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from glory to glory…

Archive for the month “September, 2015”

Eternal Treasures…

themasterteacher

O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; yes, I have a good inheritance.

               –Psalm 16.5-6

Eternal Treasures. What does that phrase conjure in your little grey cells? I admit that when I see those two words side by side, I am guilty of thinking that eternal treasures are those which are far off, out of reach, things which are elusive, ethereal, vaporous, unattainable, invisible, intangible–which have no substance. Indeed, if they are ever to be enjoyed, they are for some ideal celestial future, the concept of which is limited by my own myopic imagination…

If you spend a little time exploring the worldwide web of definitions of the word “treasure,” you will find numerous proverbial quotes which identify a myriad of substantial, experiential pleasures and possessions defined as precious treasures. I found the following assortment: health, time, friendship, family, children, memories, books, contentment, wit, creativity, pets, illusions, music, ancestry… All of them are blessings to which we can aspire and which are within our grasp in the here-and-now… But they are all governed by time; they are “ordinary” as they say in liturgical circles–i.e., their days are numbered. They are temporal…

Eternal treasures are extraordinary; that is, they are not governed by time; they are outside of time; they are eternal…

The word “eternal” does not refer to things which are limited to the “hereafter.” Eternal things mean now and forever–they have always been and will forever be. Eternal things are not without substance; they are not intangible; they are not elusive. Eternal things have always been and will forever be REAL…

Eternal Treasures are REAL LIVE treasures. They are meant for REAL LIFE living, now and forever; and nothing and no one can ever take away these treasures from those who receive them and enjoy them…

Today, I have added another unit of study to the page on which I have posted Discipling the Messianic Believer: An Invitation for LIFE. You can find the new material on the link to Page 3. There you will find content for Unit 3.

Unit 3 is entitled:  “The Heritage of LIFE.”  There are four study sessions in this unit. Each one explores a distinct treasure which those who belong to Messiah Jesus may claim and enjoy in its fullness–now and forever: The Holy Scriptures, Prayer and Devotion to God, Overcoming Evil, and Messianic Mishpochah* – a forever family. Nothing and no one–not even death–can ever take away these treasures from those who receive them by faith in the Lord Jesus, the Messiah…

galactic rideIn our here-and-now, we are sitting on a jewel orbiting a star in the galaxy some 28,000 light years from the center of the Milky Way. Poised on an arm near the edge, we are still being hurtled through space at 600,000 miles per hour as the galaxy spins on its unseen center. Meanwhile the entire galaxy is hurtling through the vastness at 1.3 million miles per hour, while our little planet is spinning on its own axis at 1040 miles per hour, and rotating around our star in the galaxy at 66,600 miles per hour. Are you dizzy yet? What a ride!!!  And when you listen to the day’s news reports about all that men gain and lose in a day on this planet, remember that the REAL LIFE treasures in Messiah are forever, here for the taking by those who love Him. Wherever you are on this cosmic ride, whatever characterizes the “who” that you are and the sweetness and bitterness appointed to you in your days, God intended for these treasures to bless and strengthen and sharpen and equip and encourage and humble and heal and guide and counsel and instruct and gladden and make you wise beyond all worldly wit in all your here-and-now–forever…

So, beloved, I invite you to view the material in Unit 3 and dig deeply into the very Word of the God who has ordered our cosmic ride…

…And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

–Jeremiah 29.13

*FOOTNOTE: If you have just visited this page and find the terms in each study somewhat alien to you, please go to Page 1 on the DISCIPLING THE MESSIANIC BELIEVER page. There you will find a link to A Guide to Messianic Jewish/Hebraic/Yiddish Terms, found in the link to Appendix A.

The Feast of Trumpets and the Feast of Christ the King…

Both feasts—the one celebrated in Jewish circles, and the other celebrated in Gentile circles–call our attention to the return of the King

trumpets stained glass 3Two months apart on this year’s calendar, the Feast of Trumpets comes at evening September 13, while the Feast of Christ the King for many in the Gentile churches comes on November 22. Both feasts—the one celebrated in Jewish circles, and the other celebrated in Gentile circles–call our attention to the return of the King. In Roman Catholic circles the Feast of Christ the King remembers the “parousia” which is that third great moment in His-story when all that has always and ever belonged to Messiah Jesus is at last seen clearly to be put under His subjection–the fulfillment of all that is promised in the Messiah’s return…

“…In the seventh month, on the first day…you shall have a…memorial of blowing of trumpets…”  –Leviticus 23.24

To be sure, the Feast of Trumpets is the beginning of another season of worship in Jewish circles, whether those believing in Messiah Yeshua, or still boxed in by tradition alone. It is the beginning of 10 days of awe and remembrance, the Yomim Noraim. In many orthodox Jewish circles, spiritual preparation for the Feast of Trumpets begins four weeks earlier during the sixth Hebrew calendar month of Elul. The 10 days observed with the trumpet blast, the sound of the shofar, lead up to the Feast of the Atonement. For Hebrew Christians, these are 10 intensely awesome days of reflection on the majesty and faithfulness of a holy G-d and the desperate need among rebellious, sin-sick mankind for the coming of the Holy One of Israel, the King of kings, of whom the prophets and Moses and the psalms speak…

“Open my mouth, O L-rd, and my lips will proclaim Your praise. Praised are You, L-rd our G-d and G-d of our ancestors, G-d of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob,great, mighty, awesome, exalted G-d who bestows lovingkindness, Creator of all.You remember the pious deeds of our ancestors and will send a redeemer to their children’s children because of Your loving nature. You are the King who helps and saves and shields. Praised are You L-rd, Shield of Abraham. Your might, O L-rd, is boundless. You give life to the dead; great is Your saving power…”

Prayer for a Festival Eve, Jewish Prayerbook

In Gentile Christian church circles, the Feast of Christ the King is the climax of the 23 weeks of the summer season of Pentecost/Trinity, during which the daily and weekly Scriptural passages declare the authenticating work and reputation of the One to whom the Spirit of G-d testifies, the  L-rd Jesus. While the Feast of Trumpets begins 10 days of awe and remembrance leading to the Feast of the Atonement, the Feast of Christ the King begins the season of Advent in some circles of the Gentile Christian churches—four weeks, 28 days, of reflection on the majesty of a holy G-d and the desperate need among rebellious, sin-sick mankind for the coming of the Holy One of Israel, the King of kings of whom the prophets and Moses and the psalms speak…

Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in Your well-beloved Son the King of kings and Lord of lords: mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under His most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen”

–Of the Reign of Christ, Book of Common Prayer

ChristTheKing3

“The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because…[Yeshua] is nearer now than when we first believed.”

–Romans 13.11

“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood…For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth…All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the…church…that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”

–Colossians 1.13-20

Being a Messianic-Jewish-hearted Anglican Christian, I enjoy the double blessing of celebrating and remembering my King Jesus twice. How awesome is that?

And so I celebrate this season, knowing that Messiah Jesus, the King of Glory, will return… and that He is nearer now than when I first believed…

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