Tikkun Olam: Repairing the World

Tikkun Olam is Hebrew for repairing the world.

It’s Holy Week, Holy Saturday in fact. Yesterday Jesus died at the cross of Calvary. Tomorrow he will ride and leave his tomb empty.

Tikkun Olam. This is all I can think of. Why is this lil old Christian girl citing Hebrew words?

Tikkun Olam began as a verb “to make straight” in the Hebrew scripture. Rabbis have used this phrase, this saying in their legal discussions in the Talmud.

I am currently moved and inspire to write about how Jesus came in to my life in order to Tikkun Olam me. He set me straight, he saved me, he repaired me when I was broken, weak and in need. Thank you ABBA Padre.

Kaballist followers referred to Tikkun Olam as a concept of cosmic repair in the Middle Ages.

Today, some use the term Tikkun Olam in reference to social activism – to heal the world.

The Hebrew verb TKN (Tikkun Olam) is only found four times in the Scripture. Which means to make straight, establish, arrange, or repair.

In the book of Ecclesiastes, we see the verb TKN mentioned 3 out of the four times mentioned in scripture.

Before we get into those scripture let’s speak about the book of Ecclesiastes.

Purpose and Teaching:

The author of Ecclesiastes puts his powers of wisdom to work to examine the human experience and assess the human situation. His perspective is limited to what happens “under the sun” (as is that of all the wisdom teachers). He considers life as he has experienced and observed it between the horizons of birth and death — life within the boundaries of this visible world. His wisdom cannot penetrate beyond that last horizon; he can only observe the phenomenon of death and perceive the limits it places on human beings. Within the limits of human experience and observation, he is concerned to spell out what is “good” for people to do. And he represents a devout wisdom. Life in the world is under God — for all its enigmas. Hence what begins with “Meaningless! Meaningless!” (1:2) ends with “Remember your Creator” (12:1) and “Fear God and keep his commandments” (12:13).

With a wisdom matured by many years, he takes the measure of human beings, examining their limits and their lot. He has attempted to see what human wisdom can do (1:13,16-18; 7:24; 8:16), and he has discovered that human wisdom, even when it has its beginning in “the fear of the Lord” (Pr 1:7), has limits to its powers when it attempts to go it alone — limits that circumscribe its perspectives and relativize its counsel. Most significantly, it cannot find out the larger purposes of God or the ultimate meaning of human existence. With respect to these it can only pose questions.

Nevertheless, he does take a hard look at the human enterprise — an enterprise in which he himself has fully participated. He sees a busy, busy human ant hill in mad pursuit of many things, trying now this, now that, laboring away as if by dint of effort humans could master the world, lay bare its deepest secrets, change its fundamental structures, somehow burst through the bounds of human limitations, build for themselves enduring monuments, control their destiny, achieve a state of secure and lasting happiness — people laboring at life with an overblown conception of human powers and consequently pursuing unrealistic hopes and aspirations.

He takes a hard look and concludes that human life in this mode is “meaningless,” its efforts all futile.

What, then, does wisdom teach him?

1. Humans cannot by all their striving achieve anything of ultimate or enduring significance. Nothing appears to be going anywhere (1:5-11), and people cannot by all their efforts break out of this caged treadmill (1:2-4;2:1-11); they cannot fundamentally change anything (1:12-15;6:10;7:13). Hence they often toil foolishly (4:4,7-8;5:10-17;6:7-9). All their striving “under the sun” (1:3) after unreal goals leads only to disillusionment.

2. Wisdom is better than folly (2:13-14; 7:1-6,11-12,19; 8:1,5; 9:17-18; 10:1-3,12-15; 12:11) — it is God’s gift to those who please him (2:26). But it is unwarranted to expect too much even from such wisdom — to expect that human wisdom is capable of solving all problems (1:16-18) or of securing for itself enduring rewards or advantages (2:12-17;4:13-16;9:13-16).

3. Experience confronts humans with many apparent disharmonies and anomalies that wisdom cannot unravel. Of these the greatest of all is this: Human life comes to the same end as that of the animals — death (2:15; 3:16-17; 7:15; 8:14; 9:1-3; 10:5-7).

4. Although God made humankind upright, people have gone in search of many “schemes” (for getting ahead by taking advantage of others; see 7:29; cf. Ps 10:2; 36:4; 140:2). So even humans are a disappointment (7:24-29).

