ESTABLISH YOUR HEART!

8th of the 9th month 2015/2016

Shabbat Shalom,

Ya’aqoḇ/James 5:7-8So, brothers, be patient until the coming of the Master. See, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8 You too, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Master has drawn near.

In this mini parable Ya’aqoḇ encourages us to be patient until the coming of the Master and uses the picture of a farmer who waits for the fruit of the earth to come forth after having received the early and latter rain. He then gives a clear instruction on how one can be patient and that is that we are to establish our hearts! In a message tonight called, ‘ESTABLISH YOUR HEART!’ I want us to be greatly encouraged to do just that and make sure that our hearts remain established in the Truth as we wait patiently for the soon return of our Great and Mighty Master and Elohim.

There are a couple of key elements in the words of Ya’aqoḇ that should remind us to be alert, watchful and sober taught ones of the Master. With the illustration of the enduring patience of a farmer we are able to learn some vital truths of how we are to faithfully endure until the return of our Master and Elohim.

When a farmer goes out to plant seeds he would have to make sure that his ground had been properly prepared and tilled. He would then pant his seeds and then pray for much needed rain in its season as he expectantly waits for the growth of his newly planted seeds that would eventually become strong plants or crops that reach maturity. This takes time and it takes a constant patience of nurturing the ground and plants as they grow, by keeping a watchful eye against any foreign substances that can come in and harm the seeds or growing plants. Ya’aqoḇ tells us in Chapter 1:

Ya’aqoḇ/James 1:4And let endurance have a perfect work, so that you be perfect and complete, lacking in naught.

A farmer cannot rush the process and needs to be patient and not neglect the duties required while being patient!

The imagery of farming and the planting of seeds is used frequently in Scripture as we are able to liken the metaphors contained in these examples of how we are to keep the soil of our hearts in good condition and make sure that they are established in the Truth, having the Good Seed of the Word firmly planted in and kept free of weeds!

יהושע Messiah teaches us a vital lesson on being sober, watchful and awake in a parable He gave about the man who sowed good seed in his field, but while men slept his enemy came and sowed darnel among the wheat and went away. You can read about this in Mattithyahu/Matthew 13:24-30. For more on this parable and the dangers of sleeping you can read the notes of a message I gave a couple of years back called, ‘BUT WHILE MEN SLEPT’, which you can get from our site (Http://atfotc.com)  under the ‘sermons 2013’ menu or by simply clicking on the following link:

http://atfotc.com/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2013/473-but-while-men-slept-matthew-13-24-30-36-43

In the parable of the Sower our Master teaches us a clear lesson on the state of various hearts and the resulting consequences of each heart after the Good Seed of His Word has been sown. In order to bear the peaceable fruit of righteousness we must do our utmost at keeping the soil of our hearts good and endure discipline, and here in the letter of Ya’aqoḇ we are given a clear instruction to be patient, like a farmer waits for his fruit of the earth to receive both the early and latter rains that are vital for the produce to be brought forth in abundance!

The early and latter rains are also powerful pictures of the 2 comings of our Master and Elohim, and while the early rain that pictures His first coming has already taken place and watered us and washed us with His Word, we are to exercise true patience and endurance until the latter rain of His soon return comes. With this realisation we must be urgent in our pursuit of knowing Him, as we see the prophet Hoshěa telling us in:

Hoshěa/Hosea 6:3So let us know, let us pursue to know יהוה. His going forth is as certain as the morning. And He comes to us like the rain, like the latter rain watering the earth.

As we consider the instruction to be patient until the Master’s return along with the words of Hoshěa that tells us to pursue to know יהוה then we must be able to properly recognise that in our patient endurance there must be a proper pursuit of the knowledge of our Elohim! The root word for ‘pursue’ is רָדַף radaph – Strong’s H7291 and carries the meaning, to pursue, chase, follow closely after, aim to secure, run after, hunt, persecute and in the context of pursuing and running after, we note that it is after righteousness and not anything else. If one is truly pursuing something then the focus of the pursuit is so intense on that which is being pursued that there can be no effort spared for anything else! This word gives us the picture of running, and in Scripture we are clearly told how we shall know that we know Elohim:

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:3-5And by this we know that we know Him, if we guard His commands. 4 The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever guards His Word, truly the love of Elohim has been perfected in him.

