Saturday, November 12, 2011
DO NOT BE CARELESS
Shabbat Shalom family, all thanks and praise to the Father who has made us fit to share in the inheritance of the set-apart ones in the light, and who has delivered us from the authority of darkness and transferred us into the reign of the Son of His love!!! The authority of darkness we have been delivered from and now, as children of light we are to walk as such! When you actually stop and think about the great power of יהוה and just what He has done for you, do you carefully consider the outcome of your daily lives in response to His Mighty Work of Salvation through the shed blood of our Messiah, יהושע, our Redeemer and King? Are you being vigilant in your walk of obedience as a child of light, or do you often find yourself being negligent and often very careless in walking as you should.
How many of you have noticed just how careless people can be today while driving? I mean just think about it – have you seen that guy who has a cell phone in the one hand and a coffee in the other while rushing to work – how is he steering and concentrating? I have seen people reading a newspaper – opened up and fully spread over the steering wheel! How about the guy who is shaving and then has the audacity to sound his horn at another car in front where the girl is putting on eyeliner!!! I know we have all seen these and worse I am sure – but it is all a typical example of being careless and being careless is no joke!
Sadly we see the same careless attitude in many a believer in their daily lives, and to be careless simply means ‘having no care or regard, and paying no attention to what one does, with little or no concern whatsoever for others’. Have you ever found yourself being careless, where you gave no thought to your actions or speech or have had no regard or care for others? Well there are so many today who are being extremely careless in their spiritual walk – and I say spiritual walk simply because we are to walk according to the Spirit!
In a Message tonight called, “You Once Were – But Now Are – So Do Not Be Careless!” I would like us to carefully consider the outcome of our daily lives and so in essence this is a loving and gentle reminder to us all that as children of light may we not be found in any way in being careless about our walk. Please turn with me to Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:1-21 (Read).
As the title of the message proclaims – you once were – once were what? Darkness – that is literally ‘in the dark’ and carries the meaning or picture of being hidden from the Truth! But now are – light in the Master! That is literally ‘made manifest’ and carries the picture of having now the revelation and knowledge in the Master יהושע! In other words we have been given the knowledge of the Truth that leads us in paths of righteousness!
Tehillim/Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 6:23 “For the command is a lamp, and the Torah a light, and reproofs of discipline a way of life”
יהושע Messiah, the Living Torah – the Word made flesh is the Light of the world and as we live ‘in’ Him and walk ‘in’ Him we walk as children of light! Now this we certainly all know as the Word tells us this very clearly – yet I ask you, “Are you at times being careless about your walk?”
It can often be so easy to seemingly slip into a comfort zone where the assumption of knowledge gained is sufficient in itself without the correct application. In other words if one is not careful and continually vigilant to keeping oneself in line with the Word, then little compromises have a way of settling in and causing one to become careless, and this we need to be constantly on guard against, aměn!
A few months ago I also spoke a message on this passage on how we are to be imitators of Elohim; but tonight the reason for revisiting this passage was with the urgency we are to have in ensuring that we are in no way being careless in our called out set-apart and blameless walk in Messiah.
As I said earlier that so many today are living careless lives and many believers are often found to be careless with their mouth, careless in their thought life and careless towards their prayer life or need to read and meditate on the Scriptures daily, and many are careless in their approach towards the much needed fellowship in the body of Messiah!
The obvious opposite of being careless is to be ‘careful’ – and in the Greek the word used for the term ‘be careful’ is φροντίζω ‘phrontizō’ – G5431 and literally means to exercise thought – which makes sense! When you are careless you are not thinking!!! Sadly too many today in their attempt at worshipping Elohim ‘DO NOT THINK’ and so when יהושע says ‘Do not think’ that He came to destroy the Torah and the Prophets – so many literally stop at ‘DO NOT THINK’ and go no further and end up living a careless and lawless life!
We are to THINK and exercise thought and consider carefully the outcome of our lives, and here in this chapter Sha’ul gives us clear instructions on how we are to be spiritually careful, warning us against the dangers of being careless. He basically writes that we, as children of light are to be: 1 – careful who we imitate; 2 - careful with whom we associate; and 3 – careful in regards to our ‘intake’ – that is what you take in – for what you put in is what you will put out! Let us look briefly at these 3 areas and see if we are in fact being careful or careless.
1 – WHO WE IMITATE (1-6)
We all know who we are to imitate – Elohim!!! The word used here in verse 1 for ‘imitators’ is μιμητής ‘mimētēs’ – G3402 and simply means to imitate or to follow and we get our English word mimic from. Now a mimic is one who impersonates and copies or is a replica of someone else. The word ‘imitate’ simply means to follow as a pattern, a model or an example; to be or appear like – in other words resemble and to produce a copy of or reproduce.
