Tuesday, February 20, 2018

THE SHEPHERD



If you, beloved reader, are living in a big city such as New York, or in any other metropolis, you may not be interested to know about shepherds. You may like to drink the milk that the sheep produces, and the cheese, and meat, but you may not care about the persons that raise such animals! And that is fine. That is not a problem.  
You may have never seen one shepherd, and never seen a sheep! But I have lived most of my youth in an island where sheeps and shepherds are very common. As a child and as a young adult I was not much interested in such life style. I saw shepherds close by and they smelled like sheep! I was in a different world, and I seemed to not to fit with such people. But I did not the wealth of wisdom I would learn from a Shepherd!  
 My father built houses and fixed them. He was a hard worker, and he did not smell like sheep, but like cement. Yet, now, I admire the shepherds that raise the sheeps.
 Why, you may ask? Well, sheeps’ milk and goat’s milk was what I drank growing up when it was available.  I grew up during the Second World War, and food was scarce, which included milk. Later on cow’s milk was more available and we began drinking that milk.  And once I moved away from my island I switched completely to cow’s milk.  But that milk is more difficult to digest, and I still prefer the sheep and goat’s milk. I also enjoy the sheep’s homemade cheese.
Sardinia is still producing sheep’s milk and cheese. I absolutely love the Sardinian ricotta! Each time I have gone back to Sardinia to visit my family I made sure I ate a lot of ricotta! I am sorry to say but the American Cottage Cheese, is not to be compared with the ricotta of Sardinian! This ricotta has a unique special flavor! Oh, how much I miss it! Ricotta and Sardines are typical foods  I really enjoyed while in Sardinia. 
Who are these shepherds?
The shepherds are very special people.   I do admire the shepherds because they stay outside in the summer and the winter to be with their flocks, as much as possible. They suffer the cold and protect their animals. They sleep little during the night because they have to watch their flocks against animals and robbers. They love their sheep and they know them by name. The shepherds are usually very nice people. They are peaceful people, maybe because they live so close to nature. They admire Yahweh’s creation and have great time to meditate on Him. No wander King David wrote so many wonderful psalms!
 Many times they have to carry the sheep in their arms because they have gotten hurt while grazing.  The shepherd minister healing to their sheep. Shepherds are indeed special people that we should honor!
I know one specific Shepherd, and He has been very good to me. When I was born, He helped me to come into this world. I had very much difficulty leaving the womb of my mother. She suffered for two long weeks, until one day she felt it was the time for me to be born. She lay down in her bed and this Shepherd turned me in my mother’s womb three times and got me out!
I did not need a midwife of doctor, for this Shepherd is also a Healer and very capable Physician! Later on in my young life I fell into the fire, but miraculously I did not get burned on my face. He was there to help me. Another time, when I was about  seven years old I became sick for one full month with an unknown  sickness. I had fever and  was not able to eat for the whole month.  The doctors gave me up to die, but once again, my Shepherd, in response to the prayer of my mother, one special day healed me. He gave me back an appetite for garbanzo beans, and after I ate them, I was completely healed! For sure the beans did not healed me, but the Shepherd did.  As a believer in this Shepherd, I know that my sickness was spiritual. As a child at times an evil spirit would chock me almost to death, But the Shepherd did not allow it. He always saved me.
 As an adult it happened again, and when I cried out on His Name, and on His Blood, the enemy left me. 
This Shepherd kept me alive when I should have been dead the day a car hit me on Milwaukee highway in Oregon. The car hit me as I was walking and flew me into the air. I ended flat on the highway!  I had little injuries compared to what could have had happen, and I am able to walk and run!  He was there to protect me. I am so thankful that I am alive today to be able to testify about His goodness. 
He has fed me when I had little to eat, and He has provided jobs when I needed a job. He also has protected me when I could have been killed by unscrupulous people. He has given me places to live so that I have never been homeless on the street. He has comforted me when my husband left me, and then my young adopted son died. He covers me with His Talit, when I cry. He covers me with compassion when I hurt. He leads me, when I do not know for sure which way I should go. 
He has provided air tickets for me, in order to be able to fly where He needed me to go. He has given me a seat on an airplane when there seemed to be none. He had sent His angel to seat on a seat in the airplane to keep it for me when I returned from Manila! He always provided food, shelter, clothing, support and much love for me as I traveled proclaiming His Word. 