To know Him is to guard His commands, and guarding is a continual action that must be done each and every day through a proper pursuit as pictured by running, as Dawiḏ makes it clear how he runs, in:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:32 “I run the way of Your commands, for You enlarge my heart.

The Greek word that is used 3 times in Ya’aqoḇ/James 5:7-8 is μακροθυμέω makrothumeō – Strong’s G3114 which means, be patient, have patience, not lose heart, to persevere patiently and bravely in enduring trials and troublesome times, be patient in bearing the offences and injuries of others, slow to anger, longsuffering; and this word comes from two Greek words: a) - μακρός makros – Strong’s G3117 which means, long, far, distant and b) - θυμός thumos – Strong’s G2372 which means, passion, angry tempers, fierce, wrath, outbursts of anger.

Sha’ul tells us in Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 13 that love is patient! We must also be constantly reminded that love for Elohim is to guard His commands:

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy

I do hope you see the obvious here! To be properly patient until our Master’s return entails a proper pursuit to know Him by running in the way of His commands and in the proper execution of patience we show our love for Him by guarding His commands and guarding to soil of our hearts, where His Torah has been firmly planted, and being sober and watchful against the enemy who is constantly seeking an opportunity to sow deception and lies into hearts that are not well tilled, through worries and the cares of this life and the deceit of wealth or the broad path of worldly ways that are full of the lust of eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life!

We must make sure that we retain the good word, so that we bear much fruit of righteousness!

Luqas/Luke 8:15 “And that on the good soil are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, retain it, and bear fruit with endurance.

The Greek word used here in Luqas/Luke 8:15 for ‘retain’ is κατέχω katechō – Strong’s G2722 which means, hold fast, hold firmly, possess, keep secure, and is also used in:

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 10:23Let us hold fast the confession of our expectation without yielding, for He who promised is trustworthy.

Hold fast and retain the Truth without yielding or bending to the compromised ways of the world! The Greek word used for ‘without yielding’ is ἀκλινής aklinēs – Strong’s G186 which means, unbending, without wavering’! Why I am giving you all these root words is to clearly highlight the obvious lessons that are contained in the Scriptures in regards to our need to keep our hearts free from the weeds of deception and compromise, and make sure that we are no longer those who doubt and are being tossed and borne about by every wind of teaching through the corrupt trickery of men that leads many astray!

To be patient calls for us to establish our hearts! The Greek word used in Ya’aqoḇ/James 5:8 for ‘establish’ is στηρίζω stērizō – Strong’s G4741 which means, to make fast, establish, support, fixed, strengthen, and has the understanding, ‘to set fast (your face). This can only happen when one is awake, as it denotes one who has their eyes wide open and is focused on that which strengthens him. We know that our strength comes from Elohim and His Word.

This word is used in the stern admonition of our Master that was given to the assembly in Sardis who were found to be incomplete – that is to say that they were found to have neglected the need to walk fully in the Torah of Elohim and were given a severe warning and wake-up call:

Ḥazon/Revelation 3:2Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete before Elohim.

Wake up and strengthen what remains! This could also be understood as being told to wake up and be established in the Truth! For one to be properly established or strengthened they must wake up and not be found to be sleeping! They thought that they were alive but were dead in their trespasses and had conformed to the ways of the world, as we can see from various archaeological findings that they had simply blended in with this pagan ridden capital, instead of being set-apart and being a clear light of the Truth to the lost! They had wavered in their belief and had not established their hearts in the Truth! If one’s heart is established then it is firm and set and in no need of anything else to be established in it. When one’s heart is not established and is not being strengthened daily by the Word that strengthens and establishes then the real danger of foreign substances being set in a wavering and unstable heart is not realised nor guarded against!

This Greek word use in Ya’aqoḇ/James 5:8 for ‘establish’ - στηρίζω stērizō – Strong’s G4741 – is used in the LXX (Septuagint) in the following verse:

Tehillah/Psalm 112:8 “His heart is upheld, he is not afraid, while he looks on his adversaries.

Here it is translated as ‘upheld’, and the Hebrew word that is used here comes from the root word סָמַךְ samaḵ – Strong’s H5564 which means, to lean, lay, rest, support, uphold, sustain, and can also carry the meaning, to grab hold of.