We are to imitate Elohim – that is to walk as יהושע walked – and He showed us how we are to be as obedient children! The problem that happens today is that many do not think about who they are to imitate and so they find themselves imitating other people, be it a pop star, movie star or sports star or any other that one aspires to be like. As exciting, fun and harmless as this may seem – it can however have detrimental effects in one’s life. To imitate יהושע is a natural thing – it is not like being a parrot and trying simply to copy superficially what He does – No – as His child His character flows in and through you. It is quite amazing how kids are more often than not just like their parents, yet at the same time our imitation is birthed out of a decision and it starts with love – and to walk in love is simply to walk in obedience to his commands:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1John 5:3 “For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy”
Yoḥanan/John 14:15 “If you love Me, you shall guard My commands.”
And so, just as יהושע gave Himself for us as an offering well pleasing to Elohim, so too are we to be presenting our bodies as a living offering, set-apart and well pleasing to Elohim – this is our reasonable worship and if we are not imitating or following Him wholeheartedly in all we do, think or say then our worship becomes unreasonable!
Sha’ul further addresses for us what should be avoided in our daily walk and verse 3 starts with a very big ‘but’! In Imitating Messiah we must avoid sin and lawlessness. Let us look at what should not be even named among us as walking in Messiah leaves no room for the following:
A – Whoring - πορνεία ‘porneia’ G4202 – translates as ‘fornication, illicit sexual intercourse, and sex with a divorced man or woman’ and we get our word ‘pornography’ from this. Metaphorically this also means the worship of idols and defilement through idolatry. We belong to Elohim – this must not be found among us – physically or spiritually, literally or metaphorically is the sense of worshipping and loving other things that many make idols out of. We are betrothed to the Lamb and must live like it!
B – Uncleanness - ἀκαθαρσία ‘akatharsia’ – G167 – ‘impurity, uncleanness – physically and in the moral sense: the impurity of lustful, luxurious, extravagant and self-indulgent living’. There is no room in the life of a follower of Messiah for self-indulgent and lustful living!
C – Greed of gain - πλεονεξία ‘pleonexia’ – G4124 – ‘covetousness, greediness’ – Do not Covet!!! To covet is ‘to feel the inordinate desire for what belongs to another’ - That is self-explanatory!
D – Filthiness - αἰσχρότης ‘aischrotēs’ – G151 – ‘obscenity, filthiness, filthy talk, foul talk’. Again we are to be severely reminded that this is not to be named among us and is not proper for true set-apart children of light! I think that this is often one area many tend to find themselves being careless in, and sadly they could not care less what others think when they engage in obscene and filthy talk. We are to watch ourselves and guard ourselves from such. Dirty jokes are not on for children of Elohim – hear what I am saying or rather what the Word is telling us!!!
E – Foolish talking - μωρολογία ‘mōrologia’ – G3473 – ‘silly talk’. Sha’ul goes on and says that not only is filthy talk not be among us, but there should not even be ‘silly talk’ – that is talking nonsense – it is a waste of time and we are to be wise at redeeming the time. I think we are all guilty to some degree of this as often our conversations can end up in us talking absolute nonsense – this is for fools and we are wise, let us not be careless with our speech!
F – Coarse jesting - εὐτραπελία ‘eutrapelia’ - G2160 – ‘vulgar speech, mockery, scoffing, sneering, joking inappropriately’. Sha’ul makes it very clear – our speech must be pure – no filthy talk, no silly talk and no vulgar talk – this is not fitting. We are to rather have thanksgiving on our lips. You once were – but now are – so do not be careless in your speech!!!
The admonition to not have the things that Sha’ul lists here are to be taken seriously as he warns and reminds us that no one who whores, is unclean, greedy of gain or an idolater will have any inheritance in the reign of Messiah. Now I know that we all want to reign with Him – so let us not be careless – but rather be careful who we imitate!!!
2 – WITH WHAT YOU ASSOCIATE (7-14)
Sha’ul just tells us what we are not to be and proceeds to say the obvious – do not be partakers with them – them being those who will not have any inheritance in the reign! In continuing the call from lasts week’s message from Yeshayahu/Isaiah 2 – “Come let us walk in the Light of יהוה” – ‘walk – let us walk!’ You are not in darkness anymore, so do not walk in it and do not partake with the fruitless deeds of darkness. What we are to guard ourselves against is the very things that will tend to cause us to be just like those who walk in darkness, and that is that we must be careful what we are spending our time, money and resources on. Let me ask you – do you think about the kinds of movies you watch? Does it portray and promote and condone any of what we have described as not being fitting for set-apart children of Elohim? What about the music we listen to – does it encourage all of the above? How about books and other reading or visual materials that fantasize all of the above into something acceptable? When we are wasting our time and money on these, we are in fact wasting what is יהוה’s – His time and His money – His resources!
