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The Obligation not to Waste Time
The Obligations of the Student Part 7
(Slide) The faith of Yahweh is very confronting. Sacred names and the Torah aside, it isn’t easy for one who wants to keep their relationship with the Father at arm’s length, to truly walk in His ways. His counsel should continue to challenge and provoke us at every turn.
This walk constantly calls us from our comfort zone and puts us at odds with the masses. Speaking frankly, if I may, it ruins your life. What does that mean?
It means it ruins ruined living! Walking in truth ruins ruined living! It puts us to death! We crucify our former selves.
Crucifixion is a painful death.
Today we have a very limited idea of crucifixion. There was no official, regularly-practiced method.
Few victims were crucified with nails through their palms. A victim’s whole weight on this relatively delicate area would cause the hand to tear enough that the person could pull the nail through the whole hand and free their upper bodies. People were crucified through the wrists, which were harder to tear loose. Anatomists know that the wrist and the hand are included together when describing the general area of the hand.
Nailing a person's feet to the upright section of the cross wasn't an afterthought. Precisely how the lower body was treated could affect how long a person lived. Most victims simply had their feet nailed into the wood so that their knees were bent at forty-five degree angles. Some had their legs broken. Whether this was an act of cruelty or mercy depends on one's perspective.
Hanging from the arms for any considerable length of time is painful. Once the muscles give out it is excruciating. Shoulders separate from the sockets and the overall arm can lengthen by inches. Most people would try to support themselves by putting pressure on their injured feet, but with their legs bent and their feet nailed through it was only a matter of time before their leg strength gave way as well. Breaking their legs was horrible, but on the other hand, allowing them to support themselves prolonged their suffering.
What part of their suffering lead to death is debatable. One doctor believed that crucified people, after much torment, died via a "voluntary surrender of life." Some think that the wounds elsewhere in the body sent a blood clot to the heart. One expert in forensic medicine, Frederick Zugibe, actually tied himself and volunteers to a cross to monitor what physically takes place during a crucifixion. He concluded that victims died from "hypovolemic shock." This condition sets in when a body has lost so much blood and fluid that the heart can't continue to function.
Most experts agree, though, that what ultimately kills a crucified person is suffocation. Either the body loses so much oxygen that the person smothers, or the carbon dioxide level in the body goes up so much that the body tissues turn acidic and destroy their own cells. How fast it happens depends on a lot of factors.
To be crucified was the greatest shame imaginable, and we are commanded to own that shame as having been our own. “Therefore let us go to Him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace He bore. (Hebrews 13:13)” In crucifixion there was no dignity afforded the victim.
(Slide) Such a one was not given the dignity of being clothed or was he able to repel flies of birds of prey. Leading up to the impaling was a heaving flogging, which was designed to wear down the victim. Once hung it would be impossible to retain control over bodily functions. It causes the body to distort and become covered in blood, sweat, urine and faeces.
In Jewish Halacha there is a law concerning inflicting discipline on a minor that is interesting. If a father strikes his child with a rod to discipline him and he raises the rod and the child wets himself there is a curious ruling. If this happens, the father cannot strike the child. Why? Because shame is considered worse punishment than the pain he was about to inflict.
Anyone who tells you that walking this walk will relieve you of the need to put in time and effort and even suffering, they haven’t read the Word they purport to follow. On the contrary, the word tells us to weigh up the cost.
"If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even their own life--such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their gallows and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won't you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, 'This person began to build and wasn't able to finish.' "Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won't he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? (Luke 14:26-35)” If one is reluctant to give time, effort and even resources toward the kingdom, why should they think that if the time arises they would give up their very life?
What type of a religion’s catch-cry is “Join with us and suffer?” Ours.
“Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Yahshua HaMoshiach. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for Yahweh will give you insight into all this. Remember Yahshua HaMoshiach, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is the full measure of my good news, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But Elohim’s word is not chained. Therefore, I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Yahshua HaMoshiach, with eternal glory. Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. Know that we, in this life are beset upon by many things, but in just a little while we shall receive a crown of life. (2 Timothy 2:1-13)” Our walk is not dissimilar to that of a soldier. In fact, it’s exactly the same. Nothing’s different!
