My family and I took a trip to Nashville this past Saturday and worshiped our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ/Yeshua the Messiah, with Kol Dodi Messianic Congregation. It was a heart warming experience. Heart warming because the people of Kol Dodi were very loving and welcoming from the first Shabbat Shalom to the last goodbye.
We spent six hours with them and by the end of our time with them felt like we were one of them. The first two hours were spent in worship with songs in both Hebrew and English, readings from Scripture, teaching, communion and prayer. I have to tell you it did not seem like that much time went by.
Our daughter spent the teaching time with the children after a blessing upon the children was given under a prayer shawl/canopy. While with the children she made a pottery communion cup and met a new friend. One of her teachers has a son who helps with the BCM here at our local university, what a small world.
It was a congregation made up of both Jew and non-Jew. A congregation worshiping in the Hebrew way together with the walls of hostility gone in the Name of Yeshua. It reminded me of the passage in Zechariah 8 where God says that ten men would take hold of one Jew because they know the Lord is with him. What an awesome sight to see Jew and non-Jew worshiping together and being a part of it.
The rabbi’s wife was very welcoming at the picnic as we talked and she invited me to visit with the other ladies and introduced me. I thought, “this is how it should be”. It was a great honor to visit with those ladies and hope to do so again soon.
The mikvah was amazing and started with the call of the shofar. We stood on the bank of a creek as two children and two women went into the water to be baptized in the Name of Yeshua. The two women gave awesome testimonies, one even including a confession that was something only God could accomplish, I pray she will continue to allow God to change her and transform her into the image of His Son.
I could not recommend more highly that each of us find a Messianic Congregation in our region to visit, worship with and participate with in their work. It will bless your heart and you will be awestruck at what God is doing in His Bride.
I learned something very valuable this past week. Do not start a major endeavor, such as this blog, right before a big week. This past week was Vacation Bible School week for us. I did not write last week, and as a result God changed my direction a little.
I found myself in the book of Ephesians. It has many of the themes we will be dealing with in this blog, and God made it clear to me that that is really where we need to start. I remember what my speech teacher in school used to tell us, “tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them and then tell them what you told them”. Ephesians is going to stand as this blogs equivalent to “tell them what you are going to tell them”.
Let’s get started.
EPH 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will– 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment–to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
After Paul’s introduction, he begins offering praise to the Father and Jesus Christ and says that He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ in the heavenly realms. Then he goes on to describe those blessings. Being chosen to be holy and blameless in His sight. Let that one sink in a little. We were not just chosen, but chosen with an end result in mind, being holy and blameless. What does that look like? That is just what this blog will be discussing and what Ephesians does such a good job at fleshing out.
He adopted us as sons through Jesus Christ according to His pleasure and will. He gave us His grace, redemption and the forgiveness of sins. Then He made known to us the “mystery” of His will according to His good pleasure. It is this “mystery” that is the focal point of Ephesians and what we will spend our time on this blog exploring. What is that mystery? Look down a little further to the second part of verse 10. That mystery is to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. To bring us together — make us One in Christ and with Christ. And notice when this will take place. When the times will have reached their fulfillment.
Some of you might have found it frustrating that I did not mention “before the creation of the world” and “predestined” from earlier verses. These are connected to our being chosen and adopted. Just as the fulfillment of time has to do with the mystery, God does things in His time and in His time things often find a fulfillment in the heavenly realms before they work themselves out in the earthly realm. Bringing all things together under Christ found it’s spiritual fulfillment in the heavenly realms when Jesus died and rose again, however, I believe we are even now seeing the earthly fulfillment of this heavenly reality. God is bringing those who place there faith in Jesus Christ together as one under Christ. In other words, He is making us holy and blameless in His sight – a spotless bride.
Have an awesome evening in the Lord!