In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth; time, space, matter. Then He formed us. We were made special, above all other created beings. We were made in the likeness of Elohim, a mirror image of the Creator.
While the heavens may declare the glory of God, and reveal his intricate handiwork (Psalm 19:1); mankind was made so that YHWH can be glorified within and through us, and by Him we are then glorified (John 13:32). That’s the difference between us and the rest of creation. He glorifies us when we glorify Him. And how do we glorify Him? In John 15:8 (KJV), Yeshua tells us, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”
What fruit are we to bear? Here’s the short list: Love God. Love others as yourself. On these two hang all the rest. (Matt. 22:36-40)
A big part of truly loving YHWH and bearing fruit of godliness is listening to what He has to say, taking Him at His word; and then acting on it. It is reading His Word for what it says and not limiting Him by the ideas of man. YHWH is almighty, all powerful, and all knowing. He makes it clear that His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts greater than our thoughts. (Is. 55:9)
There’s an illustration of a coach holding up a basketball to show all the team members their insignificant knowledge about the sport- the point being to show them they need to shut up and learn. If they truly love the sport, they’ll put effort into doing well with it. I like the version I heard about where the basketball represented everything there is to know, a baseball represented everything the team thought they knew, and the speck of marker on the baseball was how much they actually knew. Can you just see YHWH looking sternly at mankind and saying, “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now gird up your loins like a man, and I ask you, and you answer me. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if you have understanding.” (Job 38:2-4, The Scriptures, ISR 2009) Is it naivety or arrogance which causes us to try to counsel God?
The Scriptures come to mind, where Yeshua is repeatedly rebuking the Pharisees for their pride and only greeting each other in the city, saying “Don’t even the tax collectors do likewise?” He says something to the effect of “This is how they shall know my disciples, by their love.” It’s not an issue of whether you love anyone, but of how you express that. Do you show the love of YHWH, which is not a respecter of persons; or is it a fleshly love, full of sinful thoughts and character?
Is it a love of only those who are just like you? Or do you reach out with the Light of the World and eat with the sinners and tax collectors, the sailors and the whores? How about this one- Do you condemn those whose interpretation varies from yours? Do you argue with your brother or sister in faith because you think you can’t both be right? Is it okay not to be in the mainstream? Or do you follow the streams and rills which branch out to find the cracks and dips and holes which need to be filled? Is the difference in one person’s wearing a head covering or not, or following the crescent moon calendar, or the rabbinical one, or something else entirely, really something to break fellowship over?
We are a body- the body of Messiah, of which Yahshua is the head. Every body part is different, has a different purpose, look, circumstance, and growth into their roles. (Rom. 12:4-5) A body which attacks itself is sick, and will die. Rather it should work together as a whole, respecting the operation and work of the others.
This is our purpose, to show YHWH’s love; or rather, allow him to love through us. It doesn’t matter whether we’re rich or poor, what our occupation is, or if we’re naturally able to get along with people. If we cannot truly love YHWH- and man- none of this will make any difference. (1 Cor. 13:2) For if “we prophecy, and know all secrets and all knowledge, and if we have all belief, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, we are none at all.” (1 Cor. 13:2, ISR) So “let all that you do be done in love.” (1 Cor. 16:14, ISR)
“Do all matters without grumblings and disputings, in order that you be blameless and faultless, children of Elohim without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding on to the Word of life…” (Philippians 2:14-16 The Scriptures 1998+)
“And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not grow weary. So then, as we have occasion, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of the belief.” (Galatians 6:9-10 The Scriptures 1998+)
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Master and not to men, knowing that from the Master you shall receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Master, Messiah, you serve.” (Colossians 3:23-24 The Scriptures 1998+)
In the daily grind, we often forget the big picture, the whole reason we live this life. We get so wound up in trying to figure ourselves out, that we lose sight of the simple things. The point is, whatever you do, do it with love- the love of YHWH. Allow Him to work in and through you, so that others may see Him in you and glorify your Father in heaven. That’s the end goal. That’s our purpose. That is why we’re here. If you do that, everything else will fall into place.
Originally published in HarvestMag, Volume 2 Issue 2, 2014.