Signs and Wonders
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 Signs and Wonders - ISRAEL
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  Ra'anana 4311002

by PJ

Kefa Bet/2 Peter 1:3-9 (NIV)

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

What does it mean to perservere? The word "perserverance" comes from the Greek word, "hypomone" which is literally translated "stand your ground, maintain your position, stick to your guns." In Kefa's day "hypomone" was mostly used as a military term to describe a soldier holding his position no matter what.

Kefa says we should add to our faith...goodness. Then he encourages us to have knowledge. Next he exhorts us to become self-controlled.

When we feel like quitting or abandoning our posts we can be inspired to perservere when we remember what life was like for the first Believers. These people were not just having a bad day but a very hard life. Some of their hardships were related to life in general but mostly do to it being dangerous and costly to be a follower of Yeshua.

* Kefa Aleph/1 Peter 1:1: "They live like refugees, like strangers in the world, scattered throughout the earth."
*Kefa Aleph/1 Peter 1:6: "they suffer in all kinds of trials."
*Kefa Aleph/1 Peter 2:12 "They are falsely accused, blamed for things they never did."
*Kefa Aleph/1 Peter 2:18-19 "They are subjected to brutal working conditions."
*Kefa Aleph/1 Peter 3:13 "They are punished for doing good."
*Kefa Aleph/1 Peter 4:4 "They are abused and insulted when they won't join the sin of others."
*Kefa Aleph/1 Peter 4:12 "They are punished for following Yeshua/Jesus."
*Kefa Aleph/1 Peter 5:8 "They are harrassed and threatened by the devil himself, who wants to eat them alive."
*Kefa Bet/2nd Peter 2:1 "They are surrounded by false teachers trying to mislead them."
*Kefa Bet/2nd Peter 3:3 "They are mocked by neighbors who find their faith naive and deluded."
*Kefa Bet/2nd Peter 3:9 "They are disappointed with God, Who seems to be slow in keeping His promises."

I, myself, have suffered all but one of these in recent weeks. And just like Kefa, I know that all this suffering would stop in one moment if I would do one thing. If I would abandon my faith or at least stop talking about it, stop sharing it, stop obeying G-d even when others can't understand what I am doing or think I am too complicated for them. If I would quit trying to live a pure and holy life or stop believing Yeshua is about to return, or stop worshipping the L-rd, it would all stop.

Kefa had become wise after his courtyard of the High Priest experience during Yeshua's trial. He learned a piece of wisdom that we should all hold in our hearts. He learned that no matter how a person feels or what a person sees, not to quit. Don't give up! Perservere! Keep on going straight ahead! You'll be glad you did because eventually victory shall come.

The Ruach Ha'Kodesh continues today to speak what He did through Kefa. "I know it's tough to follow Yeshua/Jesus in these days. But perservere! Keep following Yeshua! Keep living by G-d's written Word of Truth! Don't give in to the pressures of living in a lawless and sinful world! Keep obeying G-d, even when others cannot understand.!"

Anyone with any common sense knows it's folly to go in a wrong direction and perservere for nothing. But if a person is headed in the right direction and the end of that road is abundant life, then hang in there no matter how hard it is to do so.

The Bible often compares the walk with Yeshua to a battle. Just remember that the point of fighting battles is to win, not lose. If a person is going to follow Yeshua in an ung-dly world, then there's going to be some opposition encountered. The suffering we endure is not random. It has a purpose. First it brings us great recompense of reward and then it brings spiritual growth and maturity. It begins to shape us into Moshiach like people. Kefa talks about this:

* Kefa Aleph/1Peter 1:6-7 - It refines our faith
*Kefa Aleph/1 Peter 1:8-9; 1:21 - It perfects our hope
*Kefa Aleph/1 Peter 4:1-3 - It weans us from sin
*Kefa Aleph/1 Peter 4:12-13 - It deepens our intimacy with Yeshua
*Kefa Aleph/1 Peter 4:16-19 - It trains us in holiness

You know what keeps me going? I love Yeshua more than I love this world. Yeshua could have quit at any time and left me in sin and under the enslavement of ha'satan He could have said, "This is too much and these people aren't worth it....I'm outta here." But He did not. You know why? Because the love Yeshua has for us is greater than the pain He had to endure.

I encourage you today to not give up. Our best days are right before us. Yes, things are shaking in this old world. It's true..these things must come. But as followers of Yeshua we are privileged to live in the Land of Goshen. Yes, there will come tough times, but if we will not give up and toss away our faith, we shall receive the recompense of our reward. If we were all to lose everything tomorrow, with Yeshua we have the whole world!!!!!!!!! It's part of THE BLESSING! So do what I tell my congregation.....REJOICE! Keep going forward in faith and perfect love!

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION�. Copyright � 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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