He had created me, and has kept me since my birth in my mother’s womb. He has led me in the way He wants me to go. He answers the cries of my heart. He has given me a family away from my family in Sardinia, and very good reliable friends that help me when I have a need. He is more than enough.
I cannot write down all the things He has done for me, for it would take many, many pages. His love never fails. He has done more than any man could possibly do for me.
Who is this special Shepherd?
His Name is Yeshua[i] ha’Mashiach[ii]. He is Hebrew, born to a Hebrew mother, but His father is the Eternal Creator of the universe. He is actually Elohim in the flesh.  I simply love Him with all my heart. Would you not love Him if He did all these things for you? Read with me the following psalm.
Tehillim/Psalm 23:1-6 Yahweh is my Shepherd, I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me, 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of Yehovah forever.
Description of a shepherd  
Yochanan/John 10:1 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.”
He knows the sheep by name and leads them.
3 To Him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; know his voice.
Yeshua identifies Himself
7 Most assuredly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.  11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.  14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.
He is known by the Father
15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
He came for all mankind
And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. 17 Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
He indeed gave His life for us. Prophets spoke of His death and resurrection. He died and rose again for you and me.
He is the only Shepherd, and the only Elohim[iii] Today you can be assured that your life is in good Hands when you place your trust in Him.
Yochanan/John 1:29 “Behold! The Lamb of Elohim who takes the sins of the world.”
Seek the Shepherd today, and you will find Him. He will save your life from destruction. He will help you when you call upon Him. He is the only way to the Father Yehovah. Amen.


[i] Yeshua is the short for of Yehoshua which means Joshua in English, but it is translated as Jesus.
[ii] The Anointed One.  The Messiah.
[iii]  Elohim is translated  God  in English.

Friday, February 9, 2018

HOW MANY TIME MUST WE FORGIVE?




