How Do You Know Its Working?

I constantly try to spread the word about God, how he has positively influenced my life and what he expects of us. I try to teach people the difference between what God tells us and what religion tells us, and about the blessings we receive when we obey him. I have a website ministry, I blog, I have a Facebook page for my ministry, I have written books (no one buys) and I always try to fit something about God into nearly every conversation I have with strangers. It is like casting bait into the water: if I get a nibble, I slowly reel it in (continue the conversation) and hope to “land” someone. If the bait just sits untouched, I will cut that line, and cast it again some other time in a different location.

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Yet, despite all that I do, day by day, I sometimes wonder if I am getting anything done at all. Do you ever feel that way? Do you question yourself about whether or not what you do to please God is enough? Have you asked yourself what else could you do? Have you ever asked yourself what else are you willing to do? (That’s a tough one to answer truthfully!)

I think it is healthy to ask these questions of ourselves on a constant basis because our life changes on a constant basis. The one thing no one should do is to harshly judge yourself or become depressed if you feel you aren’t doing what you should be doing. That is not helpful to the work we do to spread God’s kingdom.

It’s like my golf game. I enjoy the sport but allow myself to get too upset when I miss a shot. Sometimes I get so upset I end up missing the next shot because I am still teed-off (pardon the pun) about the last shot. That is just a useless expense of emotional energy. I really hate to admit this, but the other guys in my group are correct when they say if we aren’t playing in a league, just don’t keep the score and enjoy the game for what it is- a game. OY! Maybe one day I will finally learn that lesson.

If you feel like I do sometimes, and that “Is this really working?” attitude comes ’round knocking at your door, I think I have found a way to overcome it.

And it is the exact opposite of what I need to do for golf.

When you think you’re not getting anything accomplished, it’s time to start keeping score!

The last time I felt unsure if anything I was doing was really working to further God’s kingdom or to help people know the truth about God, about his word or his expectations, I sat down and thought about what I have done that has been successful. I actually came up with a few good things.

I have been asked to send my books (which I did) to a Messianic Bible study group in Uganda; my newest book is going to be used with a Facebook group that is going to start doing weekly Torah studies; I constantly receive “Likes” to the comments I make in “religious” discussion groups, which confirms that someone is learning something about God from me on a daily basis; I have friends and subscribers to my website and YouTube channel in Africa, India, Japan, Canada, and the USA.  I have over 190 Facebook friends, and most of them are not family or friends from my personal life but people who are interested in hearing what God gives me to say through my ministry. And some of them are becoming closer than just acquaintances.

So, when I started to keep score I realized I’m not doing too badly. In fact, I believe that what I am doing is working! And I know the best thing to do is trust God that he will make sure, sooner or later, if I continue to preach his word correctly and in a way that glorifies him, what I do will be effective. He tells us his word will never return void (Isaiah 55:11), so as long as I keep putting it out there, it will sprout roots and take hold in the good soil it finds.  I just need to be patiently trusting and continue to walk (or preach, as the case may be) in faith.

So, nu? As for you, keep up the good work you do for the Lord. He will encourage and support you so long as you do what you do for his glory. And it’s OK to keep score- everyone needs confirmation and a slap on the back, now and then.

And if you are sure you are doing what pleases the Lord, but no one else is willing to give you an “atta-boy!” or an “atta-girl!” your own arm is long enough to reach your back.

Thank you for your interest- please don’t hesitate to leave a comment (always be nice) or a confirmation that what I am doing is useful to you, and also please SUBSCRIBE in the right-hand margin. I would also ask that you use the link above to subscribe to my YouTube channel, as well.

May your day be blessed and until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Why I Post the Things I Post

No video today, but keep watching for my new book to be available soon.  If you haven’t already subscribed, please do so now to be notified of the release of my and to get in on the best deals. 

When I write these messages, which I prefer to the term “posts I try to take the biblical requirements for how we are to worship God and act towards each other and put them in a modern-day light. 

I also try to identify and debunk the wrong teachings that proliferate throughout the Christian world, as well as within Judaism, too. 

The reason for this is because the Bible is about how we should worship God and how we should treat each other. Too often I see people talking about things in the Bible that they take out of context and interpret in a way that works with the lifestyle they want to live. Of course, this has been happening since the first time God told us what he wants of us.

Jews still hold a “legalistic” view of the Torah and have been taught that Jesus started a new religion; Christians (pretty much) have been taught to completely ignore the requirements in the Torah because those are only for Jews. And within both Judaism and Christianity there have, over the centuries, been different sects and religions formed, each of which has their own rules of “this not that, and these not those.” All of these different religions and sects within a religion have the same goal- to act in the way the person who started that sect/religion wants to act. 

GOD HAS NO RELIGION!! He has his rules, laws, and commandments which tell us how to worship him and treat each other which are not just for Jews- they are for everyone. 

God gave the Torah to the Jewish people to bring to the world, which is why he told Moses that they will be a nation of priests for him (Exodus 19:6.)

All these different religions are man-made. As we have been told, “Seek and ye shall find”: when it comes to the Bible, everything we ever need or want is in there, somewhere, and if we look hard enough we can take enough things out of context and put them together to justify the Bible says to do just about anything.

My goal is to let people know what God really wants of them and try to give practical ways to live as God wants us to in our everyday lives. I believe that the Torah is still valid; Yeshua never did away with it. What he did was to teach the deeper, more spiritual meaning behind the laws that are there.  The Torah is the ultimate Catch 22: we can become righteous (saved) by perfect obedience to the Torah, but no one can be perfectly obedient to the Torah. 

So, Nu? Now what? 

