Real Faith: Loving In Deed & Truth

Posted in: King Messiah, Law & Culture, The Lord HaShem
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Crop of Die Heilige Elisabeth verteilt Almosen by Pietro Rotari

The Patriarch Yaakov (Jacob) was a reasonable man. It was enough for him that HaShem would be with him, giving him food to eat and clothing to wear and keeping him safe. For this, Yaakov became the faithful servant of HaShem, giving back to HaShem like Avraham (Abraham) before him (Cf. Bereshit / Genesis 14:18-20).

‘Then Yaakov made a vow, saying, ‘If G-d will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then HaShem shall be my G-d, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be G-d’s House. And of all that You give me I will give a full tenth to You.”
– Bereshit 28:20-22

What was true for Yaakov is true for the nation of Yisrael that came from him. As Shaul (Paul) says, being content with these things truly is a great blessing. Life and godliness are not about amassing wealth for ourselves, but about loving G-d and neighbour (Cf. Mattityahu / Matthew 22:36-40).

Shaul warns of,

‘…people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.’
– 1 Timothy 6:5b

We must not be like such people.

‘But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of material wealth is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O Man of G-d, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.’
– 1 Timothy 6:6-11

You shall not love money, but you shall love HaShem your G-d.

As it is written,

‘Hear, O Yisrael: HaShem is our G-d, HaShem is One. You shall love HaShem your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your abundance [meodekha].’
– Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:4-5

This is the first and great commandment, as the Lord Yeshua says (Cf. Mattityahu 22:38). The Hebrew word meod means greatness or abundance. Like the Hebrew phrase tov meod, which means very good, meodekha has a very real sense of your very, your utmost, your all.

Real love comes into our hearts from G-d through the Ruakh HaKodesh (Holy Spirit, Cf. Romans 5:5) through a real faith in Messiah Yeshua (Yokhannan / John 7:38). If we allow it, that love will permeate our souls and move us to use our faculties and resources, spiritual gifts and physical wealth alike, for the sake of love.

Of course, we must realize everything we are and everything we have, including everything we will have and everything we will be, every good and perfect gift (Cf. Yaakov / “James” 1:17), comes from HaShem. Those who love HaShem therefore gratefully use what He has given us in ways that are pleasing to Him.

Thankfully, the Lord HaShem has not left us to guess at what is pleasing to Him. His will for those who love Him is that we are conformed to the image of Messiah Yeshua (Cf. Romans 8:29), who is the image of the Invisible G-d (Cf. Colossians 1:15, Yokhannan / John 14:7,9) and the exact imprint of His nature (Cf. Ivrim / Hebrews 1:3).

It was for this that mankind was created (Cf. Bereshit 1:26).

Partaking of the Divine Nature

Shimon Kefa (Simon Peter) says,

‘His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and virtue, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the Divine Nature…’
– Kefa Beit (2 Peter) 1:3-4b

What does it mean to partake of the Divine Nature?

Yeshayahu HaNavi (the Prophet Isaiah) says of HaShem,

‘Thus says HaEl (God), HaShem, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the Earth and what comes from it, Who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: ‘I am HaShem; I have called you in righteousness. I will take you by the hand and keep you. I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon; from the prison those who sit in darkness.’
– Yeshayahu 42:5-7

How marvelously these words speak of the Divine Nature! For one thing, HaShem is the Ultimate Giver! He is the Creator of the heavens and the Earth and everything that comes from the Earth. He is the One who gives us all life and breath and everything.

As Shaul says,

‘The G-d Who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of Heaven and Earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.’
– Maaseh (Acts) 17:24-25

As if this were not enough, He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (Cf. Yokhannan / John 3:16), the Lord Yeshua, the Messianic King, as a covenant for the people and a light for the nations, to bear our sins (Cf. Kefa Alef / 1 Peter 2:24) and to serve us by opening the eyes of the blind, to free those who are the slaves of sin.

And as Shaul says,

‘He Who did not even spare His own Son, but gave him up for us all, how will He not with him also graciously give us all things?’
– Romans 8:32

What selfless love the Father has for us! It is our great honour as His children by faith to walk in the same quality of selfless love.

As Shaul says,

‘Therefore be imitators of G-d as beloved children. And walk in love, as Messiah loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to G-d.’
– Ephesians 5:1-2

If you believe in the Lord Yeshua, walk in love as he did in the days of his flesh (Cf. Yokhannan Alef / 1 John 2:6), being conformed to the image of Messiah Yeshua, for it is to this that you are called (Cf. Colossians 1:15, Romans 8:29).

Luke records,

‘A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them, ‘The kings of the nations exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.’
– Luke 22:24-27

Yeshua HaMashiakh (Jesus the Christ), the image of the unseen G-d, the exact imprint of His nature, to whom all authority in Heaven and Earth has been given by our Father in Heaven—among us as one who serves!

HaShem is Love, therefore the Divine Nature is to give. It is to this that we are called.