In a letter to a Jewish army Chaplin in 1976, Rebbe Menachem Schneerson wrote this:
“Every Jew is always a ‘soldier’ in the service of Gd, including the duty of spreading Gdliness among fellow-Jews, with emphasis on the actual deed, namely, fulfillment of Gd's commands, the Mitzvos, in the daily life…“The whole military establishment is based on discipline and obedience to orders. A soldier receiving an order from his commanding officer must carry it out promptly, even if it may seem irrational to him. No soldier can claim that his conduct is his personal affair, and he is prepared to take the consequences, for the consequences would not be confined to him, but to the entire sector, with far-reaching consequences in a time of emergency for the entire front and the country. A further point is that it is quite irrelevant if in civilian life the private was superior to his commanding officer in other areas, in physics, astronomy, and the like; in the military, he must bow to the superiority of his commander, who is the expert.
All these points and the whole military training and environment make the Jewish serviceman particularly responsive to Yiddishkeit (Judaism).”
Now this is talking about Judaism, but it is no different to our faith in this regard. In fact, this letter attests that Judaism is the same faith in this aspect as the one being spoken about in 2 Timothy 2
You are different. Like a soldier is different. A Soldier thinks differently to a civilian. He dressing differently, he maintains his surroundings differently, he even sleeps and eats differently. There’s regimentation to what he does. He is always alert and ready.
A soldier is willing to get his hands dirty for a cause.
“You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of Elohim, you will receive what he has promised. For, in just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay. And, but my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back. But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. (Hebrews 10:34-39)”
In other words, work hard, because slackers don’t make it.
Now we’ve got that out of the way.
Okay, there’s a good chance that most of us haven’t been walking the correct work before we came to know about the Torah, the Sabbaths and the Covenant, truth be told even now, some things need to be rectified. So we’ve largely squandered our time in loose living. So how do we fix that? Is lost time simply lost time that we are never destined to get back. Certainly being “born again” doesn’t reset back to the beginning of our lives.
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of Adonai is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is Yahweh’s will, we will live and do this or that.’” (James 4:13-15) Time seems to slip away from us so easily, seemingly out of our control. There are only so many hours in a day, a week, and a year. However, Yahweh created time and gave it to us to manage.
“Show me, Yahweh, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure. "Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be. "But now, Yahweh, what do I look for? My hope is in you. (Psalm 39:4-7)”
Our days are numbered by Yahweh. Time or the counting of our numbered days is the most precious resource we have, which is why we need to regularly evaluate and manage our time according to Yahweh’s purpose for your life.
“My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and they come to an end without hope.” (Job 7:6) When a person thinks they are dying, they immediately reflect on their life, what they spent their time doing and if they felt that they wasted it, this is the biggest regret as they take their last breath.
“The steps of a good man are ordered by Yahweh: and he delights in his way.” (Psalm 37:23)
“Man's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed. (Job 14:5)”
“Trust in Yahweh with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5, 6)”
“Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)”
In other words, By Yahweh’s Torah I can see where I'm going; they throw a beam of light on my dark road.
The more effort we put into Yahweh, the more effort He puts into us. So to, the more people we have who are committed in all areas of their walk, the more opportunity leaders and teachers have to focus on the message. How so? If we have enough regular funds and resources then we can have people in leadership that can withdraw from secular life and focus 100% on nurturing and feeding people.
“…the laborer is worthy of his hire.” (Luke 10:7)
“The elders who direct the affairs of the congregation are well worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, ‘Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,’ (Deuteronomy 25:4) and ‘The worker deserves his wages.’ (Luke 10:7)” (1Timothy 5:17, 18)
“If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? If others have this right of support from you, shouldn't we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the full message of Messiah. Don't you know that those who work in the Temple get their food from the Temple, and those who serve at the Altar share in what is offered on the Altar? In the same way, Yahweh has commanded that those who preach the full message should receive their living from the message.” (1 Corinthians 9:11-14)
The word used in Ephesians 5 for “redeem” is the Greek word ἐξαγοράζω “eksägorä'zō” meaning “to redeem or to make wise and sacred use of every opportunity.” It is translated from the Hebrew phrase דִּי עִדָּנָא “di iydänä” meaning “to make the most of.” So, in this passage we are commanded to “make the most of our time, or the days will work against us.”
If you do not manage your time life becomes disorganised. You become “governed by the tyranny of the urgent.” (“Parkinson’s Law,” by Cyril Northcote Parkinson, The Economist, 1955)
“For, ‘Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of Yahweh are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of Yahweh is against those who do evil.’ (Psalm 34:12-16)” (1 Peter 3:10-12)
That takes time management.
