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Offline jojocc  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2008 3:58:36 AM(UTC)
jojocc
Joined: 12/1/2007(UTC)
Posts: 97

Shalom all,

has been a while since I've been here, have been crazy busy with my hotel.

Thought I'd share some thoughts I've recently had with you all, I think they cme as a result of me being 'so busy' that I have forgotten what is most important...


What are you willing to give up?


Let’s take a look at the first of the Ten Commandments (Ex 20:2-3):


ב אָנֹכִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים: לֹא-יִהְיֶה לְךָ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים, עַל-פָּנָי.


I am YHWH your Elohim, I who took you from the land of Egypt from the house of slavery: you will have no other Elohim, against my face.


Then take a look at Mark 12:30


καὶ ἀγαπήσεις Κύριον τὸν Θεόν σου ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας σου καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς ψυχῆς σου καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς διανοίας σου καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς ἰσχύος σου. αὔτη πρώτη ἐντολή.

And you shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first command. (translation from The Scriptures)


Many people have written about what this actually means, the significance of these passages and how YHWH is to be first in our lives, so I ask the question:

What are you willing to give up?

If YHWH really is to be our only Elohim, and we will hold no other Elohim in his face, what is he asking us to do. If, like me, YHWH is who you turn to when you remember his existence, and is not always you first point of call, then he is not your only Elohim.

In nearly all situations, my first Elohim is me. I trust my own instincts, my own actions, my own words and my own thoughts. I am my own Elohim, I know best.

I have very little time for ‘saints’, as a general rule, if I see the word saint a wry smile comes to me, along with a mental picture of a dead old man/woman dressed in black. The Catholics didn’t always get it wrong however, Francis of Assisi is probably one of the most famous ‘saints’. He gave up everything to follow ‘the lord’.

I have fought incredibly hard for my little flat, for my clothes, for my jeans that fit just right. I have bitched and moaned about lost opportunities and financial struggles. I look forward to coming home and getting into my bed, even if I do not sleep very well. I do not want to give up my jeans, my bed, my cup of hot coffee in the morning or my laptop. I do not want to give up my tidy life, I have been through too much and worked too hard for it all.

I have been through disbelief and near bankruptcy, I have been in pain and I have run away. I feel like I have found myself and I have certainly found יהוה and יהשוע , so why should I have to give up more. I know my Elohim and I know his salvation, I have it all.

But I don’t.

I was not inside the head of Francis of Assisi, and I do not know if he was his own Elohim, but he at least could say that his ‘lord’ was more important than his mortgage and his next meal.

How many of us can say the same?

When I think about it, my material goods and me ‘life’ are more important than YHWH, I love what I am doing and I am thankful to YHWH for it, for I realise that it has come from him. And yet, my thanks are empty.

יהשוע did not come to bring peace, he came that he might take upon himself the burden of our self-righteousness, in other words, our ‘sin’.

I am not about to go wandering naked into the desert, but I have realised one very important thing, if I love anything enough that I think about that, more than I think about YHWH, that I consider the consequences for my flat before I ask whether my actions are coming from my own righteousness or YHWH’s, then I am holding another Elohim up before him.

Then again, naked in the desert, all I have is YHWH, the Hebrews learned it by wandering for 40 years. How long will we take and how much are we prepared to lose?

I can only ask that one day with YHWH's help, I will be prepared to lose it all, and gain everything.
Offline Theophilus  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2008 5:02:24 AM(UTC)
Theophilus
Joined: 7/5/2007(UTC)
Posts: 527
Man

Thanks: 3 times
jojocc, you're asking a question I've often thought about but have yet to feel settled on. I think it's obvious we are instructed / commanded not to overtly worship trust, rely upon a substitue for Yahweh our elohim. Expanding this or applying it has been more troublesome for me and has had me not holding to a fixed conclusion.

As a kid, when considering the Scripture, I thought maybe I was supposed to surrender all worldly possessions, give all that I own to the Church / poor, and cut off my hand or gouge out my eye least any of these imperil my eternal soul to hellfire. The thought of losing these possessions and body parts distressed me but tfelt that this was necessary to please the LORD and not merit an eternally and infintely worse fate. While I truly desired to know and relate to God in my heart both then and now and for eternaity, there was a strong terror motivation in yeilding to what it seemed I should give up.

I've more recently wondered if actually surrendering all of my worldly possesions to the poor and removing these body parts would not make me my own Savior. I would've done what I was suppose to in order to be pleasing / merit God's favor right?

I look at my life now and see my wife and son dependant upon my labor and earnings to provide for their wellbeing and wonder what value I would be doing them to cripple myself and voluntarily impoverish my family. Am I displeasing Yahweh by also loving and desiring to provide for my earthly family as well? I don't believe now that I am. While I realize that I still fall short of the mark and depend utterly on the sufficency of Messiyah's attonement for reconcilliation, I don't believe my Heavenly Father requires me to impoverish my family any more than He forbade His people to practice their professions, save to set-apart a Shabbat rest to Him. I shouldn't let my possesions possess me or my pursuits so take hold over me that I fail to regard Yah as massively significant and set aside times and appointments to contemplate Scripture and to fellowship with Him and others who revere Him if possible.

In short I don't believe that by productively excersing the gifts and talents the Father endowed me with displeases Him or you yours. Doing so permits me to care for others and not needlessly burden others so long as my heart attitude is right with Yah and I seek to do so uprightly. I also realize that whatever I may have materially in this world is temporal and fleeting and ultimately our relationships with Yah and with our neighbors is what matters.

If you find that I've erred or missed where you intended to go with your post, please let me know?

I think you wrote wisely about being prepared to lose all you have to gain everything.
Offline jojocc  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2008 5:30:30 AM(UTC)
jojocc
Joined: 12/1/2007(UTC)
Posts: 97

Hi Theophilus,

Probably should clarify - the point here is what we are prepared to give up. I am not an advocate of Assisi, I just think he's an example everyone will know.

What I was trying to put across, is that unless we are prepared to lose or physical trappings, we cannot keep/guard the first commandment. The greek word pistueo is often translated as trust, but really could be translated as 'trusting without fear'. If we only conditionally love/trust YHWH, he is not our only Elohim.

On another note, יהשוע came to tear families apart - is it Mat 12 something (useless for remembering references unless I can look them up).

I am not saying we should physically wander naked into the desert, I am saying that we shuould look at who is really our Elohim, I suspect for most of us it is not YHWH, it is not money or good works or any of the other usual suspects, it is ourselves. We are our own Elohim and the physical trappings could be the outward sign of this.

Offline Yah Tselem  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2008 7:54:38 AM(UTC)
Yah Tselem
Joined: 3/13/2008(UTC)
Posts: 212
Man
United States
Location: Southern Wisconsin

Was thanked: 1 time(s) in 1 post(s)
Hi guys. Reminds me of something i used to struggle with: if Yahweh made it crystal clear somehow that His will for my life was for me to leave my family immediately, without saying goodbye, and say.. travel to another country and await further instructions because He had plans for me that made it necessary to drop everything and follow Him somewhere without bringing anyone with me. But can I at least say goodbye first?.. no, not an option. So, would I do it? I used to say "yes I would", but I was afraid that it might ACTUALLY happen and then, would I REALLY do it? there was doubt. But what I realize now is that I love Him more than anything or anyone. As much as I adore and love my family so much.. when compared to my love for Yahweh I hate them. As I grow in my relationship with Him more everyday, when I focus on Him, I see Him and the things around me really do fade to an extremely dull state. The key is staying focused on Him, which I find extremely difficult. It's easy to do sometimes, even daily, but to focus on Him 24/7 has thus far not really happened with all the distractions in life. When/if I can come to a place where it is 24/7, then I think I will be able to catch a glimpse of the potential of the things He wants to use me for, but more importantly,I'll undertstand a little better just how much He loves me, despite me being extremely flawed.
So, to the question of what would we give up, I would say I'm getting more prepared everyday to be ready to give up anything He wants me to, but I know that I will never be able to give up anything of importance without leaning totally on His strength to do it..
Offline bitnet  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2008 8:00:47 AM(UTC)
bitnet
Joined: 7/3/2007(UTC)
Posts: 1,120

Shalom All,

Blessed are the poor... in spirit! While we should keep Abba Yahweh the focus of our attention and be willing to observe and follow Him, it is not possible to give everything up like Francis of Assisi to sustain ourselves (family and other dependents included). I can understand jojocc's point on where is the emphasis on Elohim in each of our lives, as many of us seem to be doing things that may not be best for ourselves. I suppose that we should give up those things that do not bring us closer to Him, but that does not necessarily include our material possessions. Our thoughts are the first things that should be captive to Him. Hard to do with so many distractions in this world. That said, if we can place Him at the top of our heads, He promised to bless us as well in so many ways, including material possessions. So the question is what what do we do with our possessions, including time? Do we use them wisely to spread His Word? If we are not prepared to do that then we have misplaced His Word. We need to be sure to allocate time, thought and resources to being His emissaries and our work shall be blessed to provide more than enough to support His Work.

Regarding the division of families, this will happen if people move in opposite directions. However, it is not necessary for it to happen if sufficient prayer, thought and time is spent to resolve the differences and bring proper understanding. Ignoring the probabilities of family rifts may be better than focusing on its' possibilities in order to avoid self-fulfillment. Again, I have no idea how it will turn out with my siblings who are practicing Catholics, but I am hopeful and prayerful and am approaching this daintily as we love and cherish each other very much. But my focus is not on them but on His Word.
The reverence of Yahweh is the beginning of Wisdom.
Offline Barrack  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2008 2:17:50 PM(UTC)
Barrack
Joined: 6/30/2007(UTC)
Posts: 3
Location: Temple, TX

Well said, bitnet
Let's Talk About Something Important
Offline bitnet  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2008 7:06:19 PM(UTC)
bitnet
Joined: 7/3/2007(UTC)
Posts: 1,120

Thanks for the affirmation, Barrack. You crept in under my radar so this is my chance to welcome you to this site. What brings you here anyway? I know that the YY site is a link on your site but your site seems so militaristic that it really is a surprise to see you here. I suppose this must be of some interest to you. What is your opinion about what is expounded on the YY site? Sorry for the third degree but I'd really like to know how you fit into all of this because there is a topic here under "Professions, Investments and The Work" and I am keen to read your response there should you wish to reply to my query.
The reverence of Yahweh is the beginning of Wisdom.
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