This Tehillah/Psalm 112 is a psalm of praise to יהוה for how blessed is the man the man who fears יהוה and has delighted in His commands (verse1). The man who fears יהוה and delights in His commands has an established heart! It is the Word of יהוה that establishes and strengthens us, as we see this word סָמַךְ samaḵ – Strong’s H5564 being translated as ‘support’ in:

Tehillah/Psalm 119:116 “Support me according to Your word, that I might live; and put me not to shame because of my expectation.

It is by the Word of Elohim that we are supported and upheld, that we might live and praise His Mighty Name! We are to ‘grab hold of’ His commands and cling to Him in total trust; in order that we do not fall, and find ourselves leaning on our own understanding!

His Word establishes us and as true ambassadors of His coming reign we are therefore called to establish and make firm His Truth in our lives. The Greek word στηρίζω stērizō – Strong’s G4741 comes from the word is ἵστημι histēmi – Strong’s G2476 which means, to make to stand, to stand firm, be established, stand upright, stand ready and prepared, be of a steadfast mind, to uphold and sustain the authority of something, which is translated as ‘established’ in:

Romiyim/Romans 3:31 “Do we then nullify the Torah through the belief? Let it not be! On the contrary, we establish the Torah.

An established heart establishes the Torah and guards to do all that our Master has commanded us to! Anyone who neglects to meditate upon and walk in the Torah and so easily casts the instructions of Elohim aside does not have an established heart! Anyone who compromises their called for set-apartness does not establish their hearts and will not be able to properly endure and be patient until the return of our King! This sobering reality of how many people today have wavering hearts is seen in how easily they are falling away from their steadfast position in the Master through compromise and sin when the pressures and battles of life become too hard for them to endure, which happens when the soil of their hearts are not keep good.

The Greek word ἵστημι histēmi – Strong’s G2476 is also the word used in Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6 where we are told to ‘stand’ firm in the armour of Elohim; and so we can clearly see that this ‘standing’ dressed in the armour of Elohim is an equipped standing of one who has an established heart. The armour of Elohim is our required dress code of righteousness – which is to guard to do all the commands; and when adhered to correctly in those with established hearts then as a faithful set-apart priesthood they are fully equipped and able to be patient and endure with all that our Master has given us for life and reverence, while holding fast to the full assurance of being able to stand before our High Priest and King, יהושע Messiah, when He comes again!

In light of the times in which we live, we are to take heed that we are not deceived. This means that we need to spend more time getting to know the Word, and by doing this we shall establish our hearts and be properly strengthened to stand amidst the raging battles of life. We know that if we stay in the Word, by guarding to do His Word, then we shall know the truth and the truth shall set us free from being weighed down by worldly distractions that only enslave those who are not awake and watchful!

We have a sure hope and because of this sure expectation and sure hope we need to wait patiently and endure by establishing our hearts in the Truth.

Tehillah/Psalm 27:13-14 “What if I had not believed to see the goodness of יהוה in the land of the living! 14 Wait on יהוה, be strong, and let Him strengthen your heart! Wait, I say, on יהוה!

In this verse 13 of Tehillah/Psalm 27 we see the question that Dawiḏ asks, which basically says that ‘what if he did not believe all that he sought after, inquired of and envisioned – what if he didn’t believe – while he was still alive?

How tragic that would have been!!! For many today that tragedy is a reality – they do not believe that they will see the goodness of יהוה, as they cannot see past the troubles they are engulfed in, and here Dawiḏ is saying if he had not believed he would not have survived, yet because of his firm belief/faith he could endure and he leaves us with a strong command in verse 14:

Wait on יהוה’ – and in the Hebrew this word for ‘wait’ is the word קָוָה qavah – Strong’s H6960 which means, to wait for, eagerly wait, expect, hopefully waiting and this word carries the intensity of being commanded to look eagerly for the soon return of our Light, Saviour and Refuge in who we continually trust and praise and are taught by; for when we wait on יהוה our strength is renewed – and waiting on יהוה requires our active response to who He is, with great intensity.

The word in Hebrew for ‘be strong’ is חָזַק ḥazaq – Strong’s H2388 and carries the meaning, to grow firm, fasten upon, strengthen, take hold of and can have the concept of ‘grasp between your ears’.

