Friday, August 04, 2017

Wisdom Principles—Haste Makes Waste

Where knowledge is wanting, zeal is not good; whoever goes too quickly stumbles.

The hardworking is thoughtful, and all is gain; too much haste, and all that comes of it is want.

You see someone too ready of speech? There is more to be hoped for from a fool!

Some people work very hard at top speed, only to find themselves falling further behind.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Wisdom Principles—True Piety

If, however, from there you start searching once more for Yahweh your God, and if you search for him honestly and sincerely, you will find him.

Let the words I enjoin on you today stay in your heart.

And now, Israel, what does Yahweh your God ask of you? Only this: to fear Yahweh your God, to follow all his ways, to love him, to serve Yahweh your God with all your heart and all your soul,13to keep the commandments and laws of Yahweh, which I am laying down for you today for your own good.
16Circumcise your heart then and be obstinate no longer;

Let these words of mine remain in your heart and in your soul

The word is very near to you, it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to put into practice.

Is Yahweh pleased by burnt offerings and sacrifices or by obedience to Yahweh's voice? Truly, obedience is better than sacrifice, submissiveness than the fat of rams.

May your hearts be wholly with Yahweh our God, following his laws and keeping his commandments 

Walk before me in innocence of heart and in honesty… do everything that I command and keep my laws and my ordinances

Devote heart and soul to searching for Yahweh your God. Set to and build the sanctuary of Yahweh God

Know the God of your father and serve him with an undivided heart and willing mind; for Yahweh scrutinizes all hearts and understands whatever plans they may devise. If you seek him, he will let you find him

My God … you examine our motives and … delight in integrity

If my people who bear my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my presence and turn from their wicked ways, then I will listen from heaven and forgive their sins and restore their country.

Listen to me…Yahweh will be with you so long as you are with him. If you seek him, he will let you find him

Welcome the teaching from his lips, and keep his words close to your heart

You wanted no sacrifice or cereal offering, but you gave me an open ear, you did not ask for burnt offering or sacrifice for sin; 7then I said, 'Here I am, I am coming.' In the scroll of the book it is written of me, 8my delight is to do your will; your law, my God, is deep in my heart.

Let thanksgiving be your sacrifice to God, fulfil the vows you make to the Most High; 15 then if you call to me in time of trouble I will rescue you and you will honor me.'

Sacrifice gives you no pleasure, burnt offering you do not desire.17Sacrifice to God is a broken spirit, a broken, contrite heart you never scorn.

I will praise God's name in song, I will extol him by thanksgiving, 31for this will please Yahweh more than an ox, than a bullock horned and hoofed.

In my heart I treasure your promises, to avoid sinning against you.

Let your heart treasure what I have to say, keep my principles and you will live; 5acquire wisdom, acquire understanding, never forget her, never deviate from my words.

Keep your father's precept, my child, do not spurn your mother's teaching. 21Bind them ever to your heart, tie them round your neck.

My child, keep my words, and treasure my precepts, 2keep my precepts and you will live, keep my teaching as the apple of your eye. 3Bind these to your fingers, write them on the tablet of your heart.

I love those who love me; whoever searches eagerly for me finds me.

The sacrifice of the wicked is abhorrent to Yahweh, dear to him is the prayer of the honest.

To do what is upright and just is more pleasing to Yahweh than sacrifice.

The sacrifice of the wicked is abhorrent, above all if it is offered for bad motives.

Whoever refuses to listen to the Law, such a one's very prayer is an abomination

Love uprightness … be properly disposed towards the Lord and seek him in simplicity of heart

Do not parade your uprightness before the Lord

The sacrifice of an offering unjustly acquired is a mockery; the gifts of the impious are unacceptable.

The Most High takes no pleasure in offerings from the godless, multiplying sacrifices will not gain pardon for sin.

Offering sacrifice from the property of the poor is as bad as slaughtering a son before his father's eyes.

Do not try to bribe him with presents, he will not accept them, do not put your faith in wrongly motivated sacrifices

What are your endless sacrifices to me?' says Yahweh. 'I am sick of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of calves. I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. 12When you come and present yourselves before me, who has asked you to trample through my courts? 13Bring no more futile cereal offerings, the smoke from them fills me with disgust. New Moons, Sabbaths, assemblies -- I cannot endure solemnity combined with guilt. 14Your New Moons and your meetings I utterly detest; to me they are a burden I am tired of bearing. 15When you stretch out your hands I turn my eyes away. You may multiply your prayers, I shall not be listening. Your hands are covered in blood,16wash, make yourselves clean. Take your wrong-doing out of my sight.
Cease doing evil. 17Learn to do good, search for justice, discipline the violent, be just to the orphan, plead for the widow.
18'Come, let us talk this over,' says Yahweh. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing to obey

Thus says the High and Exalted One who lives eternally and whose name is holy, 'I live in the holy heights but I am with the contrite and humble, to revive the spirit of the humble, to revive the heart of the contrite.

'Why have we fasted, if you do not see, why mortify ourselves if you never notice?' Look, you seek your own pleasure on your fastdays and you exploit all your workmen;4look, the only purpose of your fasting is to quarrel and squabble and strike viciously with your fist. Fasting like yours today will never make your voice heard on high.
5Is that the sort of fast that pleases me, a day when a person inflicts pain on himself? Hanging your head like a reed, spreading out sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call fasting, a day acceptable to Yahweh?
6Is not this the sort of fast that pleases me: to break unjust fetters, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break all yokes?
7Is it not sharing your food with the hungry, and sheltering the homeless poor; if you see someone lacking clothes, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own kin?
8Then your light will blaze out like the dawn and your wound be quickly healed over. Saving justice will go ahead of you and Yahweh's glory come behind you.
9Then you will cry for help and Yahweh will answer; you will call and he will say, 'I am here.' If you do away with the yoke, the clenched fist and malicious words,
10if you deprive yourself for the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, your light will rise in the darkness, and your darkest hour will be like noon.
Thus says Yahweh: With heaven my throne and earth my footstool, what house could you build me, what place for me to rest, 2when all these things were made by me and all belong to me? - declares Yahweh. But my eyes are drawn to the person of humbled and contrite spirit, who trembles at my word.

Yahweh says this, 'Stand at the crossroads and look, ask for the ancient paths: which was the good way? Take it and you will find rest for yourselves. But they have said, "We will not take it." 17I posted look-outs on your behalf: Listen to the sound of the trumpet! But they said, "We will not listen." 1

8Then hear, you nations, and know, assembly, what is going to happen to them! 19Listen, earth! Watch, I shall bring disaster on this people: it is the fruit of the way they think, since they have not listened to my words nor to my law, but have rejected it. 20 What do I care about incense imported from Sheba, or fragrant cane from a distant country? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, your sacrifices do not please me.'

For when I brought your ancestors out of Egypt, I said nothing to them, gave them no orders, about burnt offerings or sacrifices. 23My one command to them was this: Listen to my voice, then I will be your God and you shall be my people. In everything, follow the way that I mark out for you, and you shall prosper.

When you search for me, you will find me; when you search wholeheartedly for me,14I shall let you find me 

I shall judge each of you by what that person does -- declares the Lord Yahweh. Repent, renounce all your crimes, avoid all occasions for guilt. 31Shake off all the crimes you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit!

Come, let us return to Yahweh. He has rent us and he will heal us; he has struck us and he will bind up our wounds 2after two days he will revive us, on the third day he will raise us up and we shall live in his presence.3Let us know, let us strive to know Yahweh; that he will come is as certain as the dawn. He will come to us like a shower, like the rain of springtime to the earth.
6for faithful love is what pleases me, not sacrifice; knowledge of God, not burnt offerings.

