When you get dressed, how do you want the world to see you today?
Your beauty should not consist in externals such as fancy hairstyles, gold jewelry or what you wear; rather,
Let it be the inner character of your heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit.
In God’s sight this is of great value.
(1 Peter 3:3-4)
When You ascended on high, You took many captives; You received gifts from people, even from the rebellious– that You, LORD God, might dwell there. (Psalm 68:18)
I Will Extol You, O Lord
Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me; O LORD, be my helper.
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever. (Psalm 30:10-12)
A time to weep and a time to laugh, A time to mourn and a time to dance.
Therefore, if you have any encouragement for me from your being in union with the Messiah, any comfort flowing from love, any fellowship with me in the Spirit, or any compassion and sympathy, then complete my joy by having a common purpose and a common love, by being one in heart and mind.
Do nothing out of rivalry or vanity; but, in humility, regard each other as better than yourselves —
Look out for each other’s interests and not just for your own.
Let your attitude toward one another be governed by your being in union with the Messiah Yeshua:
Though He was in the form of God,
He did not regard equality with God
something to be possessed by force.
On the contrary, He emptied himself,
in that He took the form of a slave
by becoming like human beings are.
And when He appeared as a human being,
He humbled Himself still more
by becoming obedient even to death —
death on a stake as a criminal!
Therefore God raised Him to the highest place
and gave Him the name above every name;
that in honor of the name given Yeshua,
every knee will bow —
in heaven, on earth and under the earth —
and every tongue will acknowledge
that Yeshua the Messiah is Adonai —
to the glory of God the Father.
So, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed when I was with you, it is even more important that you obey now when I am away from you: keep working out your deliverance with fear and trembling,
For God is the one working among you both the willing and the working for what pleases Him.
Do everything without kvetching or arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure children of God,
without defect in the midst of a twisted and perverted generation,
among whom you shine like stars in the sky, as you hold on to the Word of Life.
If you do this, I will be able to boast, when the Day of the Messiah comes, that I did not run or toil for nothing.
Indeed, even if my lifeblood is poured out as a drink offering over the sacrifice and service of your faith,
I will still be glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise, you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
No one who hopes in You will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause. (Psalm 25:3)
Look to Him and shine,
so shame will never contort your faces.
Letter to Laodicea
Write down My words, and send them to the messenger of the church in Laodicea.
“These are the words of the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of God’s creation:
“I know your works. You are neither cold with apathy nor hot with passion.
It would be better if you were one or the other, but you are neither.
So because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot,
I will vomit you out of My mouth.
You claim, ‘I am rich, I have accumulated riches, and I need nothing’; but you do not realize that you are miserable, pathetic, poor, blind, and naked.
So here is what I suggest you do: buy true gold from Me (gold refined by fire so that you can be truly rich), white garments (to cover you so that you can keep the shame of your nakedness from showing), and eye ointment (to treat your eyes so that you may see clearly).
“Those I love I also correct and discipline.
***Therefore, be shamelessly committed to Me, and turn back.***
Now pay attention; I am standing at the door and knocking.
If any of you hear My voice and open the door, then I will come in to visit with you and to share a meal at your table, and you will be with Me.
“The one who conquers through faithfulness even unto death I will place next to Me on My throne, just as I Myself conquered and took a place of honor with My Father on His throne.
“Let the person who is able to hear, listen to and follow what the Spirit proclaims to all the churches.”
So what about Judah and Tamar?
And this is the reason he himself gives of her being more righteous than he:
“…because I gave her not to Shelah my son; as he ought to have done, and as he promised he would.”
“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old,
‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’
But I say to you,
Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is His footstool,
or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”
(Jesus speaking Matthew 5:33-37)
You will make your prayer to Him, and He will hear you, and you will pay your vows. (Job 22:27)
I must perform my vows to You, O God; I will render thank offerings to You. (Psalm 56:12)
To: God’s people living…that is, those who are trusting in the Messiah Yeshua:
Grace to you and shalom from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.
Praised be Adonai, Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah,
Who in the Messiah has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heaven.
In the Messiah He chose us in love before the creation of the universe to be holy and without defect in His presence.
He determined in advance that through Yeshua the Messiah we would be His sons —
in keeping with His pleasure and purpose —
so that we would bring Him praise commensurate with the glory of the grace He gave us through the Beloved One.
In union with Him, through the shedding of His blood, we are set free —
our sins are forgiven; this accords with the wealth of the grace He has lavished on us.
In all His wisdom and insight He has made known to us His secret plan,
which by His own will He designed beforehand in connection with the Messiah
and will put into effect when the time is ripe —
His plan to place everything in heaven and on earth under the Messiah’s headship.