5. People cannot know or control what will come after them, or even what lies in the more immediate future; therefore all their efforts remain balanced on the razor’s edge of uncertainty (2:18;6:12;7:14;9:2).

6. God keeps humans in their place (3:16-22).

7. God has ordered all things (3:1-15;5:19;6:1-6;9:1), and a human being cannot change God’s appointments or fully understand them or anticipate them (3:1;7;11:1-6). But the world is not fundamentally chaotic or irrational. It is ordered by God, and it is for humans to accept matters as they are by God’s appointments, including their own limitations. Everything has its “time” and is good in its time (ch. 3).

Therefore wisdom counsels:

1. Accept the human state as it is shaped by God’s appointments and enjoy the life you have been given as fully as you can.

2. Don’t trouble yourself with unrealistic goals — know the measure of human capabilities.

3. Be prudent in all your ways — follow wisdom’s leading.

4. “Fear God and keep his commandments” (12:13), beginning already in your youth before the fleeting days of life’s enjoyments are gone and “the days of trouble” (12:1) come when the infirmities of advanced age vex you and hinder you from tasting, seeing and feeling the good things of life.

To sum up, Ecclesiastes provides instruction on how to live meaningfully, purposefully and joyfully within the theocratic arrangement — primarily by placing God at the center of one’s life, work and activities, by contentedly accepting one’s divinely appointed lot in life, and by reverently trusting in and obeying the Creator-King. Note particularly 2:24-26; 3:11-14,22; 5:18-20; 8:15; 9:7-10; 11:712:1; 12:9-14 (see also any pertinent notes on these passagoes link can be found in footnotes)

Outline of Ecclesiastes:

• Author (1:1)

• Theme: The meaninglessness of human efforts on earth apart from God (1:2)

• Introduction: The profitlessness of human toil to accumulate things in order to achieve happiness (1:3-11)

• Discourse, Part 1: In spite of life’s apparent enigmas and meaninglessness, it is to be enjoyed as a gift from God (1:12;11:6)

• Since human wisdom and endeavors are meaningless, people should enjoy their life and work and its fruits as gifts from God (1:12;6:9)

1. Introduction (1:12-18)

1. Human endeavors are meaningless (1:12-15)

2. Pursuing human wisdom is meaningless (1:16-18)

2. Seeking pleasure is meaningless (2:1-11)

3. Human wisdom is meaningless (2:12-17)

4. Toiling to accumulate things is meaningless (2:18;6:9)

1. Because people must leave the fruits of their labor to others (2:18-26)

2. Because all human efforts remain under the government of God’s sovereign appointments, which people cannot fully know and which all their toil cannot change (3:1;4:3)

3. Because there are things better for people than the envy, greed and amibition that motivate such toil (4:4-16)

4. Because the fruits of human labor can be lost, resulting in frustration (5:1;6:9)

• Since people cannot fully know what is best to do or what the future holds for them, they should enjoy now the life and work God has given them (6:10;11:6)

1. Introduction: What is predetermined by God is inalterable, and people cannot fully know what is best or what the future holds (6:10-12)

2. People cannot fully know what is best to do (chs. 78)

3. People cannot fully know what the future holds (9:1;11:6)

• Discourse, Part 2: Since old age and death will soon come, people should enjoy life in their youth, remembering that God will judge (11:7;12:7)

• People should enjoy their life on earth because their future after death is mysterious, and in that sense is meaningless for their present life (11:7-8)

• People should enjoy the fleeting joys of youth, but remember that God will judge (11:9-10)

• People should remember their Creator (and his gifts) in their youth, before the deteriorations of old age and the dissolution of the body come (12:1-7)

• Theme Repeated (12:8)

• Conclusion: Reverently trust in and obey God (12:9-14)

Now that we have an overview on Ecclesiastes, back to references of TKN:

Human endeavors are meaningless:

“What is wrong cannot be made right. What is missing cannot be recovered.”

Ecclesiastes 1:15 NLT

The author has described that we humans do not have authority to fully make things right, make things new, or repair. We are limited.

“Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked?”

Ecclesiastes 7:13 NLT

Who are we? Can we really fix something that God has made, created? Allowed to happen? God has his reasons for why things go the way they do. We have to accept what we cannot change, we have to accept in our limited abilities and capabilities of the flesh. We do not have the power God has. We do not have God’s abilities.

“Keep this in mind: The Teacher was considered wise, and he taught the people everything he knew. He listened carefully to many proverbs, studying and classifying them.”