When we grasp between our ears what we ought to, then יהוה will ‘strengthen’ us which is the root word - אָמֵץ amats H553 – which means ‘to be alert both physically and mentally, be fully alert – awake and not asleep, be steadfast’.

Again we see in:

Tehillah/Psalm 31:24 “Be strong, and let Him strengthen your heart, all you who are waiting for יהוה.

The Greek word used in the LXX here in Tehillah/Psalm 31:24 and 27:14 for ‘strengthened’ is κραταιόω krataioō – Strong’s G2901 which means, to strengthen, become strong, made strong, grow strong and is used in:

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 16:13 “Watch, stand fast in the belief, be men, be strong.

What becomes abundantly clear is that we must establish our hearts, and it is our Master and Elohim who is able to establish us in His Word, and having believed in Him we must hold firm to a heart that remains established and unwavering in the Truth, keeping the soil of our hearts good and free from deceit and false traditions of man that run contrary to the Master, as Sha’ul tells us in:

Qolasim/Colossians 2:6-8 “Therefore, as you accepted Messiah יהושע the Master, walk in Him, 7 having been rooted and built up in Him, and established in the belief, as you were taught, overflowing in it with thanksgiving. 8 See to it that no one makes a prey of you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary matters of the world, and not according to Messiah.

What I am highlighting for us tonight is the call for us to have hearts that are established in the Truth and hearts that are continually being strengthened and established in the Master, knowing that His coming has drawn near and it is with urgency that we guard the good deposit that has been entrusted to us and not hide the light of the Truth but do our utmost in bearing the peaceable fruit of righteousness in all we say and do. While we cannot see the hearts of others we recognise the warning that Yirmeyahu gives us by telling us that the heart is crooked and sick and only יהוה knows the hearts, yet the one who trusts in יהוה is blessed and will bear good fruit!

Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 17:7-10 “Blessed is the man who trusts in יהוה, and whose trust is יהוה. 8 “For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and does not see when heat comes. And his leaf shall be green, and in the year of drought he is not anxious, nor does he cease from yielding fruit. 9 “The heart is crooked above all, and desperately sick – who shall know it? 10 “I, יהוה, search the heart, I try the kidneys, and give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.

The way to establish our hearts is to allow the Master to search us and try us and cause His Word to richly dwell in us as we meditate on His Word day and night, giving us the firm ability to be patient and wait on Him!

As we stay in our Master and keep our hearts established in the Truth we shall have boldness at His coming as Yoḥanan makes this clear to us, in:

Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:28And now, little children, stay in Him, so that when He appears, we might have boldness and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.

Establish your heart is the clear call that I am echoing from the Word tonight. While I might often sound repetitive I do so with purpose, and am reminded of the words of Kěpha who teaches us to makes sure that we are doing our utmost to make firm our calling and choosing, and if we are adding to our belief uprightness, to uprightness knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control endurance, to endurance reverence, to reverence brotherly affection, and to brotherly affection love, then we shall not stumble at all, for our hearts will be firmly established in the Truth. He then goes on and says in:

Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 1:12And so I intend to remind you of these matters again and again, though you know them and have been established in the present truth.

We do need to be constantly reminded about these matters and we do need to be constantly reminded that we are to establish our hearts and be patient as we endure with great expectation for our Master’s soon return!

Establish your heart is the call – and make sure you are doing this constantly!!!

How established in your heart? Is His Word firmly planted in and producing fruit or have you allowed foreign matters to be planted in and choke out the Truth leaving you exhausted and troubled with doubts? It is time for the Bride to have an established heart, a heart that is set-apart unto Elohim in all matters with no room for compromise at all!

Establish your heart in the Master, for this is the only way you will faithfully endure and be patient until He comes!

I will close with the words of Kěpha from both of his letters:

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 5:10-11And the Elohim of all favour, who called you to His everlasting esteem by Messiah יהושע, after you have suffered a while, Himself perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the esteem and the might forever and ever. Aměn.

Kěpha Bět/2 Peter 3:17-18You, then, beloved ones, being forewarned, watch, lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the delusion of the lawless, 18 but grow in the favour and knowledge of our Master and Saviour יהושע Messiah. To Him be the esteem both now and to a day that abides. Aměn.

 

ESTABLISH YOUR HEARTS, FOR THE COMING OF THE MASTER HAS DRAWN NEAR!

יהוה bless your and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom