Decisions, decisions, decisions. Life is filled with decisions. Most of them are inconsequential, like what color clothing to wear. Others are very consequential, some even life and death. I remember, when I was a young person, being amazed at how even seemingly inconsequential decisions can bring about unforeseen ramifications all out of proportion to the size of the choice being made. I'm not amazed by that anymore, since I've seen this happen in the lives of many repeatedly, for both good and ill.
Priorities govern decisions. This is the key to choosing what's best as a person moves through life. I've seen that the priorities a person claims, and the priorities revealed by their decisions, are often two very different things.
For example, many people claim that Messiah is first in their lives, yet, the lion's share of their time and attention goes to pursuing wealth, social standing, pleasure, or something else. To say that Messiah is first is not to make it so. Once again, it is reality that wins out in the end.
It can happen that a person knows that Messiah should be first, so they claim that He is. However, in their heart of hearts they want something else more than Him. In their deepest place a more immediate and more carnal reward has greater appeal. Something of this world is really their greatest desire and object of pursuit, because they assess that thing, whatever it is, to be a better deal for them then putting Messiah first. Matthew 19 deals with that, revealing some of the things people pursue ahead of Messiah, and pointing out why Messiah is actually the better deal.
It may seem strange to some that I would frame this discussion in terms of a deal, like buying a house or a car, but in reality, people think in terms of the deal. They look for the best deal for them and that is usually what they go with, whether they are considering a pair of pants, or Messiah. Further, that is an underlying premise of Matthew 19. Consider how Peter put this question of the deal before Messiah:
Then Peter answered, "Behold, we have left everything, and followed you. What then will we have?"
Here, Peter is responding to the earlier lesson in the chapter, which urged the choice of Messiah above everything else. Peter, speaking for himself and the rest of the disciples points out that they made that decision. They actually did give up everything to follow Him. This is where the deal comes in: "What then will we have?"
Not everyone looks on Peter favorably for asking this question, essentially looking for a good deal. For example, consider this commentary on the verse from the Believer's Bible Commentary:
"Peter's self-life was showing, the old nature reasserting itself. It was a spirit each of us must guard against. He was bargaining with the Lord."
This is typical of many Christian resources on the subject. They say Peter was being a bad guy because he "was bargaining with the Lord" - i.e. making a deal. That's the old nature, they say, and we all must guard against it.
To that I would say, where would Peter get the idea that a person could make a deal with God? From the Scriptures? Yes, from the Scriptures. Dare I say, from YHWH Himself? Yes, that is what I am saying.
What of Abraham and the Abrahamic Covenant. Who initiated that? Was it not YHWH? And was that not a deal? And a very good deal for Abraham, I might add.
And what of our father, Jacob?
You will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and clothing to put on, so that I come again to my fatherís house in peace, and YHWH will be my Elohim, then this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, will be Elohimís house. Of all that you will give me I will surely give the tenth to you." Genesis 28:20-22
Jacob vowed a vow, saying, "If
What is that if not Jacob making a deal with YHWH? The deal is, the unfailing protection and supply from YHWH in return for a tenth of the material wealth that YHWH gives. Every son of Jacob gives the tenth back to the Lord on the strength of this deal that our father Jacob made with YHWH. Is that "self-life" or is it faith? I say, faith.
Yes, God Himself is the One who taught us to "bargain" with Him, and we find this all through the Scriptures as a cornerstone of how those who know Him relate to Him. The amazing thing is, YHWH has so much to give, and is so exceedingly generous, that everyone who makes a deal with Him comes out the winner to an astounding extent - so long as they keep their side of the bargain.
Peter made his case that they had put Messiah first, and then asked "What then will we have?"
Messiah did not rebuke Peter for asking, as if that was a bad thing to do. Rather, He gave Peter a straight answer, a real answer. He told Peter, and us, what the deal is for putting Him first, above everything else.
Read the answer for yourself in Matthew 19:27-30, and see if this is a good deal for you. As for me, I'm all in!
Join us tonight at 8 PM CST at Tsiyon.Net, and learn more about how to get in on the ground floor of the REAL greatest opportunity of all time, by putting Messiah first.
Eliyahu ben David
Hi Remnant Brothers and Sisters!
We are glad to report that big things are happening at the Tsiyon building site.
Step through these pics for the latest news.
1. So, what's going on now?
The walls on the 2nd floor are going up!
3. Hey! We've got a whole corner up!
4. YHWH must have sent Superman to help.
Comment from Eliyahu:
Let's talk about faith.
Bryan and Ginny are expecting their first child, Keziah, in a couple months.
This is a very special time for them.
They live over 8000 miles from Tsiyon Headquarters.
Yet, they decided together, that Bryan would come for a visit, and work on the Tsiyon project, while Ginny, appropriately, stays close to home, working on her project. :-)
That level of faith and commitment is impressive, and we are all thankful to you both, Bryan and Ginny, for the perfectly timed help that your sacrifice has brought to us!
We love you guys and we pray that your faith will bring great rewards to you and your family!
5. Better! Bryan flew in all the way from China to help! Thanks Bro!
Last time I told you we would be framing up the walls on the 2nd floor, for a second story. Bryan is a big part of that now getting done, and a great example of how YHWH always sends us who or what we need. We will soon need more materials for the next phase of the work. Is this where you could be a part of this ongoing story of faith?
You can send your offering to:
Tsiyon A130-425 [Checks can be made to "Tsiyon"]
5701 W Slaughter LN
Austin TX 78749
Thank you all, for your prayers and support.
Be blessed in Messiah, Shalom!
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