Moishe Rosen, founder of Jews for Jesus, looks back on his confrontational career with plenty of satisfactionand few regrets.
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Psalm 44:1-7 We end our readings for the month of February on a very positive note. In this psalm David reveals what sustained him throughout his life of trials and temptations. What sustained David was his love and trust relationship with the Lord. Because David was secure in his relationship to the Lord, he was able to release all into the hands of the Lord. There were times when David felt distant from God, but the truth that God commanded His lovingkindness always toward David gave David the anchor he needed to keep him from being overwhelmed by his circumstances. He constantly rehearsed and reviewed the marvelous works of the Lord and all the times the Lord had strengthened him.
Psalm 43:1-5 Yesterday we saw the emotional, mental and physical pain David was experiencing because his enemies were coming against him. He was depressed, but he made the decision with his will to praise the Lord even in the midst of a very low time in his life. All depression is caused by some kind of oppression. Granted, depression can be caused by a chemical imbalance in our system, and this can be treated medically. However, whether we are depressed because of a chemical imbalance in our system or circumstances that surround us, Satan takes advantage of us in our weakened state. He oppresses us with all kinds of deceptive thoughts.
Psalm 42:1-11 David wrote this psalm when he was going through a depressed state. He says, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the help of my countenance" (Ps. 42:11, KJV). David is telling himself to praise God even when he does not feel like it. The world has grabbed this principle, and motivational seminars usually include a section on "self talk." God's Word relates this principle often. An example is, "Let the weak say I am strong" (Joel 3:10, KJV). There has been an emphasis over the years on making positive confessions rather than negative ones. Sometimes if we are not careful, we curse ourselves by declaring negative things over us. I know when I keep saying I'm tired, it seems I get more tired. David tells himself to hope in God.
Psalm 41:1-13 Our church has always given to some ministry that feeds the poor, and often members of our church will go down to the inner city and serve meals to the poor. We also have orphanages in India and Mexico that house many children who otherwise would be living in poverty on the streets. I believe the fact we have always been faithful in giving to the poor is the reason we have never experienced any financial crisis of consequence.
Mark 7:1-23 There was a song in the musical Fiddler on the Roof called "Tradition." As this Jewish father sang this song, this message was immediately conveyed: Life is full of traditions. Traditions can be meaningful, but sometimes they get in the way of the effectiveness of God's Word in our lives. I can remember one Christmas when my sister Nancy and her husband visited us. We knocked ourselves out trying to fulfill all the traditions her family and mine always observed during this season. Keeping traditions can sometimes become very burdensome. As you listen to the song "Tradition" in the film, you can hear the frustration and weariness in the voice of the father. He too had worn himself out trying to keep all the traditions. Keeping traditions can also sometimes prevent us from seeing the newness and freshness of life.
Mark 6:30-56 The disciples had just witnessed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. They saw over five thousand people fed from five loaves and two fishes. Now they were in the boat rowing to the other side when the winds came against them. Suddenly they saw Jesus walking upon the sea. They thought it was a spirit, and they were afraid. They were amazed when the winds ceased after Jesus boarded the boat. Mark records, "And they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened" (Mark 6:51-52, KJV).
I received Jesus Christ as my Lord in 1979 and it changed my life. Immediately I lost the desire for alcohol, I stopped swearing, and other sinful desires gradually disappeared the more I read, meditated on, and spoke the Word of God over my life.
Psalm 39:1-13 The tongue is a mighty weapon that can be used for good or for evil. When I was in Mexico teaching some young children, I asked them if they would like to disarm the devil. They all shouted, "Yes, we hate the devil." Then I instructed them to stick out their tongues. They followed those instructions. Then I gave them an instruction they could not follow. "Now," I said, "pull out your tongue." Laughter broke out as some of them did yank on their tongues. Of course, we cannot pull our tongues out, but if we could, we would disarm the devil.
Proverbs 10:8-9 Recently I seemed to be hopelessly lost in a town that I knew nothing about. My only hope was to stop at a gas station to ask for directions. What a feeling of relief I had when I knew how to reach my destination. I knew the road signs and landmarks to watch for as I made each turn. Before I asked for directions, it seemed that every turn I made was wrong, and I was going further away from my destination instead of closer to it.