Ecclesiastes 12:9 NLT

We have to reverently trust and obey God.

““When my sanity returned to me, so did my honor and glory and kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored as head of my kingdom, with even greater honor than before.”

Daniel 4:36 NLT

In Daniel 4, Nebuchadnezzar has a dream, Daniel interprets it and Nebuchadnezzar‘s dream came to pass., he then exalted and glorified the lords name. Nebuchadnezzar was restored, straightened and renewed. TKN.

Consider what God has done: Who can straighten [Takkan] what he has made crooked?”

In the book of Deuteronomy we see where the concept of Justice and moral duty to society originates:

“Let true justice prevail, so you may live and occupy the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”

Deuteronomy 16:20 NLT

In the book of Amos we find a Hebrew prophet who condemned Israel’s disregard to Widows, orphans and foreigners in his time. Here he uses this reference towards doing what is rightness, to denounce Evelin, to love what is good, to turn towards justice for all the living.

“Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live! Then the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed. Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice. Perhaps even yet the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.”

Amos 5:14-15, 24 NLT

Now that we have see. Peace, and setting things right or repairing with the Hebrew word Tikkun Olam, then came the concept of repairing the world peace. The Zohar, a book of Jewish mysticism, first appeared in Spain in the late thirteenth century. The author used tikkun olam to describe the cosmic benefits of when a Jew performs mitzvot.

A mitzvot is a commandment, referring to precepts and commandments commanded by God. According to the Torah there are 613 commandments. In the Bible we have 10.

Now back to the book Zohar, out of this book and cosmic benefits of following the commandments a new philosphy of thought emerged called kabbalah.

This new philosophy is birthed in the concept of how through the fall of Adam, the universe was “ruptured” in both the physical and spiritual realms.When a Jew carries out the mitzvot cosmic repairs are made in the invisible spiritual world. The benefits then “flow down” into the physical world and slowly repair the damage done on earth by the sin of Adam.

We know that through the fall of man in genesis, sin was born. Satan became the prince of this world. Willing and able to deter, destroy, manipulate all of God’s creation.

Kabbalist state with their philosophy of cosmic destruction due to the fall of man that God’s presence was scattered in the same way a clay pot is shattered and the shards scattered. These pieces were called “divine sparks.” Famed Kabbalist Isaac Luria (1534-1572) explained that the Jews were dispersed throughout the world in order to “elevate” these sparks and restore the unity of God’s presence.

As Christians we know that yes the fall of Adam and Eve birthed sin, yet the death of Jesus restore us, heals us, Tikkun Olam: Repairing the World, not the physical world but spiritual world.

For centuries Jews waited the arrival of the messiah, so a new Jerusalem can be formed, Where their king can ride up and rule for all eternity. The prophecy has been mentioned throughout the scriptures of hour our savior would come, live, be mistreated, pay for our sins and ride back up. (Isaiah 53).

Jesus did just that. The spiritual world is saved. Jesus repairs our hearts. Jesus repairs our souls, Jesus repairs our mind, Jesus repairs where we will spend our eternity…. as long as we believe in him, follow him, trust in him.

“The fact is, it was our suffering he took on himself; he bore our pain. But we thought that God was punishing him, that God was beating him for something he did. But he was being punished for what we did. He was crushed because of our guilt. He took the punishment we deserved, and this brought us peace. We were healed because of his pain.”

Isaiah 53:4-5 ERV

The phrase “tikkun olam” remains connected with human responsibility for fixing what is wrong with the world. It’s a trait that comes from within. People whom are passionate about fixing this world are invested in grassroot initiatives, working for the people, to stand up against anyone whom do not do right by the people. These people do community activism, work in social justice, some go into politics, go into health care, the legal system and even ministry, so that in the areas they believe and are passionate about they too can do right for the people. The problems of this world can be jeweled and mended if we all take the appropriate steps towards salvation. To love each other wholly they say the Bible reaches us. To respect one another as the Bible reaches us.

Jesus came to this world mend our hearts, save this world, to repair this world from the sin caused by the down fall of mankind. Jesus came by dying in our place for our wrongdoing, thereby wiping our slate clean and giving us shalom (peace)with God. Jesus is our Tikkun Olam, but what he comes to repair, is not this physical world but the spiritual world. Our battle is a spiritual battle. Our journey here on earth determines our spiritual journey.

Yet here we are today, Holy Saturday, and you are probably wondering where I am going with all of this.

