these places (and what we'll be doing while there). Please keep this ministry trip and all of us in your prayers! Blogs will appear daily throughout this time, as I have written them and scheduled them in advance. I welcome your comments - and enjoy them! Just know I will not have Internet access for much of this time. So, I will look forward to reading your responses upon my return. Thank you for your understanding! And please keep reading to complete the "Reading the Bible in a Year" challenge and blessing! I am very grateful to Claire for her faithful blog comments (please everyone - join her in sharing each day as a discussion blesses everyone so much more!) And I am thankful that Claire has graciously agreed to add a bit more into her daily comments during my time of absence. Please direct special comments or questions which require immediate responses to her (on this blog). Blessings as you continue your journey through God's Word this year!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - July 7, 2017

Today's Reading:

Mark 14:1-31

1 Kings 8

Hosea 9:17-10:15

Listen to the Bible

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading  

Today, I will focus on a couple of verses from Hosea chapter 10. In Hosea 10:12-13, we find the keys to receiving the Latter Rain. In fact, the Latter Rain (a Pentecost fulfillment) will only fall upon those who follow the steps given in these powerful verses:
Hosea 10:12-13 "Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek Yahweh, till He come and rain righteousness upon you. Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men."
With a quick word-study (looking up the key words in E-sword to get their fuller meaning from the original Hebrew), let's dig a bit deeper into Hebrew 10:12, in order to understand the vital steps to preparing for the Latter Rain. 

I have underlined the key words which we'll look up, in the verses above

STEP 1: SOW IN RIGHTEOUSNESS

The first word we'll study is “SOW.”

Certainly, "sow" is an action word. It is something we are all called to do. The implication is that, rather than just sitting back and waiting for the final Pentecost, we should be actively preparing to receive it. And the first preparation is "sowing" in righteousness. To "sow" is from the Hebrew word zara, which means to plant, fructify (bear fruit -namely the Fruits of the Holy Spirit), and conceive seed. In one of Yahshua's parables, the Sower went forth to sow good seed...  and it "conceives seed" only on "good" ground.

Next, we'll look up the word "righteousness" from Hosea 10:12.

Righteousness is Strong's Concordance number 6666, Hebrew word tsedaqah, which means "moral virtue, act righteously". My grandmother used to have a saying: "the proof is in the pudding". In other words, it didn't matter what effort went into producing the recipe. All that effort of cooking and adding in ingredients counted for nothing, if the end result wasn't a delicious dish that everyone could enjoy eating. 

Similarly, we may claim to be Christian, spend our funds in paying tithes faithfully, worship Yahweh on the right Days, and still fail to produce His Heavenly Fruit. Unless our claim of being "Christian" is reflected in our actions and in our lives bearing Yahweh's Fruits (Galatians 5:22-23), our claim is meaningless. In the end, the Father who claims us will be the one we look like in character (whether our Heavenly Father, or whether we be of the "father the devil").

Our works do matter! Certainly our works cannot save us. But it is also true that we cannot keep our Salvation without Holy-Spirit-empowered-works. The life-change is the "proof in the pudding". 

To demonstrate this, consider a few cross reference verses. First, let's look at the results of an ungodly "sowing". In Hosea 8:7 we find the results of “sowing” evil.
Hosea 8:7  "For they have sown the wind (foolishness), and they shall reap the whirlwind (Judgement): it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal (no righteous Fruit): if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up."
While sowing in foolishness and ungodliness brings destruction upon us, sowing in righteousness, denying present pleasures for future benefits (Titus 2:12), yields great joy:
Psalm 126:5-6  "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." 
Proverbs 11:18  "The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward (Eternal Reward)."

So, the first step in preparing to receive the Latter Rain is "sowing in Righteousness", which is living a Spirit-Filled life which manifests the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. What is the next step?

STEP 2: REAP IN MERCY

To "reap in mercy" is to "harvest grain" in "piety, reproof, good deeds and loving kindness". We gain this insight by looking up "reap" (qatsar) and "mercy" (chesed), as shown in the table below:
 
Thus, we find that the second step in preparing for the Latter Rain involves ministry. Not only are we to bear the Heavenly Father's beautiful Fruit (by His indwelling Grace), but we are also to participate in the harvest, helping others through loving kindness and even reproof.

STEP 3: BREAK UP YOUR FALLOW GROUND

"Break up" is from the Hebrew word "niyr". It not only refers to tilling the soil, but also to "Light". In fact, the root of this word means "light" or "a candle". This is very significant since the process of "breaking up" or spiritually "plowing" the soil of hearts requires the LIGHT from the Word.
The process of breaking up the heart's fallow ground is further explained in Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 4:3-4  "For thus saith Yahweh to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to Yahweh, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest My fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings." 
From these fuller meanings, we find that "breaking up" our "fallow ground" involves studying the Word of God, and changing our lives to align with the Light we find within it. It's the concept that "good enough" - isn't. Complacency is the enemy. For this reason, instead of letting the heavy soil of our lives remain in place, we cut into it, removing the rocks of idolatry and selfishness (by His Grace and in His Power), and walking in the Light of Truth.

STEP 5: IT IS TIME TO SEEK YAHWEH

What does it mean that it is "time" to "seek" Yahweh? The word "time" is from the Hebrew word eth. It means that we should seek Yahweh, "now", which shows immediacy. It also means that we should worship and pursue Yahweh "always", which shows that worshiping Yahweh is a day-to-day, center-of-our-beings, life-change - not just something we do on special occasions.
Not only does this phrase involve the timing for seeking Yahweh, it also involves how to seek Him: wholeheartedly (diligently):
Jeremiah 29:12-13  "Then shall ye call upon Me, and ye shall go and pray unto Me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart."   
The Latter Rain doesn't just fall as some random event, hitting everyone who happens to be seated in the right "club". The Latter Rain falls only on those who have fully prepared to receive it. And the process of preparing to receive it is one that we need to be actively doing today - and every day. As Scripture tells us in Hosea 10:12, we continue these five powerful steps daily until He sends the Rain.