Also in union with Him we were given an inheritance,
we who were picked in advance according to the purpose of the One who effects everything in keeping with the decision of His will, so that we who earlier had put our hope in the Messiah would bring Him praise commensurate with His glory.
Furthermore, you who heard the message of the truth,
the Good News offering you deliverance,
and put your trust in the Messiah were sealed by Him with the promised Ruach HaKodesh,
who guarantees our inheritance until we come into possession of it and thus bring Him praise commensurate with His glory.
For this reason, ever since I heard about your trust in the Lord Yeshua and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you. In my prayers I keep asking the God of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, the glorious Father, to give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you will have full knowledge of Him.
I pray that He will give light to the eyes of your hearts, so that you will understand the hope to which He has called you,
what rich glories there are in the inheritance He has promised His people,
and how surpassingly great is His power working in us who trust Him.
It works with the same mighty strength He used
when He worked in the Messiah to raise Him from the dead and seat Him at His right hand in heaven,
far above every ruler, authority, power, dominion
or any other name that can be named either in the ‘olam hazeh or in the ‘olam haba.
Also, He has put all things under His feetand made Him head over everything for the Messianic Community,
which is His body, the full expression of Him who fills all creation.
(Ephesians 1: 2-23)
For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.
Taste and See the Lord is Good
I sought the LORD, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces will never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him And saved him out of all his troubles
Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone.
If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody.
Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do.
“I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.
“You are more righteous than I,” he said. “You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly.”
In Genesis 38 we see the barren mourning widow Tamar turn from waiting for her father in law, Judah, to do the right thing to turn to waiting on the LORD to reveal His plan for her life. In the process, she was forever changed.
He truly turned her mourning in joy for He clothed her in
His righteousness as she trusted in His timing for her life’s purpose being fulfilled.
The Lord turned the barren mourning widow into a joyful mother of twins!
One whose destiny was born to be an ancestor to Jesus the Messiah.
It was about this time that Judah decided to leave home, so he parted company with his brothers and went to see Hirah, a fellow from Adullam. When he was there, Judah laid eyes on the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua. He married her and slept with her. She conceived and gave birth to her first son. Judah named him Er. She conceived again and gave birth to her second son, whom she named Onan. She then gave birth to her third son, and she named him Shelah.
(Judah was away in Chezib when she gave birth to him.)
Now Judah arranged for Er, his firstborn, to marry a woman named Tamar.
But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was a particularly wretched human being in the eyes of the Eternal One, and so the Eternal ended his life.
Judah summoned his second son, Onan.
Judah (to Onan): You know our customs and the duty of a brother-in-law in a situation like this. You must go and marry your brother’s wife and make sure your brother has an heir.
Resentful that any child born in this kind of marriage would not be his, Onan would interrupt intercourse and spill his semen onto the ground whenever he slept with his brother’s wife. That way he would not father a child that would belong to his brother. Onan’s selfish behavior was as wretched as his brother’s to the eyes of the Eternal One; so the Eternal ended Onan’s life like his brother. Judah summoned his daughter-in-law Tamar.
Judah: Tamar, it is best if you remain a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up.
Now Judah said this because he was afraid that Shelah, too, would die as his brothers had. So Tamar went and remained a widow with her father.
After losing two sons, Judah thinks Tamar must be a dangerous woman. What he isn’t willing to admit is that his own sons were wicked.
After a while, Judah’s wife (Shua’s daughter) also died. When Judah’s time of mourning was over, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite went to Timnah to work with his sheepshearers and enjoy the festivities. When Tamar learned that her father-in-law would be coming to Timnah to shear his sheep, she took off her widow’s clothes, put on a veil to conceal her true identity, and sat down at the entrance to Enaim along the road to Timnah. You see, Tamar harbored deep resentment toward her father-in-law because she knew by this time that Shelah had grown up, but she had not been given to him in marriage as Judah had promised. When Judah passed by and saw her, he thought she was a prostitute because she had her face covered. He decided to proposition her, so he walked over to her by the roadside.
Judah: Come on, I want to have sex with you.
He had no idea she was his daughter-in-law, but she had a proposition of her own.
Tamar: What will you give me in return if I do?
Judah: I’ll send you a young goat from my flock. How about that?
Tamar: Only if you give me something to hold until you send it.
Judah: What should I give you as my personal guarantee?
Tamar: Your personal seal on the cord you wear around your neck, plus the staff you carry.
Tamar knows Judah cannot be trusted, so she asks for two items so personal and unique they can easily be linked to him.
Judah did as she asked and gave her his seal and walking stick. He then went and slept with her, and she conceived his child. Then she got up, took off the veil, and went back home, putting on her widow’s clothes once again.
