This most recently passed Sabbath Debora and I were invited to fellowship with a wonderful group of believers at Tekoa Messianic Fellowship in Toccoa, GA and what a beautiful time it was. It is good when brothers dwell together in unity. Debora and I were overwhelmed by these people and their generosity, their kindness and their desire to walk in The Truth; and so it happened this morning my daily Bible verse appeared up on my phone this morning. I looked down on my screen and read the following, “but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin (1Jn.1:7).” That verse sparked my memory of this past weekend. We experienced true fellowship and when you experience it you understand how desperate the body of Messiah is in need of it. But the verse did more for me than reveal an already colossal need in the body. It brought some things full circle that I simply would to share with you to encourage you right where you are.
The enemy desires nothing more than to trip up YHVH’s children, to do anything he can to keep a lid on us so God’s Light won’t shine. Our flesh is hostile toward The Spirit so it too is prone to wallow in negativity, bitterness and the like. But we as God’s children have been hard-wired since eternity to be over-comers. The tragedy is that too many times we allow ourselves to become vulnerable and fall into the trap of assuming. Assuming God is against us, assuming it must be His will to punish us because we didn’t get it “exactly” right, assuming we are out of His will or else we would have a packed house every Shabbat, or assuming that we must be in rebellion or else we would always be experiencing some ethereal, transcendent emotional experience 24 hours a day.
This is a maligned perception of reality and severely damaging to a heart and we all have one but if we don’t honestly bring them into the Light of God we will fail to understand whether a thing is truth or a lie. This may sound elementary, and it is, but this fundamental truth is abandoned so quickly even daily if we allow our heart to be dragged around by temporal circumstances and emotions. If we examine our verse again in 1 John chapter 1 verse 7 John stated that we will have fellowship with one another if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light. Looking at the word for light, phos in the Greek, we see among multiple definitions offered by Thayer’s means “reason, mind; the power of understanding especially moral and spiritual truth.” This was actually a key point I shared in my teaching on this past Shabbat’s parsha, Noach. Noach was a man righteous. The word translated there in Hebrew for righteous is Tsaddik and it means correct, lawful. Noach patterned his life after God’s laws.
Like all successful people of God they believed God’s word to be true, they trusted it and they sifted their lives through it like a strainer. They were putting God’s word into practice. We read
· Hebrews 5:14 - But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
· 2 Peter 1:10 - Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;
· Philippians 4:9 - The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
· John 3:21 - "But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."
What we find is that God’s Word is transformative when we apply it to our lives. When we meditate on the Word of God and keep it as a lamp before our feet we are given the spiritual gift of discernment. God’s Word however is not a tool to be used by us to manipulate one another, rather it is a key designed to bring us together. When we become practitioners of truth we have real fellowship with one another. The inverse of this is true also. We read
Matthew 6:23 - NAS – "But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”
The eye as it is used here is the Greek word ophthalmos (G3788) and metaphorically it means the eyes of the mind, the faculty of knowing (Thayer’s). One of its Hebrew cognates comes from the Hebrew letter Ayin, and it means the physical eye, as showing mental qualities, of mental and spiritual faculties, spring, and fountain. In the case of the above verse we’re directing our attention to the condition of our mind. Darkness as it’s used in the above verse is the word skotos (G4655) and one of its very telling Hebrew cognates is the compound word tsal-maw'-veth and it literally means “the shadow of death.” When we choose to live under a shadow of death versus God’s penetrating healing light, we forfeit our spiritual perspective and are given over to being deceived. A person walking in darkness cannot have fellowship with a person walking in the light; they are two entirely different conditions of heart and mind.
When we immerse ourselves out of a heart of obedience to YHVH’s Word then our eye/mind/heart is filled with His Light and at that point we can say if then your eye is filled with light, how great is that light within you! We are all still learning, but YHVH loves to fill His children; for He has spoken “I, the LORD, am your God, Who brought you up from the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide and I will fill it (Psalms 81:10).”
Reflecting over the weekend I remember the multiple acts of kindness poured out upon Debora and myself, and my heartfelt prayer is YHVH will fill each heart seeking Him at TMF, and that we’ll have the opportunity to pay it forward and to pay it back. I carry with me each day memories of true fellowship… practitioners of YHVH’s truth, LightWalkers—The Townsends, The Russells, and all the generous hearted people of God at Tekoa Messianic Fellowship. YHVH Bless you and keep you, May He lift His countenance upon you this week and give you Shalom. May we continue to pursue those things that lift one another up and be encouraged in daily practicing walking in the Light of Messiah Yeshua. Shine on LightWalkers, Ahmein!