Ephraim keeps building altars for his sins, these very altars are themselves a sin. 12However much of my Law I write for him, Ephraim regards it as alien to him.13They offer sacrifices to me and eat the meat, they do not win Yahweh's favor. On the contrary, he will remember their guilt and punish their sins

Israel, come back to Yahweh your God your guilt was the cause of your downfall. 3Provide yourself with words and come back to Yahweh. Say to him, 'Take all guilt away and give us what is good, instead of bulls we will dedicate to you our lips.

But now -- declares Yahweh- come back to me with all your heart, fasting, weeping, mourning.'13Tear your hearts and not your clothes, and come back to Yahweh your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, rich in faithful love, and he relents about inflicting disaster.

For Yahweh says this to the House of Israel: Seek me out and you will survive, 5but do not seek out Bethel, do not go to Gilgal

I hate, I scorn your festivals, I take no pleasure in your solemn assemblies.22When you bring me burnt offerings . . . your oblations, I do not accept them and I do not look at your communion sacrifices of fat cattle. 23Spare me the din of your chanting, let me hear none of your strumming on lyres, 24but let justice flow like water, and uprightness like a never-failing stream!

With what shall I enter Yahweh's presence and bow down before God All-high? Shall I enter with burnt offerings, with calves one year old? 7Will he be pleased with rams by the thousand, with ten thousand streams of oil? Shall I offer my eldest son for my wrong-doing, the child of my own body for my sin? 8'You have already been told what is right and what Yahweh wants of you. Only this, to do what is right, to love loyalty and to walk humbly with your God.'

Seek Yahweh, all you humble of the earth, who obey his commands. Seek uprightness, seek humility: you may perhaps find shelter on the Day of Yahweh's anger.

"Yahweh Sabaoth says this: Return to me -- Yahweh Sabaoth declares -- and I will return to you, says Yahweh Sabaoth.

"While you have been fasting and mourning in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, have you really been fasting for my sake? 6 And when you were eating and drinking, were you not eating and drinking for your own sake?7 Do you not know the words which Yahweh proclaimed through the prophets in the past, when Jerusalem was inhabited and secure, as were her surrounding towns, and when the Negeb and the lowlands were inhabited?" … He said, "Apply the law fairly, and show faithful love and compassion towards one another. Do not oppress the widow and the orphan, the foreigner and the poor, and do not secretly plan evil against one another."

Be careful not to parade your uprightness in public to attract attention; otherwise you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven.

2So when you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win human admiration. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward. 3But when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right is doing; 4your almsgiving must be secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.

5 And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward. 6But when you pray, go to your private room, shut yourself in, and so pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.

7In your prayers do not babble as the gentiles do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard.8Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

When you are fasting, do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they go about looking unsightly to let people know they are fasting. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward. 17But when you fast, put scent on your head and wash your face,18so that no one will know you are fasting except your Father who sees all that is done in secret; and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.

Now while he was at table in the house it happened that a number of tax collectors and sinners came to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, 'Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?'12When he heard this he replied, 'It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. 13Go and learn the meaning of the words: Mercy is what pleases me, not sacrifice.

At that time Jesus went through the cornfields one Sabbath day. His disciples were hungry and began to pick ears of corn and eat them. 2The Pharisees noticed it and said to him, 'Look, your disciples are doing something that is forbidden on the Sabbath.' 3But he said to them, 'Have you not read what David did when he and his followers were hungry- 4how he went into the house of God and they ate the loaves of the offering although neither he nor his followers were permitted to eat them, but only the priests? 5Or again, have you not read in the Law that on the Sabbath day the Temple priests break the Sabbath without committing any fault? 6Now here, I tell you, is something greater than the Temple.7And if you had understood the meaning of the words: Mercy is what pleases me, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the blameless.