When Jesus died at Calvary, his followers, his disciples were mourning, they felt broken, they were in pain. Some were probably questioning was this really the son of God? Some were probably questioning will he return? Some were just in pain. Loosing a friend, especially at a young age is never easy. They had to silently wait for what was to come next, while they mourned.

Put yourself in the place of Jesus ‘ disciples.

‘I just lost my teacher. I just lost my mentor. I just lost my friend. I just lost my best friend. I just lost my brother. I just lost my son, he was only 33.’

Let those words sink in for just a few seconds.

Have you ever lost a teacher you highly regarded and respected? A mentor who guided you? A close friend? Your best friend? Your brother or sister? Your son?

His disciples were in pain. Yes they believed his teachings. Yes they lived, breathed, witness and spoke of the miracles of Jesus, yet here, in this world, in this flesh, they were still in pain.

When someone dies, no matter how they die, at first it’s hard to accept that they are no longer with us in the flesh.

Recently I lost a dear friend. It was a freak accident in my eyes. In the eyes of the Lord, it was time. I do not need to know the why, the reason, no matter how much I question what did happen, how come he died, I have to accept that God has his reason, and his reason is not mine to know. Yet this death, hurt me, shook me to the core. This death shattered my home to a million pieces. This death caused pain we didn’t know exist. We lost a friend, a brother, a best friend, a teacher.

The pain was raw.

The pain was real.

The emotions were indescribable.

We have all lost someone.

Take these feelings and apply them to the disciples.

I was broken with my losses.

They too were broken.

We also become broken when we sin.

The day after the crucifixtuon of Christ , they too mourned. Their pain, their feelings were raw. Their anguish was real. They were broken. Despite their faith, despite knowing that the prophesy needed to be fulfilled, they were broken and in real pain, the same pain you and I feel when we loose a loved one.

Today, I can think of Tikkun Olam, Jesus repairing the spiritual world. Today in mourning, broken, in pain over the loss of our savior, channeling the pain the disciples must have felt today, I find hope, comfort and peace knowing tomorrow he will rise. Tomorrow he fulfills the prophesy. That tomorrow he proves that he is the messiah, that my sins have been forgiven, that he paid my debts. That I shall praise and worship his name because he has allowed me to have an opportunity to enter the gates of heaven. I have found the Golden Ticket…. my ticket is Jesus. He has repaired my world, he has repaired my spiritual battles, he has healed everything that was broken in me.

Jesus repairs. Jesus heals. Jesus mends. Jesus is my Tikkun Olam: he has repaired, straightened and healed me.

Thank you Lord for sending your only son to be our sacrificial lamb. Thank you for having him take my sins upon the cross. Thank you for allowing me salvation through your son. Lord this act has allowed us salvation. Allowed us a bridge and relationship with you. To be able to feel your spirit. To be touched by the Holy Spirit. To be loved and inspired by the Holy Spirit. To grow with you in our spiritual journey so we can join you when our time comes. Lord I know things will happen, temptations and test will come, the enemy will try to break me, but you have already repaired me. Today over two thousand years ago, the disciples mourned the passing of Jesus, tomorrow we shall rejoice and celebrate that we worship the one true living God. Amen

References:

https://jewsforjesus.org/publications/issues/issues-v20-n03/tikkun-olam-repairing-the-world/

https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/tikkun-olam-repairing-the-world/

http://bible.com/116/ecc.1.15.nlt

http://bible.com/116/ecc.7.13.nlt

http://bible.com/116/ecc.12.9.nlt

http://bible.com/116/dan.4.36.nlt

http://bible.com/116/deu.16.20.nlt

http://bible.com/116/amo.5.14-15,24.nlt

http://bible.com/406/isa.53.4-5.erv

https://www.biblestudytools.com/ecclesiastes/

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While we were still sinners….

bible.com/406/rom.5.8.erv

Think about the ultimate sacrifice God has made for you. He sent his son, to pay for our sins, even before you and I were born. Jesus was our sacrificial lamb. He has redeemed us. He died so we too can join his father our lord one day in heaven. He died so we too can receive salvation.

He rose from the grave to fulfill a prophesy, a promise from God. To show God’s love, compassion and grace. To show that God wants all his children with him, saved in heaven. Not subject to be lost in the catacombs of hell, not to be destroyed by the enemy. The lord gave us free Will, we freely choose whether we want to accept him or not. Our choices determine if we can achieve salvation.

Jesus death at the cross of Calvary is not something to be taken lightly. His whole experience, the torment he had to undergo, the suffering, the beatings, the tears, the agony of his flesh, the name calling, the shouts, the hatred that many had towards him. He went through all this so we, you and I shouldn’t. He paid our debts, so when you make it to judgement day, you can go debt free. All you have to do is believe and accept our lord as your lord and savior.

All you have to do is start anew. Repent, believe, follow Jesus. Follow him with all your heart and soul.

Pray with me.

Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

If you decided to repeat this prayer and repent of your sins and receive Christ today, welcome to God’s family. You are now my brother or sister in Christ.

Now, there are a few things you need to know to grow closer to Christ. Build your relationship with God. As a way to grow closer to Him, the Bible tells us to follow up on our commitment.

• Get baptized as Christ has commanded us.

• Tell someone else about your new faith in Christ.

• Spend time with God each day. It does not have to be a long period of time. Just develop the daily habit of praying to Him and reading His Word. Ask God to increase your faith and your understanding of the Bible.

• Seek fellowship with other followers of Jesus. Develop a group of believing friends to answer your questions and support you.

• Find a local church where you can worship God.

Good luck on your spiritual journey.

May God Bless you.

Gathered in his name

I tell my kids all the time when we are unable to physically make it to church. As song as we are here, worshipping alongside the live stream broadcast or doing our own bible study lesson with each other the presence of the lord is evermore present as if we were at church congregating with our fellow church members. It can be just as a blessing. The important is that we focus on God, learning about God, praying to God and worshipping God.

Always remember whenever you are, as long as there are two or three or more in worship God is there. Don’t be shy, don’t be embarrassed about your location, don’t fuss about circumstances you cannot control. Put all trust in God’s hands.

The other day during this article blast we had post post the cyclone bomb, line many in the northeast battling frozen or busted pipes, my household experienced the same thing. Our main water heater pipe froze.

My day in Meme…. I joked that day, because we cannot freak out when things don’t start out the way you hoped. I literally created memes to discuss my day. Yet my children and I gathered to still watch the livestream of our church’s sermon. Part of the days message said…. you have to do something different.

. I joked about the situation as it was happening and even after because stressing, freaking out was not an option.

We put trust in God that it wasn’t going to be that bad and it will be fixed… and just like that God is good. My pipes were frozen, but at least it did not burst. Now we not only have heat and hot water again, but the sermon was a play by play of the actions we took in our faith in God in our given situation.

Knowing it could be worse, but having faith it will not get there.:.. as we listened to the sermon I thanked the lord…. because it could’ve been worse. On another note… we had cake too. I made sure my kids stood warm while the problem was addressed…. and nothing solves problems better than ones faith in God and home made Cake…. 🙂

But honestly like Olaf the kids and I joked about needing warm hugs lol

Todita all is well.

Our house is fine.

The point of the story, we gathered our faith and trust in God. Not only was he ever present, but the sermon of the day spoke to us directly. God fixed our situation by guiding my husband and in no time our pipe was unfrozen and things were back to normal.

Father God I thank you for the events that took place. Not only were we able to confide in you for strength and refuge dear lord knowing you would provide. We trusted that you would provide, but you also confirmed our actions with that days sermon. We thank you for guiding us, inspiring us and making sure we had everything we needed. Though I joked about the cake dear lord, it was comforting to know that you put that thought to make the cake and we listened. It helped keep us warm while we awaited things to get fixed. I thank you again dear lord Amen.

One Name

One Name

David C. McCasland

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. Philippians 2:10

Philippians 2:5–11

Genesis 18–19; Matthew 6:1–18

Cleopatra, Galileo, Shakespeare, Elvis, Pelé. They are all so well known that they need only one name to be recognized. They have remained prominent in history because of who they were and what they did. But there is another name that stands far above these or any other name!

Before the Son of God was born into this world, the angel told Mary and Joseph to name Him Jesus because “he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21), and “he . . . will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:32). Jesus didn’t come as a celebrity but as a servant who humbled Himself and died on the cross so that anyone who receives Him can be forgiven and freed from the power of sin.

The apostle Paul wrote, “God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9–11).

In our times of greatest joy and our deepest need, the name we cling to is Jesus. He will never leave us, and His love will not fail.

Jesus, You are the name above all names, our Savior and Lord. We lift our praise to You as we celebrate Your presence and power in our lives today.