Now what we do is to try to do our best, trust in God’s faithfulness to keep his promises (which he has shown throughout the Bible he will do) and ask for the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) to guide us. We must read the Bible every day to learn about God, and to confirm for ourselves that every time our fathers failed to do as God said they should when they were repentant and called upon God for forgiveness, he forgave them.

God will let us fall to learn how to get up, and he is always there to give us a helping hand when we humbly and repentantly ask for it. 

One last thing: you will note that I do not do what the “popular” sites do, which is to preach only about God’s love and forgiveness. Salvation is not really a “come-as-you-are” party and the idea that “Once saved, always saved” is nothing more than Satanic propaganda. People who “want their cake and to eat it, too” are the ones that fall for this. Since most of the world is composed of people who are self-absorbed and hedonistic, these religious organizations and leaders preach to our flesh saying that you are fine as you are; just ask for forgiveness and you are forgiven and set for eternity. They appeal to our basic nature- lazy and selfish.  That is why they are so popular. Just listen to the rhetoric of the “Mega-churches” and you will hear all about the rosy-colored world of God’s love and forgiveness. 
But will they preach about tithing? Will they talk about Yeshua telling us we must lift up our execution stake and carry it if we wish to follow him? Do they tell us that salvation is easily attained but really hard to keep, or even that if we fail to be repentant or obedient we can throw our salvation away? 

Of course not- that would cause them to lose many of their followers. But it would be the truth. What they say about God’s love and forgiveness is true, but it is not the whole truth about God or salvation through Messiah. 

I try to tell it as it is, and I may be wrong. I am only human. But I try to justify whatever I say with showing where it is in the Bible and also ask for confirmation or correction from those reading what I write. I tell you all that you should not take my word for it, but check out everything I say for yourself. After all, I may be wrong! How will you know if you don’t check it out? And if I am, you are obligated to correct me. Proverbs 12:1 and 12:15 both say that a wise man loves correction, and I would certainly want to be wise. 

Just make sure you are nice about it. 

Thank you for visiting my site, reading my work, and especially for subscribing. If you aren’t already a subscriber, please do so if you like what you read. All that happens is that you get a notification of my posts.  And I’ll also ask, again, that if you like what you read here please share me out. 

Blessing to you and yours. 

Baruch HaShem!! 

Is It Me or Him?

I was going to write about Baptism for babies because I find it ridiculous that anyone thinks God will send an infant to hell because they didn’t have a baptism, and because the idea that someone else can make statements of faith for another person, baby or not, is also not something I believe will fly with the Lord.

To get my facts straight I looked up baptism and saw a site that is about clarifying Christian thought. I figured I’d find a lot of good fodder there, but when I read it the statements were all in keeping with what I think.

Needless to say, I was surprised and disappointed, all at the same time. Here I was, ready to stand and defend God’s word and His love, show how baptism was a Jewish thing from the start (it’s called a Tevilah or a Mikvah) and rail against the anti-Semitic Church!

Now, here I am, stuck with nothing but my own preconceived (or, more correctly, ill-conceived) ideas that I can’t use because they are wrong.

That’s when it hit me- who am I really defending?  Am I doing what is right in God’s eyes or just spouting my own personal thoughts, in the name of the Lord?

OUCH! That’s a tough thing to figure: am I talking on behalf of God or on behalf of Steve? Am I feeling a righteous anger at the misuse of God’s word or am I really just exercising my influence to expound on my personal “peeves” and, as such, misusing God’s word myself?

I pray each day when I ‘blog’ that I am saying only what is right in His eyes, making points that lead people to salvation and understanding as God wants, and doing His work. Yet today I am finding myself wondering if that is what I was doing when I decided to bash baptism of babies.

BTW…for the record, baptism is important and it is a Jewish thing. The Tevilah is an outward expression of an inner change. It is a symbol of cleansing oneself, and is an important activity/ritual to go through when accepting Yeshua as your Messiah. It should be done when one has reached the age of understanding and can make one’s own decisions; as such, it cannot be done by proxy.

Back to my confession of pridefulness, which is exactly the right word to use if I am saying things I believe in order to teach people about God that may or may not be what God wants taught. Yeshua tells us that those who teach are held doubly responsible for what they do, and how influential we are and how important it is to do what is right. I don’t want to be one of the blind leading the blind, or one of those who sin and teach others to sin. Yeshua says that person will be least in the Kingdom of God. Teaching is an important responsibility. The Prophets were teachers, in a way, reminding the people of what God said they should do. And how often did God warn the prophets that if they did not tell the people what they need to do then the blood of the people would be on the Prophets own head?

I believe, and it has been confirmed often to me, that God has given me a gift of teaching, but that doesn’t mean I can’t screw things up by my pridefulness and ego. And, trust me on this, I have plenty of both. The only way I control it is by understanding that I have it and owning up to it, so I don’t forget to always be looking for it to rear it’s ugly head. It is sin crouching at my door.

So what lesson is there today from all this soul-searching? The lesson is to remember that old Greek aphorism: “Know Thyself.” When we do things in God’s name, make sure it is for His glory and in accordance with His word and what He stands for. When positive it is from God, preach it; when in doubt, don’t.  You may be doubting something that is from God, but better to not take the chance you are misusing His word or His gift. If God has a word He wants you to preach, He will make sure you get it out. Maybe the word is good but the expression is not, so just wait: if it is from God, I guarantee it will gnaw at you until you finally figure out how it should be taught.

I ask anyone reading these ministry blogs of mine, or my book, to reply and let me know if you think I am off topic, ever. I appreciate your input and ask for guidance. I always pray to God for guidance, and often He answers through the interaction of another person. So, nu… don’t be shy.

Thank you, Abba, for your gifts and your Word which You have provided, and please lead me with your Ruach to do and say only that which pleases You and gives You all the glory. Halleluyah.