Then Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem came to Jesus and said, 2'Why do your disciples break away from the tradition of the elders? They eat without washing their hands.' 3He answered, 'And why do you break away from the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4For God said, "Honor your father and your mother" and "Anyone who curses his father or mother will be put to death." 5But you say, "If anyone says to his father or mother: Anything I might have used to help you is dedicated to God,6he is rid of his duty to father or mother." In this way you have made God's word ineffective by means of your tradition. See also Mark 7:1-13

Matthew 23:23-24             
Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You pay your tithe of mint and dill and cummin and have neglected the weightier matters of the Law-justice, mercy, good faith! These you should have practiced, those not neglected. 24You blind guides, straining out gnats and swallowing camels! See also Luke 11:42

One of the scribes who had listened to them debating appreciated that Jesus had given a good answer and put a further question to him, 'Which is the first of all the commandments?'29Jesus replied, 'This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one, only Lord, 30and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. 31The second is this: You must love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.' 32The scribe said to him, 'Well spoken, Master; what you have said is true, that he is one and there is no other. 33To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself, this is far more important than any burnt offering or sacrifice.'34Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said, 'You are not far from the kingdom of God.' And after that no one dared to question him any more.

He sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the treasury, and many of the rich put in a great deal. 42A poor widow came and put in two small coins, the equivalent of a penny. 43Then he called his disciples and said to them, 'In truth I tell you, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed to the treasury; 44for they have all put in money they could spare, but she in her poverty has put in everything she possessed, all she had to live on.' See also Luke 21:1-4

Produce fruit in keeping with repentance, and do not start telling yourselves, "We have Abraham as our father," because, I tell you, God can raise children for Abraham from these stones.  9Yes, even now the axe is being laid to the root of the trees, so that any tree failing to produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown on the fire.'

10When all the people asked him, 'What must we do, then?'11he answered, 'Anyone who has two tunics must share with the one who has none, and anyone with something to eat must do the same.' 12There were tax collectors, too, who came for baptism, and these said to him, 'Master, what must we do?'13He said to them, 'Exact no more than the appointed rate.' 14Some soldiers asked him in their turn, 'What about us? What must we do?' He said to them, 'No intimidation! No extortion! Be content with your pay!'

He spoke the following parable to some people who prided themselves on being upright and despised everyone else, 10'Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood there and said this prayer to himself, "I thank you, God, that I am not grasping, unjust, adulterous like everyone else, and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here. 12I fast twice a week; I pay tithes on all I get." 13The tax collector stood some distance away, not daring even to raise his eyes to heaven; but he beat his breast and said, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner." 14This man, I tell you, went home again justified; the other did not. For everyone who raises himself up will be humbled, but anyone who humbles himself will be raised up.'

Jesus said: My food is to do the will of the one who sent me, and to complete his work.

Jesus said to them: If you are Abraham's children, do as Abraham did.

I have glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do.

God has no favorites, 35but that anybody of any nationality who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.

Give yourselves to God, as people brought to life from the dead, and give every part of your bodies to God to be instruments of uprightness

Surrender yourselves to uprightness

I urge you, then, brothers, remembering the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, dedicated and acceptable to God; that is the kind of worship for you, as sensible people.

Lead a life worthy of the vocation to which you were called.

You are light in the Lord; behave as children of light

You must always behave in a way that is worthy of the gospel of Christ

Lead a life worthy of the Lord, a life acceptable to him in all its aspects, bearing fruit in every kind of good work and growing in knowledge of God

So then, as you received Jesus as Lord and Christ, now live your lives in him, 7be rooted in him and built up on him, held firm by the faith you have been taught, and overflowing with thanksgiving.

Live a life worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and his glory.

Let us offer God an unending sacrifice of praise, the fruit of the lips of those who acknowledge his name. 16Keep doing good works and sharing your resources, for these are the kinds of sacrifice that please God.

Humbly welcome the Word which has been planted in you and can save your souls. 22But you must do what the Word tells you and not just listen to it and deceive yourselves.

Pure, unspoilt religion, in the eyes of God our Father, is this: coming to the help of orphans and widows in their hardships, and keeping oneself uncontaminated by the world.

3 John 4
It is always my greatest joy to hear that my children are living according to the truth.