How can you know if you’re not managing your time effectively? There are some traits: clutter in your house, car, desk, or any horizontal surfaces you have dominion over; series of undone, forgotten tasks and appointments; you would rather spend energy in satisfying but unproductive tasks; feeling poorly about your work; your life comes under the influence of dominant people around you; you surrender to the demands of the emergency; and you no longer enjoy intimacy, even with Yahweh. If you have any of these symptoms, you need to learn to redeem your time. Your life is out of control.
The Scottish preacher Alexander MacLaren (1826–1910) once said: "No unwelcome tasks become any the less unwelcome by putting them off till tomorrow. It is only when they are behind us and done, that we begin to find that there is a sweetness to be tasted afterwards, and that the remembrance of unwelcome duties unhesitatingly done is welcome and pleasant. Accomplished, they are full of blessing, and there is a smile on their faces as they leave us. Undone, they stand threatening and disturbing our tranquility, and hindering our communion with [Yahweh]. If there be lying before you any bit of work from which you shrink, go straight up to it, and do it at once. The only way to get rid of it is to do it."
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are just big travel journals of King Messiah YahShua’s life and mission. For instance, in Luke 9:51 King Messiah YahShua announced that it was time to make their way to Jerusalem. However, instead of just going up to Jerusalem, a lot of other things happened. Here are some highlights: Luke 10, the Messiah takes time to send out 70 of His followers on training mission; Luke 10-13 we see the Messiah taking out time to visit people in their homes; Luke 13 the Messiah stops and teaches in each of the villages He passes along the way from Galilee to Judea; He was interrupted constantly on His way by lepers calling out to Him and He took the time to heal them (Luke 17:11-19), a blind man called out to Him and again He took the time to heal him (Luke 18:31-43), and when He sees the tax collector Zacheus He takes time out to go and stay at his house (Luke 19:1-8). It seems that by the time of the blind man showed up the disciples were getting awfully impatient.
Was King Messiah YahShua managing His time well? Well, let’s look for any symptoms. With all of these so-called interruptions along the way YahShua stops but never seems frantic or stressed; never seems to have to play "catch up"; never do we get the sense that He’s "behind schedule"; He even manages to spend time alone time regularly in prayer. King Messiah YahShua was redeeming the time.
King Messiah Yahshua’s mission was not just to go to Jerusalem; there was something way bigger.
“I was sent only to the Lost Sheep of Israel.” (Matthew 15:24)
King Messiah YahShua had a clear sense of mission. “YahShua said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. (Luke 19:9, 10)’”
He ordered his time according to his sense of mission. Everything He did was to express His mission to gather up Israel, wherever they may be found and to join them with Judah and reform the Kingdom of Yahweh.
Do you understand your mission?
“Do not go the way of the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the Lost Sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is near.’” (Matthew 10:5-7)
Everything in your life should go to support that mission.
Every successful business has a clear mission statement. Do you know what ours is?
It is our single purpose to be a Community of Yahweh, which strives to proclaim the saving full message of YahShua the Messiah as revealed in the Scriptures, by which alone man can know the true Elohim and the way to eternal life. This our purpose and commitment rests upon the following statements of the Scriptures:
“All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father by authority of the Son through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
This is our responsibility; this is our commandment; this is our commission; and this is our message: “And this Full Messianic Message of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) Can you articulate your mission in life?
“So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)
Time is the most precious resource that we have stewardship of. Just as you budget your money, you should budget your time.
How does one budget their time?
- Recognize your strengths and limitations. When are you at your strongest or weakest? Are you a morning person, a noonday person or a night person? Whatever kind of person you are your time with prayer – communication with Yahweh. Just as knowing what kind of day person you are, you must ask what part of the week, month or year is your strongest? Once you know that you know when your when and how to harvest your time.
- Prioritize your time. Identify the non-negotiables. Your secular job demands a certain amount of your time. However, remember family is more important than job. So, make sure you reserve quality time for them. Yahweh commands a certain amount of your time: prayer time during the day, Sabbath Days, and New Moons. These are non-negotiables. Your job may be more demanding and urgent, but it is not as important as serving Yahweh. Now you may be treating Yahweh’s time as optional and if you are then you are a time bandit. Over time, time stealing will take its toll. Time with Yahweh is sacred and unapologetic.
- Have a workable criteria for managing your time. Identify what is important and allocate time for it. Identify what is not important and treat it as such. Identify what is killing your time and avoid it.
- All time has to be managed and all of your activities must be noted.
- Make time to work your mission.
Based on the teachings of the ROM.