I am adding a special prayer to the end of this article:

Father God I thank you for everything you do in my life. I thank you for the blood of Jesus that washed away my sins and saved me from damnation. God I thank you for the love and protection you offer my family and loved ones. The world may know the names of Cleopatra, Galileo, Shakespeare, Elvis, Pelé for their achievements and advancements in their fields of expertise, but your name will be righteous and superior above all names. Thank you father.- Amen

Happiness

The world is looking for happiness, yet they are looking for happiness in all the wrong places (wealth fame etc).

This was from a peice of a recent sermon by Pastor Hagee.

I was listening to his servie in my living room and this struck out.

He referenced Luke 12;15 [15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”]

We can easily get carried away with our possessions and our quest to happiness in life.

Trust me I know.

I tend to get so fixated on my “projects” that sometimes even though for those brief moments of joy, I get carried away and end up with a surplus of items.

I like to craft with my kids.

My kids have found an affinity to making things.

So what do I do, I buy a cricut.

I turn everything in to a project.

I want to make them everything.

home made cards, home made banners, home made party decors, home made holiday decor.

(I have spent and saved uniquivocally the same amount lol).

My kids have found an affinity in painting.

So what do I do, I order canvases galor, paint, stencils and paint brushes

So what do I have? An Art gallery in their bedroom preserving those few minutes of happiness in self reflection and creativity.

I like to read.

I like to read themetaically.

So what do i Have? a mountain pile of books to read, and a kindle/nook devices filled with books at my disposal to read.

I get lost in my books, I get transfixed in my books, I get happy reading.

Yet I have enough books to donate to a few libraries.

We are always looking for happiness… even in all the wrong places.

Our happiness should come from reading the word. Our happiness should come from our faith trust and love in God. Our happiness should come from praising God. Our happiness should come in praying. Our happiness should come from when our prayers our answered. Our happiness should come from the good deeds we do. Our happiness should come from God not the other places we use as temporary moments of happiness.

Father God I thank you for the sermon you had purposely allowed me to listen to. I know I to use books and other means to find temporary happiness. They are just that, temporary happiness. Nothing can bring me joy and happiness the way you do my lord. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your compassion. Thank you for the never ending joy you give me. Amen.

.

Giving credit to whom credit is due

Giving Credit To Whom Credit Is Due By Darla Noble from Daily Bible Inspirations

Two men claimed to have developed a particular variety of apples. One of them was being untruthful, but which one? It wasn’t until the judge asked the men to explain the process they used to develop this new fruit that he knew who was telling the truth…and who wasn’t. The man who deserved credit for his ingenuity and hard work spoke passionately and in great detail. The other man’s explanation was vague, lacked important details, and he misused terminology even a novice botanist would know.

We never have to have a single doubt as to the Giver of life and all that we have. It is God. We never have to have a single doubt as to who the Creator and Master of the universe is. It is God. We never have to have a single doubt as to who cares for us, protects us, comforts us, and showers us with His amazing love and immeasurable blessings. It is God.

Give thanks to God always for these amazing gifts!

Pray: Thank you, God for who You are, for Your mighty power, and Your amazing love. In the name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.

Questions for reflections from the article and my feedback:

◦ Today’s verse tells us to honor God with thanksgiving when he delivers us from our trouble. What trouble has God delivered you from?

Recently (two days before thanksgiving) our car broke down. Perfect timing too right?(sarcasm). Yet that experience though financially painful (not only did we need to replace the engine but we needed a car to get around so had to get a rental), but it was stressful around the holidays when one is trying to get gifts for loved ones. The week before Christmas, 3 weeks after our car broke down, our prayers were answered and God delivered us from this trouble. We were humbled, we were thankful, we were grateful. Our beloved pastor, not knowing the extent of our financial burden, but suspected, was moved to give us a monetary Christmas gift when we needed it the most. We didn’t tell anyone how much was needed to last the week, we didn’t tell anyone we had nothing, no food, no gas money to refuel, we were trying to keep faith and knew it would work itself out. Correction God would help us work it out.

◦ How did you express your thanks to him for doing so?

In our car fiasco we thanked God first, then in an emotional breakdown my husband thanked the Pastor with tears of gratitude for the help he provided us with. Aside from the Pastor my family who knew to an extent what we were dealing with as far as car rentals and cost of repair helped tremendously. We thanked each and everyone one of them, starting with praising God, for moving these hearts.