Mark 4:26-5:20 When we look at Jesus and the life He lived on earth, we see His mind was filled with faith. Worry and doubt were not part of His life. He was able to sleep through the storm because He trusted in the Father, whom He knew controls the storms of this life. Fear overcame the disciples in the boat because their focus was on the storm instead of their heavenly Father, who sits on and even rides upon the clouds. Faith comes when we learn to glance at the storms (the trials and testing in our lives) and gaze upon Jesus. The moment we encounter a difficulty on this earth we need to look at it briefly and then focus our eyes heavenward. Paul exhorts us to set our affections upon things above.
Mark 3:31-4:25 We learned yesterday about how fruit is cultivated in our lives. The key to cultivating any of the nine fruit of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 is to spend quality time with Jesus daily. This is how we prepare the soil of our hearts to receive His Word. Only the Holy Spirit can water the seed of God's Word and cause it to grow and produce.
Psalm 37:1-11 Yesterday the psalm we read shared about God's character. Today Psalm 37 shares about the character of a meek person. Two people in the Bible are spoken of as meek men. The Bible tells us that Moses was the meekest man that ever lived. Of course, Moses was not divine as Jesus is. But we also know that if we want to see the complete character trait of meekness demonstrated, we must look to Jesus. Jesus exhorted us to learn of Him because He is meek and lowly of heart. Can we learn meekness? As we observe the lives of Jesus and Moses in the Bible, we can learn much about meekness. However, the key to learning about meekness is to come to Jesus. Jesus issues the invitation for us to come to Him daily and let the Holy Spirit teach us all about meekness. Meekness will only be formed in our own lives as we submit ourselves to growing in intimacy with the Lord by spending quality time with Him daily. This psalm tells us the benefits of meekness and exactly how meekness is demonstrated in our lives.
Psalm 36:1-12 This psalm says so much about the character of God. One of the tactics of Satan is to try to bring doubt in our hearts about God's goodness. So many times I have heard the enemy whisper, "If God is so good, why did He let this happen?" To defend ourselves against this tactic we need to know what the Bible says about the character of God. This psalm gives a great character sketch of God.
Mark 1:29-2:12 "And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean" (Mark 1:40, KJV). The motivating force in Jesus was to do the will of the Father. His first love was the Father, and everything He did on earth was first to please His heavenly Father. In this passage we see Jesus' great love for the Father as He put the Father and His will first and obeyed the Father. Many people came to Jesus for healing and deliverance, and He healed all who came to Him, but He knew that His Father had called Him to preach. First He obeyed the Father in fulfilling His call, but He also was moved with love for the people. When the leper approached Him, he was moved with compassion.
When we produce fruits of holiness through the power of God's grace, we have no reason to fall back into a life of sin and bondage. They are free, empowered and whole. However, this promise does not apply to believers who do not walk in true holiness. Hear what Peter says about this:
Mark 1:1-28 In order to follow someone or something, one has to leave something or someone. When Jesus said to Simon and Andrew, "Come, and I will make you fishers of men," they did just that. They forsook their nets and followed Him.
Matthew 28:1-20 This is the day men give candy and roses to their wives or sweethearts. For me it usually means a dinner out or a weekend away. This day of celebration is in honor of the love between a man and a woman. It is interesting that the symbol of this day is a heart and the colors used to decorate are red and white. The greatest love story ever told also involves the heart and the colors red and white. On the cross Jesus died because the weight of our sin broke His heart, but because of His sacrifice, we now can have our broken hearts mended. The red blood of Jesus poured upon the ground and was offered as an atonement for all sins, which satisfied God's requirements for a penalty for sin. Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Though our sins were as scarlet, they became white as snow. On that day over two thousand years ago, the greatest love story was revealed to mankind. This story continues to unfold as we look forward to the day that we will sit at the table of the lover of our souls. There will be a marriage of the Bridegroom (Jesus) with the bride (the church), and the celebration will continue for all eternity.
Exodus 35:10-36:38 And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord's offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments" (Exod. 35:21, KJV). This is a beautiful story of how the people had a willing heart to give, to work and to serve. We learn in the next chapter how willing the people actually were. Exodus 36:5 says, "And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make" (KJV).
Proverbs 9:1-6 I've always wondered what the seven pillars of wisdom were. After studying the sevenfold anointing spoken of in Isaiah 11:2, I concluded that the seven pillars of wisdom must be the seven aspects of the Holy Spirit of the Lord. Isaiah 11:2 says, "And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord" (KJV).
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