The Greatness of Real Faith

While the Scriptures certainly speak of blessings for those who are faithful toward HaShem, those who have a real faith do not live for treasures in this life (Tehillim / Psalms 17:4, Mattityahu 6:19-21). They live, rather, by faith in HaShem, and this faith manifests in love through good deeds, as exemplified and illuminated in the Scriptures (Cf. Galatians 5:6, 1 Corinthians 7:19, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Mishlei / Proverbs 6:23).

On the love of HaShem and the love of our neighbour depends all the Torah and the Prophets (Cf. Mattityahu / Matthew 22:36-40). As one reads the Torah and the Prophets, not to mention the writings of the disciples of Yeshua in the first-century, who were taught and encouraged by these Scriptures (Cf. Romans 15:4, 1 Corinthians 10:11, 2 Timothy 3:16-17), it becomes clear that giving plays a central role in true love. At every turn, we have opportunities to imitate our Creator and demonstrate our love.

After HaShem delivered his people from the slavery of Mitzrayim (Egypt), so that the people would have a place to assemble and meet with HaShem, and so that HaShem would dwell in their midst, material offerings were given for the construction of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), including precious metals, such as gold, silver, and bronze.

In like manner, the Lord Yeshua responds to those of the nations who demonstrate their love for the people of HaShem by providing for the material needs of places of learning and worship.

As Luke records,

‘Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. When the centurion heard about Yeshua, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Yeshua, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, ‘He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.’ And Yeshua went with them.’
– Luke 7:2-6

Such offerings also sustain the House of HaShem along with lesser places of assembly.

As for those who minister at such places, the Torah teaches us about HaMa’aseir (the Tithe; Lit. ‘tenth’), which is given by the nation of Yisrael to the Levi’im (Levites), as to HaShem, for their service on behalf of the people at the Mishkan (Tabernacle) of HaShem. The Levi’im who receive the Tenth also give the Tenth to the Kohanim (Priests).

Part of this tenth also includes a provision for the orphan, the widow, and the stranger in the Promised Land; for those who understandably might not have the resources to provide for their own needs due to some act of G-d, or because they have left their own people to draw near to HaShem and to dwell with His people.

While we work towards and pray for the rebuilding of the Temple of HaShem in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), may it be soon in our days, there nevertheless remains orphans and widows and even strangers among us that need our help. There are also Levi’im working diligently in the service of HaShem that need your support.

Furthermore, HaShem also says through Shmuel HaNavi (the Prophet Samuel) that a Tenth belongs to the King of Yisrael, our Lord.

‘He said, ‘These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his servants.’
– Shmuel Alef (1 Samuel) 8:11-17

The King of Yisrael likewise says it is the duty of those over whom his servants labour to support them materially.

As the Lord Yeshua says,

‘…the labourer deserves his wages.’
– Luke 10:7b

Shaul therefore instructs Timothy,

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honour, especially those who labour in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,’ and ‘The labourer is worthy of his wages.”
– 1 Timothy 5:17-18

To the nations, Shaul says,

‘Let the one who is taught the Word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived, G-d is not mocked. For whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Ruakh (Spirit) will from the Ruakh reap the Life of the World to Come. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the Household of Faith.’
– Galatians 6:6-10

Again Shaul says,

Do you not know that those who are employed in the Temple service get their food from the Temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the Good News should get their living by the Good News.’
– 1 Corinthians 9:13-14

Such giving provides for the health of the Body, of which those who trust in HaShem through His Messsiah, the Lord Yeshua, are all a part (Cf. Romans 12:4-8). As members of the Body of Messiah, we all therefore partner with him in the service of HaShem, proclaiming and supporting the proclamation of the Good News to the world, and doing good to all as we have opportunity, especially to the Household of Faith.

The Shlikhim (Apostles/Emissaries) of the Lord Yeshua gave up everything to follow Yeshua. And how great is the reward for such as these; they are exalted above all. They will sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Yisrael (Cf. Mattityahu 19:27-28)! It was this example that the “first-century” believers were following.

As the Lord Yeshua says,

‘…everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit the Life of the World to Come. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.’
– Mattityahyu 19:29-30

The Jewish disciples of the Lord Yeshua in the “first-century” really got a hold of this truth, that giving goes together with the faith that works through love (Cf. Galatians 5:6). Just as the Lord Yeshua had called the rich young ruler to use his wealth to serve those in need and to follow the Lord Yeshua (Cf. Mattityahu 19:16-22, Mark 10:17-22, Luke 18:18-23), the Jewish disciples of the Lord Yeshua received this kind of faith.

As Luke records,

‘And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.’
– Ma’aseh (Acts) 2:44-45

Notice what happened among them!

‘Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the Shlikhim (Apostles) were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Yeshua, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the feet of the Shlikhim, and it was distributed to each as any had need.’
– Ma’aseh 4:32-35

They gave up everything for the sake of love as a testament to their faith in Messiah Yeshua, our Lord, and as a result there was not a needy person among them. Because to those who give, it is given to them, as the Lord Yeshua says (Cf. Luke 6:38).