◦ What are you thankful for?

Make a list and then take the time to say thank you to God for each specific thing.

What I usually do is have a mental checklist of what I am thankful for. In my prayers I tell God specifically what I am thankful for. Father thank you for waking me today, thank you for the fresh of breath air that I breathe, thank you for my spouse, thank you for my children, thank you for my parents, thank you for my siblings, thank you for my in-laws, thank you for my nieces and nephews, thank you for my church, thank you for……

Father you know my struggles, you know my pain, you know my triumphs- because they are your triumphs as well. I thank you for all that you’ve done and continue to do for my family and I. We will forever glorify your name dear lord. Amen.

​Undivided Heart.

​Undivided Heart.

“You must always act in the fear of the Lord, with faithfulness and an undivided heart.” – (2 Chronicles 19:9)
In 2 chronicles Jehoshaphat appoints Judges for the people.
Why?
There was a divided Israel. He was building alliances between Israel and Judah, he was building alliances to improve the circumstances he faced, he built alliances to help in trade to sustain his people, he built alliances to end idolatry and the practices of pagan rituals, he was also teaching the people about the laws of the land and to observe the sabbath and the laws of God. Judges were appointed to ensure the laws were being followed. Judges were appointed to ensure the teachings of God were not being misconstrued.
It’s election time in NYC and legislators are running for offices throughout. Each legislator is responsible for the well being of their constituency, that the rights of their constituency are protected and that laws are created to help/ protect and improve quality of life for their constituency. Judges are appointed by we the people when we go to the ballots.
Right now we are a nation that’ is more divided than ever. In theory we were once known as a nation of being indivisible yet here we are. Divided by politics, still divided by race and class, divided by religion, divided by philosophy and even divided by the law and politics. To think during Jehoshaphat’s rein his goal was to end idolatry and pagan practices. Today’s problems in America are a bit different. A nation where we are all supposed to be equal despite our differences, are living a complete opposite to the reason the founding fathers came together.
This saddens God. Having a divided nation breaks his heart. What hurts him even more so than this is when our own hearts are divided. Torn between social constructs and social norms and our beliefs.
I am from NYC. I lived all of my life in the city. I am used to the hustle, the bustle and that fast paced lifestyle. It’s just something that’s synonymous to being a New Yorker. With that being said there are times where this lifestyle makes it difficult to practice our faith.
There is so much to do, so much to see, so little time. It’s difficult in our fast paced world to cultivate an undivided heart but the benefits are phenomenal.
When your heart is torn between the desires of the flesh and the desires of the Lord, we are placed in a predicament where we have to choose. We can’t want nor have both. A heart divided is easily weaken, can easily be misguided, can easily turn to one side or the other fully.
A heart that is undivided is powerful. A heart that is undivided focuses on purpose. An undivided heart desires just that one item it desires. The desires of an undivided heart has such a conviction, perseverance will prevail no matter the difficulty faced.
My pastor has a saying that those with one foot in their faith and one foot in the world is lukewarm. A church will not strive if their members are lukewarm. He would rather a house full of those with undivided hearts who are filled with passion than a house filled with lukewarm individuals.
The individuals with the undivided hearts as mentioned are passionate, dedicated and loyal to their beliefs, faith and practices. It is this loyalty that leads you to grow spiritually with God. It is this loyalty that allows the impossible to happen . It is this loyalty that can break down the chains holding you down. It’s this loyalty that can move mountains. It’s this loyalty leads to a complete happiness words could never compare to.
Move past the trivialities of life. Turn that heart into and undivided heart with reverence for the Lord with fear and exercise faithfulness.
Right now it does not matter the state of your heart. If your heart is divided I ask you to pray. Pray to build with Christ. Pray for a spiritual alliance so that you can grow and flourish spiritually. I ask you to pray for the cultivation of an undivided heart that will transform your life. Mend your heart whole reject world in singleness of purpose and align yourself with the word of God.
Pray with me:
Father, I come into your presence now, and I ask you to surround me. I ask for you to align my heart with your will. I come under your authority and your claim upon my heart, my soul and my life. I give myself to
you—body, soul, and spirit. I give my heart to you, in every
way—including the broken & divided places in me. I declare your authority over my heart, for you made my heart and you have redeemed my heart. I ask that you help me mend my heart so I can be whole in you. I want to but undivided having you as my primary focus in life. I want an undivided heart filled with your love and faith that is powerful in your works. Amen.