HOW MANY TIMES MUST WE FORGIVE?
Unforgiveness can be a big issue with many people. And most times they are the ones who also need to be forgiven. This situation is very sad, and has many consequences. One of them is discord and division. Instead walking in love, (Yochanan (John) 15:12) end up walking in hate. We read in the Scriptures that Yeshua was speaking to the apostles about forgiveness and reconciliation and then made a strong statement followed by a parable.
Mattithyahu/Matthew 18:21 Then Kepha (Peter) came to Him and said, “Adonai, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up seven times? 22 Yahoshua said to him, “I do not to you up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.  23 Because of this the reign of the shamayim (heaven) is like a certain man, a sovereign who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.  24”And when he had begun to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talanton, 25 but as he was unable to pay, his master commanded that he be sold with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.  26 “Then the servant fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I shall pay you all.’ 27 “And the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. 28”And that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver pieces. And he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe! 29”Then his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I shall pay you all.’ 30”But he would not, and went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 “And when his fellow servant saw what had been done, they were deeply grieved, and came and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master called him and said to him, ‘Wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt seeing you begged me. 33 ‘Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, as I also had compassion on you? 34 “And his master was wroth, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 “So also My Father of the shamayim shall do to you if each of you from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.’
How many times you may have wondered about the fact that you have already forgiven our own spouse so many times, but he/she continues to hurt you? Some of us had to continually forgive our children, but they kept on being rebellious refusing to honor us?  They continued to offend us over and over again, yet we know we had to forgive them, and we did, but we prayed to Yehovah to change them as soon as possible!
We not only must forgive our family, but we must also forgive our close friends who sometimes are not too kind to us. What about those leaders in spiritual authority, who supposed to love and help us?  Our own pastors or rabbis, at times they may hurt us, or even treat us as enemies if we dare to make a comment on some of their actions  or traditions! What do we do? Move away from their church or synagogue?  This may be necessary at times. But yes, we must forgive everyone, every time, and not only seven times, but seven times seven, which means continually.  
Can we forgive? 
 I personally have heard people saying: “I cannot forgive that person.” Or “This was too much, they destroyed my reputation.” People who do not understand the goodness of Yehovah who is merciful and compassionate as Yeshua is clearly teaching us in this parable have a very difficult time forgiving anyone.
We also read in the Scriptures that Mosheh (Moses), who had already spoken with Yehovah so many times on the Mount Sinai, he still needed a revelation of Yehovah.  Mosheh wanted so much more knowledge and understanding of the Person of His Elohim, and maybe we should follow his example. Through his hunger for more revelation of his Elohim we learn something very important about the person of Yehovah.
  Shemoth/Exodus 33: 13-14, 18-20 “And now, please, if I have found favour in Your eyes, please show me Your way, and let me know You. So that I find favour in Your eyes. And consider that this nation is Your people.” 14 And He said, “My Presence goes, and I shall give you rest.”
 Mosheh  persists in his request.
18 Then he said, “Please, show me Your esteem (glory).” 19 And He said, “I shall cause all My goodness to pass before you, and I shall proclaim the Name of Yehovah before you. And I shall favour him whom I favour, and shall have compassion on him whom I have compassion.”20 But He said, “You are unable to see My face, for no man sees Me and lives.”
Then Yehovah gave Mosheh some instructions and he was able to receive the answer to his request.  The Presence of Yehovah passed before him on the designated mountain.
Shemoth 34:5, 6, 7 And Yehovah came down in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the Name, Yehovah. 6 And Yahweh passed before him and proclaimed, “Yehovah, Yehovah, an El compassionate and showing favour, patient, and great in kindness and truth, 7 watching over kindness for thousands, forgiving wickedness and transgression and sin, but by no means leaving unpunished, visiting the wickedness of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.
I needed to write all these verses for us to really understand the goodness of Yehovah. We noticed that Yehovah answered Moshe’s request. However, He could not see his face or he would die!  But He gave Mosheh a clear revelation of who He is. Yehovah proclaimed to be compassionate and that He shows favour, which also means to be gracious to us.  And this is the message of Yeshua’s parable of the unforgiving servant. Yehovah will forgive our sins, because we can never pay back the debt we owe. He has set rules in His Kingdom, and we as His children, have the privilege to know those rules, and the privilege to be able to obey them. He is gracious and gives us favour as we need.  When we have difficult time forgiving someone, we can ask Him to help us, and He will grant us our request. His desire is that we love our neighbor as ourselves
Wayyiqra (Leviticus) 19:18 “Do not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the children of your people. And you shall love your neighbour as yourself. I am Yehovah.”
Mattithyahu 5:44 “Love your enemies, barakh (bless) those cursing you, do good to those hating you, and pray for those insulting you and persecuting you, 45 so that you become sons of your Father in the shamayim.”
He seemed to imply that if we do not forgive we are not the sons of Elohim! This is a sobering thought indeed! 
Yeshua taught of the importance of love and of forgiveness. Some people do not realize that unforgiveness hurts them.  Unforgiveness can and will cause many sickness,besides a broken relationship with our Creator Yehovah. 
Unforgiveness originates and comes to us from Satan himself. Unforgiveness is a great sin, and we must repent, or we cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven.  
 Very clearly all of us know that we have sinned.
Romiyim (Romans) 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the esteem of Elohim.
There is no one who can say: “I am righteous.” Yeshua is the only one, who could say that Satan had nothing on Him, and therefore He could cast out Satan, and Satan had to flee. 
Yeshua was sinless
Yeshua did not die for his own sin, for He was sinless, (Qorin’tiyim 2, 5:21), but He died for the sin of the world, which includes you and me. (Yochanan 3:16)
All of us need to receive the gift of forgiveness from our Heavenly Father Yehovah. He is merciful and compassionate, and through the shedding of the blood of Yeshua, now we can enter into the Most Holy Place to worship Him. Yeshua is our Supreme Sacrifice who reconciles us to the Father; however, we must repent of sin.  
Qorin’tiyim 2 (2 Corinthians) 5:18-20 And all is from Yehovah, who has restored us to favour with Himself through Yeshua ha’Mashiach, and has given us the service of restoration to favour, 19 that is, that Elohim was  Mashiach restoring the world to favour unto Himself, not reckoning their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of restoration to favour. Therefore we are envoys on behalf of Mashiach, as though Elohim were pleading through us. We beg, on behalf of Mashiach: Be restored to favour with Elohim.  HS
Without Mashiach we are lost for eternity. All of us are unworthy to receive His forgiveness. We have done nothing to deserve His grace and compassion. We have disobeyed all His Commandments. Our hands are stained in blood! We are guilty, and we continue to sin all the time. We need to be forgiven, but we must repent of all sin, which includes unforgiveness, and start obeying His Commands.
Mattithyahu (Matthew) 4:17 From that time Yeshua began to proclaim and to say, “Repent, for the reign of the shamayim has drawn near.”`
Ma’aseh (Acts) 2:38 And Kepha (Peter) said to them, “Repent, and let each one of you be immersed in the Name of Yeshua ha’Mashiach for the forgiveness of sins. And you shall receive the gift of the Ruach ha’Qodesh. (Holy Spirit). 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are far off, as many as Yehovah our Elohim shall call.”
Constantly we must ask to be forgiven by our Elohim. And he does forgive us. Therefore we, as forgiven people, we are commanded to forgive those who hurt us. I mentioned in other messages, that the Scriptures effectively instruct to forgive or we cannot be forgiven.
Mattithyahu (Matthew) 6:12, 14 “Forgive our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Father of the Shamayim shall also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither shall your Father forgive your trespasses.”HS
We are only forgiven according to what we do. If we forgive others, we are forgiven. (Matt. 6:12). 
Yeshua answering Kepha (Peter) said: “I do not say to you up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven!
What He is saying? Are we going to count how many times they hurt us, and how many times we have forgiven them?  Let us think about how many sins we have committed and consequently how many times Yehovah has forgiven us. Can we count them?  My friend, we must forgive everyone and as many times as they hurt us. You see, they not only are sinning against us, but against Yehovah, and He will forgive them, when they repent. Are we nobler that Yehovah?
I hope today you will decide to forgive, because according to how much you forgive, you will be forgiven.
Until next time.
You can contact me at shomerhatorah@gmail.com
(Please note all emphasis are mine)