The nations are called to the very same kind of faith, and also to support those through whom the Good News has come to them, the Jewish people. The nations are called to share in the giving that is love even as they have received, and that they, too, may receive further blessings.

As Shaul says to the nations,

‘Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the assemblies of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper…’
– 1 Corinthians 16:1-2b

As Shaul says,

‘I am going to Yerushalayim bringing aid to the saints. For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Yerushalayim. For they were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings.’
– Romans 15:25-27

As Shaul says,

‘For the love of Messiah controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.’
– 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

Does this describe your faith? Are you using everything you are and everything you have in the service of your Lord and Saviour?

Again Shaul says,

‘Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Ruakh HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) within you, whom you have from G-d? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.’
– 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

What’s the point? Does HaShem mean for you to go without? Not at all!

Our Heavenly Father means for you to put your trust in Him and use the resources He has given you for the purposes for which He has given them to you, so that He can give you even more to give.

As Shaul says,

‘The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows blessings will also reap blessings. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for G-d loves a cheerful giver. And G-d is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, ‘He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.’ He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you may be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to G-d. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to G-d. By their approval of this service, they will glorify G-d because of your submission that comes from your confession of the Good News of Messiah, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of G-d upon you. Thanks be to G-d for His inexpressible gift!’
– 2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Does your confession of the Good News of Messiah lead you to submit to such giving? Be encouraged, brothers and sisters, we are not concerned about lack. HaShem is our Shepherd, we shall not lack (Cf. Tehillim / Psalms 23:1)!

As the Lord Yeshua promises,

‘…give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.’
– Luke 6:38

As the proverb says,

‘Whoever is generous to the poor lends to HaShem, and He will repay him for his deed.’
– Mishlei (Proverbs) 19:17

And again,

‘Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.’
– Mishlei 28:27

Your wealth is a test of your love, beloved. There’s a reason the Lord Yeshua said you cannot serve G-d and wealth.

As the Lord Yeshua says,

‘One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve G-d and material wealth.’
– Luke 16:10-13

And lest there be any who misunderstand, be sure to take care of your own relatives, too, especially those of your own household (Cf. 1 Timothy 5:8). And make sure your own bills are paid! Truly, some who have the least give the most (Cf. Mark 12:41-44).

Eternal Life Through Love

As the Lord Yeshua says, if you truly love G-d and neighbour, you will live.

‘And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit the Life of the World to Come?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the Torah? How do you read it?’ And he answered, ‘You shall love HaShem your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have answered correctly; do this, and you will Live.”
– Luke 10:25-28

Some will say, ‘I don’t have anything to give!’

But as Yaakov says,

‘You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.’
– Yaakov (“James”) 4:2b-3

To really serve our G-d, we must put to death the greedy desire to accumulate wealth and pleasure for ourselves.

As Shaul says,

‘Put to death therefore what is worldly in you… covetousness, which is idolatry.’
– Colossians 3:5

Idolatry leads to death, but faith in G-d through Messiah Yeshua means we know that it is HaShem Who provides for us, and we will not suffer lack because we have used our wealth for His purposes. On the contrary, if you follow HaShem, you shall not lack (Cf. Tehillim / Psalms 23:1).

Will you do what the Lord has called you to do? Will you give selflessly for the good of the Body of Messiah, and for all as you have opportunity?

As Yokhannan says,

‘Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from G-d, and whoever loves has been born of G-d and knows G-d. Anyone who does not love does not know G-d, because G-d is Love. In this the love of G-d was made manifest among us, that G-d sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved G-d but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if G-d so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen G-d; if we love one another, G-d abides in us and His love is perfected in us… So we have come to know and to believe the love that G-d has for us. G-d is Love, and whoever abides in love abides in G-d, and G-d abides in him… We love because He first loved us.’
– Yokhannan Alef (1 John) 4:7-12,16,19

And as Yokhannan says,

‘By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does G-d’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.’
– Yokhannan Alef (1 John) 3:16-18

Likewise Yaakov says,

‘What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.’
– Yaakov 2:14-17

The proverb says,

‘Great treasure is in the house of the righteous, but trouble befalls the income of the wicked.’
– Mishlei 15:6

Likewise Shaul says to those who materially support the proclamation of the Good News,

‘And my G-d will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Messiah Yeshua. To our G-d and Father be glory forever and ever. Amein.’
– Philippians 4:19-20

Let those of faith respond therefore to the command and promise of our Lord Yeshua:

‘…give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.’
– Luke 6:38

Brothers and sisters, there is much work to do.

Immanuel is an observant Jew and servant of Rabbi Yeshua MiNatzeret (Jesus of Nazareth). The founder of Kingdom of Heaven Embassies, he is seeking ten men from all the languages of the nations to join him in preparing their nations for the Kingdom of Heaven in accordance with the teaching of R’ Yeshua, that the nations might become one in worshipping his G-d and Father in spirit and truth, and so the blessing of Avraham might come upon them. Learn More

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