We want you to walk in the footsteps of the faithful who came before you,
From whom you can learn to be steadfast in pursuing the promises of God. (Hebrews 6:12)
Judah kept his word and sent his friend Hirah the Adullamite with the young goat so he could retrieve his seal and walking stick from the woman. But Judah’s friend couldn’t find her anywhere.
Hirah the Adullamite (to Timnah’s elders): What happened to the temple prostitute who was at Enaim by the side of the road?
Elders: We have not seen any temple prostitute here.
Bewildered, the Adullamite returned to Judah.
Hirah the Adullamite: I couldn’t find her, and what’s odd is that the elders claimed they haven’t seen any temple prostitutes around there.
Judah: Well let her keep my things then. If you go back, we’ll be laughed at. I did what I promised. I sent the young goat, and you tried but could not find her.
Approximately three months later, someone told Judah, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has been promiscuous. It’s obvious her business has even made her pregnant.”
Judah: Bring her out and expose her for what she is, and then let her be burned.
As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law.
Tamar: It was the owner of these items who made me pregnant. Please, take a close look and tell me whose personal seal, cord, and walking stick these are.
When Judah saw them, he realized they were his.
Judah: She is more in the right than I am. I did not keep my word and give her in marriage to my son, Shelah.
Judah didn’t sleep with her again.
When the time came for her to deliver, she discovered she was carrying twins. While she was in labor, one of them put out a hand; and the midwife tied a scarlet thread on it, so she would know which one came out first. But just then he drew his hand back into the womb, and his brother came out first. The midwife had never seen anything quite like this.
Midwife: What a breach you’ve made here, little one!
So the child was named Perez. His brother followed, the one with the scarlet thread on his hand. He was named Zerah.
“To the angel of the Messianic Community in Philadelphia, write: ‘Here is the message of HaKadosh, the True One, the one who has the key of David, who, if he opens something, no one else can shut it, and if he closes something, no one else can open it. “I know what you are doing. Look, I have put in front of you an open door, and no one can shut it. I know that you have but little power, yet you have obeyed my message and have not disowned me. Here, I will give you some from the synagogue of the Adversary, those who call themselves Jews but aren’t — on the contrary, they are lying — see, I will cause them to come and prostrate themselves at your feet, and they will know that I have loved you. Because you did obey my message about persevering, I will keep you from the time of trial coming upon the whole world to put the people living on earth to the test. I am coming soon; hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown. I will make him who wins the victory a pillar in the Temple of my God, and he will never leave it. Also I will write on him the name of my God and the name of my God’s city, the new Yerushalayim coming down out of heaven from my God, and my own new name. Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities.”’
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you:
Compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.
Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense.
Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.
And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment.
Never be without it.
Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You I pray. (Psalm 5:2)
For the dedication of the temple.
I will exalt you, LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. (Psalm 30:1)
I will extol the LORD at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. (Psalm 34:1)
I cried out to Him with my mouth; His praise was on my tongue. (Psalm 66:17)
My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise His holy name for ever and ever. (Psalm 145:21)
Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are His. (Daniel 2:20)
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, (Psalm 1:1)
I Will Exalt You, My God, the King
I will extol You, my God, O King, And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever. (Psalm 145:1-2)
The wedding garment represents God’s righteousness. This is a concept explained on several occasions in both the Old and New Testaments. Isaiah described our righteousness as filthy rags (Isa 64:6) and God’s righteousness as “garments of salvation” and “robes of righteousness” (Isa 61:10) where the acquisition of these qualities is likened to clothing given us at a wedding.
I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels (Isa 61:10).
In Revelation 19 the church has been prepared as a bride having been clothed in white linen, representing our righteousness. But as in Isaiah 61:10, the righteousness symbolized by the clothing is given to the bride, not purchased or earned. Paul said that ours is a righteousness that comes to us through faith (Romans 3:21-22).
The fact that a guest is thrown out into the darkness for not wearing wedding clothes indicates these last minute guests are required to be clothed in “garments of salvation” as well. Rev. 16:15 tells us Tribulation believers will have to “keep their clothes with them.” In other words they’ll be responsible for maintaining the righteousness they will have been given by obeying God’s commandments and remaining faithful to Jesus (Rev. 14:12). Only the Church has been promised the gift of eternal security.
Therefore the guest who was escorted out had been a Tribulation believer who was now trying to gain entrance to the banquet in his own clothing, having lost or discarded the “garment of salvation” he’d been given. He was hoping to gain entrance to the kingdom in his own righteousness, which as Isaiah said, is like filthy rags in God’s sight.