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[Spiritual] Food for Thought: Collection 1

 

[Spiritual] Food for Thought

Collection 1

D. L. Dunnaville

Copyright © 2016 D. L. Dunnaville

All rights reserved.

Taken from the Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, 6120 Day Long Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029. www.messianicjewish.net.

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission.

All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Are You a Celestial Celebrity?

Charge and Recharge

Date Nights

Date Nights Parable Explained

Double Jeopardy

FREEDOLATRY, When Freedom Becomes an Idol

Get With the Program

Law Abiding Citizen

The Oldest Trick in the Book

The Sweet Slave Trade

Two Sides of the Same Coin

What in the World is Wrong?

About the Author

[]Introduction

This book is a collection of 12 teachings which originally accompanied an online video series entitled “[Spiritual] Food for Thought”. This written text is intended to be a devotional guide of sorts. Readers are encouraged to chew on, Bible study, research, pray about and discuss all content laid out herein.

Please do not settle for the author’s word on a matter but earnestly seek the LORD to discern what His final Word would be. Most of this content resulted from daily reflection on everyday parts of life. Time was merely taken to step back and listen for anything God might be trying to communicate through the smallest things in life as well as the tallest. All who call upon the LORD and desire a close relationship with Him are encouraged to do this same thing…to the greatest extent possible. And be sure to have fun in the process!

– Clay Vessel (CV)

[]ARE YOU A CELESTIAL CELEBRITY?

Perhaps you were a star athlete in high school or college and now you’re a “Custodial Engineer”, also known as a janitor. Or maybe you spent tens of thousands of dollars on a 4 to 6 year college degree and now you’re a “Family Relations Manager”, also known as a stay-at-home parent.

Maybe…just maybe, you actually made it BIG in this life! Perhaps you’re the real deal – a walking talking celebrity. Well, regardless of your history or current occupation, the one question I have for you is: Are you a “Celestial Celebrity”?

There are at least three types of Celestial Celebrities found in Scripture. – Daniel 12:3 (NIV) reads,

Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”

This goes out to all the teachers, preachers, and evangelists out there who have done an outstanding job and gone through much turmoil to share the Good News of the Kingdom. This verse and others (e.g. Luke 6:22&23) indicate that a great heritage awaits those who have labored well for the cause of Christ.

Another type of celestial celebrity can be found at Proverbs 19:17 (NIV) which declares,

“[[Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD,
and He will reward them for what they have done]].”

Elsewhere we read:

Yeshua said to him, ‘If you are serious about reaching the goal, go and sell your possessions, give to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come, follow me !’”- Matthew 19:21 (CJB)

So we see here that kind deeds done for others (especially those done privately) help boost our celestial “bank account”. If you have tended to the needs of others, then you have tended to extensions of the LORD Himself and He will reward you for this!

Finally, we have what I think is my personal favorite among the different kinds of celestial celebrities. At Luke 15:7 (NIV) we see Yeshua preaching:

I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who turns to God from his sins than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent.”

If you were living for this world, your flesh, and the devil one day but then “unplugged” from that matrix and started living for God; you then became famous among the angels in heaven. That’s the clout I’d be concerned about. Those are the Likes I’d be trying to receive. And so, back to you the reader. Q: Are you rich and famous where it really matters? The life in this age is but a vapor (e.g. James 4:14). Life in the next age on the New Earth is never-ending!

[]CHARGE & RECHARGE

I’ve owned and used three different types of weed whackers in my time. I’ve had the cordless kind which call for a battery pack, the gas-powered type, and then the electric version which has a cord you have to plug in to an outlet. I’ve learned the hard way that each type of weed eater comes with its own set of strengths and weaknesses. All said and done, my personal preference is the cordless electric version. However, its primary weakness is the fact that it inevitably runs out of power before the whole job is done. This then becomes a time to go get another battery pack, move on to another job, or simply take a break.

With a fully charged battery, you can set out to accomplish a whole week’s worth of edging and trimming in one shot but most likely, that battery is going to run out well before you’ve gotten even half of your job done. At some point, you’re going to have to recharge and then go back to get the job done correctly. Even if you have multiple battery packs, at some point they will all need recharged.

I guess in theory, you could go out with a weed whacker which doesn’t have any power at all and try to trim things that way. You might actually be able to accomplish some results. Odds are though, those results are going to be pretty messy and your initial goal was to make your lawn neater, not messier.

One day it hit me that all of this is much like our spiritual walk with our Creator, the One who made the heavens and the Earth. With our personal actions as well as our corporate governments, it’s no question that we as mankind have made a mess of things. And the minute we solve one problem, it seems like we create another. I’m thinking this is primarily because on both local and global scales, we typically do not make decisions while being charged and led by the Holy Spirit of YHVH; nor do we regularly seek His divine counsel. Proverbs 3:5&6 reads:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

Later, in the Book of John, we read where Yeshua said,

“[[I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me,
and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing]].” – John 15:5 (NKJV)

So name the problem in the world – unless we the created ones are seeking Holy Spirit input and energy from our Creator, our resolve will always be shortsighted, short-lived, and ultimately a failure.

Now let’s say you did seek the LORD on a matter; something such as a conflict you were dealing with or a major life decision you had to make. From there, it is vitally important that you keep seeking the LORD on a regular basis and remain in Him so that He will remain in you. You need to live in such a way that you continually seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God. You need to keep getting recharged. A one-time filling is not going to get the job done…just like charging a battery pack once will not last a lifetime. This is evident in the Apostle Paul’s instruction in Ephesians where he writes:

Do not be drunk with wine, which will ruin you, but be filled with the Spirit.” – Ephesians 5:18 (NCV)

Though it would sound a bit funny in English, the Greek word (i.e. plerousthe) here translated as “be filled” would more accurately be rendered as “be being kept filled”. In other words, it’s a continual process. A careful reading of the Book of Acts will show you that the disciples were seeking more and more filling of the Holy Spirit well after the initial outpouring which occurred during the feast of Pentecost (e.g. Acts 4:23-31; 13:52). Again, we must abide in the LORD and get our ideas, energy, desires, hope, and ultimately our lives from Him. There really is no other way!

[]DATE NIGHTS

Though it was out of state, four husbands attended a summer-long men’s retreat in an effort to improve their marriages. The very first week, these men learned of the importance of setting date nights as a key method of “keeping the fire burning” in their relationships.

The husbands decided to put this concept into practice right away. And so, each man wrote his wife a letter instructing her to meet him along the state line, which happened to be the halfway point. The couples would rendezvous at a designated restaurant at the designated time of 4 p.m. each Friday. Then, each Friday evening, the couples would have dinner together and spend the night in the attached hotel. The following Saturday, the pairs would spend the day together and each husband and wife would later make the return drive to their respective locations by Saturday evening. These summer date nights were to be a highlight for each couples’ week and hold them over until they were reunited in the fall.

Unfortunately, most of the husbands were robbed of the opportunity they sought to be sweet and bless their wives. Accordingly, their wives missed out on the wonderful opportunity for closeness and the intimacy they so often desired with their husbands. Here is why:

Because she wasn’t wearing her eyeglasses and misread her husband’s letter, the first wife kept showing up to the restaurant on Sundays. Another wife kept showing up on Wednesdays because that was the day that fit best into her schedule. And sadly, the third wife didn’t show up to the restaurant at all because she hated driving and the state line was just too far away…in her opinion. On top of this, she was very shy about eating in public; even when it came to dining with her husband.

All was not lost though! The fourth and final wife actually showed up when and where she was instructed. As a result, she and her husband had the time of their lives each Friday night & Saturday afternoon. Amazingly, the strength of their marriage was greatly enhanced! In the fall, the two of them enjoyed a relationship so enriched that it made the former way seem as but a shadow. And needless to say, they most definitely continued having date nights.

Q: What is the meaning of this parable?

[]DATE NIGHTS PARABLEEXPLAINED!

So listen to what the parable of the sower means. Whoever hears the message about the Kingdom, but doesn’t understand it, is like the seed sown along the path — the Evil One comes and seizes what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is like a person who hears the message and accepts it with joy at once, but has no root in himself. So he stays on for a while; but as soon as some trouble or persecution arises on account of the message, he immediately falls away. Now the seed sown among thorns stands for someone who hears the message, but it is choked by the worries of the world and the deceitful glamor of wealth, so that it produces nothing. However, what was sown on rich soil is the one who hears the message and understands it; such a person will surely bear fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

– Matthew 13:18-23 (CJB)

In terms of living for the Kingdom, I believe Yeshua’s parable above applies both generally and specifically. It applies to every [called] person in regards to the overall message of the Gospel as well as specific commands and truths within God’s Word. One such truth is the instruction found in the fourth of the Ten Commandments.

The Fourth Commandment instructs God’s people to set apart the seventh day of the week as holy unto Him. The seventh day (Sabbath rest) is to be God’s “Date Night” with His people. It begins at sunset Friday evening and ends at sunset on the day we call “Saturday”. As with most all instructions from God, the Sabbath is FOR us and not against us. And just as with all commands of God, the rule was made for us and not us for the rule (Mark 2:27).

Rather than get into all of the theological technicalities and debates surrounding whether or not the Sabbath instruction still applies to God’s people today (e.g. Romans 14:5 & Colossians 2:16), I’ll just break down the meaning of the parable for now:

The 1st Wife

The first wife represents churches who believe Christ was resurrected on Sunday and therefore the first day of the week is now “The Lord’s Day”. This group sincerely believes that Sunday is the Sabbath of the New Covenant and effectively shifts the honor due to the seventh day onto the first. These churches see Sunday as the day we should rest and abstain from work. To this group, I would quote Isaiah 58:13 which declares the seventh-day Sabbath as God’s “holy day.” Contrary to popular Christian belief, it is only the true Sabbath which can rightfully being called “The Lord’s Day” (Revelation 1:10) according to Scripture.

I understand from reading church history that much persuasion, politics, and persecution from the Evil One occurred which influenced the Christian shift from the seventh day Sabbath to the “venerable day of the sun” (Sunday). However, I believe it is time we wake up and smell the propaganda. Satan has learned that if he can get us as a people to not honor THE day, it won’t be long before we’re not honoring any day at all. And this is actually the case today. What was once taboo in America to take place on Sundays is now commonplace. Just ask the post office workers who deliver my Amazon packages on Sundays now. ~ Much credit to all the Christian saints in history who died and were tortured for their obedience to God’s Fourth Commandment! If only we today can learn to be so committed to the things of God without fear of being called things like “legalistic” by our own [Christian] kind.

The 2nd Wife

The second wife represents church members who appreciate and embrace the concept of the Sabbath but aren’t willing to live out the principle due to its incompatibility with their lifestyle. This actually described me for the latter 10 years of my Christian life. I had been keeping a Sabbath but this day was always up for negotiation based on my employers and so on. In truth, I wasn’t keeping a Sabbath at all. There was no day which was genuinely set aside for God, rest and [undistracted] worship.

The 3rd Wife

The third wife represents those who are entangled with the things of this age and view the Fourth Command of God as an archaic Old Testament law; something Yehovah gave to “those Jews”. These saints don’t rest at all and basically abuse the grace of God, to their own detriment. Why do I say this? – Because a Sabbath rest is beneficial both practically and spiritually. Our bodies are composed of dirt and dirt needs physical rest. It needs time to recoup and recover from use (Leviticus 25:4; 1 Corinthians 15:48). Spiritually, it is great to live in covenant with the Living God and it’s also a good practice telling the world, our flesh, and the devil that we can’t be bought or bribed. Obeying God and disobeying Satan communicates to powers and principalities exactly Who we belong to (Romans 6:16; 1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23).

May YHVH bless all who seek to honor Him by at least setting aside “a” day as holy. Nevertheless, for unity sake, it is my hope that all saints come to be in accord and return to simple obedience to the simple command of God.

Q: How many saints are there who aren’t in consistent fellowship with others due to conflicting schedules? If all saints drew a clear line in the sand with the world and their employers when it came to violating God’s holy day, then schedule compatibility issues would hardly exist among saints. Conflicts would be limited to those who are specifically called to “do good on the Sabbath” which interestingly, Yeshua defended as being perfectly lawful (Matthew 12:12). This group might include firefighters, doctors, nurses, etc.

The 4th and Final Wife

It is my prayer that in these “Last Days”, we the people…of the united church of Yeshua…all be that fourth and final wife who faithfully follows her husband’s instructions and is accordingly blessed! After all, are we here to please ourselves or were we created for Him (Colossians 1:16)? I think it’s time we collectively get with His program which is detailed in His event planner; not our own!

[]DOUBLE JEOPARDY

dou·ble jeop·ard·y
noun:

1. a procedural defense that forbids a defendant from being tried again on the same charges following a legitimate acquittal or conviction

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23

Most of us are familiar with the legal concept of “double jeopardy”. One cannot be found guilty and condemned for the same crime twice. In a number of countries, this is a constitutional right. You are guaranteed against being “twice put in jeopardy.”

***

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[Spiritual] Food for Thought: Collection 1

Articles and insights to chew on; and this from a Kingdom perspective! This book is a collection of 12 teachings which originally accompanied an online video series entitled “[Spiritual] Food for Thought”. This written text is intended to be a devotional guide of sorts. Readers are encouraged to chew on, Bible study, research, pray about and discuss all content laid out herein. Please do not settle for the author’s word on a matter but earnestly seek the LORD to discern what His final Word would be. Most of this content resulted from daily reflection on everyday parts of life. Time was taken to step back and listen for anything God might be trying to communicate through the smallest things in life as well as the tallest. All who call upon the LORD and desire a close relationship with Him are encouraged to do the same…to the greatest extent possible. And be sure to have fun in the process!

  • ISBN: 9781311644510
  • Author: D. L. Dunnaville
  • Published: 2016-05-17 22:35:20
  • Words: 8489
[Spiritual] Food for Thought: Collection 1 [Spiritual] Food for Thought: Collection 1