We are to have the fruit of the Spirit as we walk in all goodness, righteousness and truth – that is His Word!
Have nothing to do with darkness and its fruitless works – for it produces absolutely nothing – it is fruitless – yet so many waste their time and efforts on that which does nothing for you except lead you astray and away from the inheritance of the set-apart ones!
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 1:13-16 “Therefore, having girded up the loins of your mind, being sober, set your expectation perfectly upon the favour that is to be brought to you at the revelation of יהושע Messiah, 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts in your ignorance, 15 instead, as the One who called you is set-apart, so you also should become set-apart in all behaviour, 16 because it has been written, “Be set-apart, for I am set-apart.”
Have nothing to do with darkness but rather ‘reprove’ them – that is expose them for what they are! Do not be found doing stuff that is a shame to be even spoken of in secret! This is a ‘wake-up call’ – so let us hear and slumber not, in being found out as careless, but rather being careful to hear, guard and do יהוה’s good and pleasing will!
What do you associate yourself with? Do not be careless in making wrong associations of any kind!!!
3 – WHAT YOU ‘INTAKE’ (15-21)
Be careful what you are ‘taking in’ as what you take in or put in you will give out or put out!!!
Sha’ul says we are to walk ‘exactly’ which is the word ἀκριβῶς ‘akribōs’ – G199 and means ‘exactly, accurately, thoroughly, more carefully, diligently’ and implies care and adequateness. Some translations translate this word as ‘circumspectly’ which means to ‘carefully consider all circumstances and consequences’. If we walk accurately according to His Word and carefully consider all circumstances and consequences I believe that we would make better choices that are in line with His Word and being careful about our intake is of vital importance. We must not get drunk on wine, but be filled with the Spirit. Filling yourself with the ‘flesh’ will only lead to loose behaviour – we spoke last week on what fills you! We need to be taking in His Word daily and when we do this we are filled with what we are to give out. We are to be careful what we are taking in – in our thought life, in our relationships, in our workplace – we need to be sober and in control of our thoughts subjecting all to Messiah!
Our speech must not be loose as we have said, however if we are taking in junk then our speech and actions will be loose and foolish. How are we to relate to each other? By speaking in psalms and songs of praise and spiritual songs! Is your life a pleasant song of praise unto יהוה and can we hear it?
We are to give thanks to Elohim, always for all and subject ourselves to one another in the fear of Elohim. This will only happen if we are careful about whom we imitate, with what we associate and what we intake!
You once were – but now are – so do not be careless!
We are children of light so let us live like it and to do that we are to put off some things and put on the right stuff – in closing let us take a look at some verses that tell us what we are to putt off and what we are to put on:
Romiyim/Romans 13:12 “The night is far advanced, the day has come near. So let us put off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:22 “that you put off – with regard to your former way of life – the old man, being corrupted according to the desires of the deceit.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 4:25 “Therefore, having put off the false, speak truth, each one with his neighbour, for we are members of one another.”
Qolasim/Colossians 3:8 “But now, also put off all these: displeasure, wrath, evil, blasphemy, filthy talk from your mouth.”
Romiyim/Romans 13:12 “The night is far advanced, the day has come near. So let us put off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
Romiyim/Romans 13: 14 “but put on the Master יהושע Messiah, and make no provision for the lusts of the flesh.”
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the complete armour of Elohim, for you to have power to stand against the schemes of the devil.”
Qolasim/Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as chosen ones of Elohim, set-apart and beloved, put on compassion, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, patience”
Qolasim/Colossians 3:14 “But above all these put on love, which is a bond of the perfection.”
Love for Elohim is obedience – put it on and do not be careless about walking in His marvellous light!
The heart of this message is this – I believe that as the Word says we are called to be separate and be set-apart and I fear that there is much carelessness being found in many who claim to live in Him and we would do well to be careful and not careless. We are to be encouraging one another – having none of what we have spoken about even being named among us. What each of us must ask ourselves is this:
Am I walking in: 1 – Love – as I imitate He who is Love
2 – Light – As I ensure that I am only associated with that which is of Elohim, who is the Light
3 – Wisdom – As I strive to be continually filled with the Spirit equipping me for good works
To do this we must:
1 – Exercise caution – walk in loving obedience to our Master
2 – Redeem the time because the days are wicked – not wasting any time
3 – Understand the will of Elohim – hungering for righteousness, being filled daily!
The days are wicked and we as children of light must shine that light brightly not allowing anything to diminish His light in us in any way, but rather shine brighter as we see the Day approaching. Hear the earnest call to pure set-apart living – in thought, in speech and in action – that we can be a pleasing body that He is building.
Maybe you have been careless is some areas – repent and allow Him to wash you clean in the Blood of messiah that cleanses us from all unrighteousness!
You Once Were – But Now Are – So Do Not Be Careless!
יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and give you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you peace!