Therefore, Set Apart and beloved, as the elect of Elohim, put on yourselves the compassions and tenderness, and graciousness and humbleness of mind, and gentleness and longsuffering. And be you generous towards one another and forgiving to one another: and if anyone has a complaint against his neighbor, as the Mashiach forgave you, so also do you forgive. And with all these (join) love, which is the girdle of perfection. And let the peace of Mashiach direct your hearts for to that you have been called, in one body; and be thankful to the Mashiach. And let his word dwell in you richly with all wisdom. And teach and admonish yourselves by psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, and with grace in your hearts sing you to Elohim. And, whatever you do in word or act, do it in the name of our Master Yeshua the Mashiach, and give thanksgiving through him to Elohim the Father (Colossians 3:12-17, AENT).

And whatever you do, do it with your whole soul as to our Master (Yeshua), and not as to men: and know you from our Master Yeshua you will receive a recompense as the inheritance; for you serve Master HaShem, the Mashiach. But the delinquent will receive a recompense according to the delinquency; and there is no respect of persons (Colossians 3:23-25).

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The Father’s word is so clear and so perfect in goodness. All the Scriptures instruct us how to behave through the love of HaShem. It tells us to do this, don’t do that, if this, then that, embrace this, resist that, and so on. Of course, we have to know the word in order to do this with confidence instead of that. Instinctively, we may know one choice is better than another by means of a little common sense, but sometimes it isn’t so clear. That is when we need the confidence of knowing the mind of HaShem and His principles laid out in Scripture. His word does not fail us when we apply it. But do we apply it?

When we read or hear HaShem’s word, what kind of filters do we have up? Have you ever read His word looking for a particular Scripture you needed in a moment; and in the process – because you read in context – you come across a piece of a verse that applies to you on an issue you’re not ready to deal with yet? Perhaps, the time may be right. You meditate on it and let His Spirit work in you. But, often the temptation is to skip over that issue and it can happen even subconsciously.

Sometimes, we become so familiar with a sin that it becomes part of us and not acknowledged as sin. We may start to look at it as just part of who we are or maybe call it a personality flaw. Some may call it a little sin that somehow doesn’t matter, even saying everybody does it. That begs the questions, to whom doesn’t it matter? And who’s everybody?

It’s like the husband who reads the last half of verse 33 of Ephesians 5 which says “and let the wife revere her husband.” All the while, he is yelling this at her having glossed over the first part of the verse which instructs husbands to love their wives as they love their own bodies. The “and” should have been a hint that there are two parts to the equation.

Or, consider the woman who understands Scripture tells us to give to the poor and so she does, but she is a respecter of persons in who she decides to give to.  HaShem is not a respecter of persons and if we are to walk in His ways, should we not have his heart for all people?

As believers, with the Spirit of HaShem in us, we should be changed and constantly aware of His voice bending us to walk in His way. We should be pliable and willing vessels eager to do His will. 1 John 1:6-10 says:

 “And if we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we are liars and walk not in the truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with each other and the blood of Yeshua His Son cleanses us from all sin. And if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all our inequity. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not with us.”

John has some straight to the point words in these verses. All sin, disregarding classifications of small or large, is walking in darkness and it keeps us separated from the Father. Saying we are the L-RD’s children and that we have fellowship with Him while walking in sin is a lie. It is a false picture of the change His Spirit makes in us. We have truly deceived ourselves if we think we can claim righteousness and consciously walk in sin. Hear what John says, “If we say we have not sinned, we make him [HaShem] a liar and His word is not with us.”

Who as a believer would voluntarily say, G-D’s word is not in me? Probably no one. But if we are consciously sinning and making excuses for it, we would have to say it. We can deceive ourselves, but we cannot deceive HaShem. We may be able to deceive others as well, but we cannot deceive HaShem. Consider who do we ultimately answer to? Who is it that we cannot hide from no matter where we go? From outer space to the deepest ocean floor, we can’t hide our sin from HaShem. May it not be so among us to be liars.

We are called to be a Set Apart, holy people as one body which means we all function together. We’re not little islands in the body of Mashiach doing our own thing and not affecting those around us.

Can the hand be sick and wounded without affecting the rest of the body? No. Signals go off and white blood cells start running over. Histamines may start swimming in. When alarms continue, the temperature starts rising. When one part gets sick, all the body gets involved to try to stabilize it in a series of escalating steps.

We too have to hold each other accountable so we maintain a healthy body. We grow and mature when everyone is properly nourished and functioning in sync. We all have different roles, but each role is to function in a fundamental healthy way so that we stay harmonious with one another.

It all starts with us doing the self-check. Am I operating in HaShem’s love and in His principles in my behavior and my actions towards others? Am I making myself more conscious of His voice and of those Scriptures I may be overlooking to correct my weaknesses? Do I need to ask the L-RD for forgiveness for sinning against Him and also not shining the light of truth to others?

Our biggest stumbling block to ourselves and others coming to faith is our hypocrisy in what being transformed by Yeshua the Mashiach means. If we remember the release from the captivity of sin we received when we first professed our faith in Mashiach and allow that knowledge along with his way to reign in our hearts and minds, it will transform us and empower us to resist the evil inclination and the enemy of our souls. We can consciously walk as overcomers, more than conquerors, victorious, and Set Apart as He created us to be all of our days. Let us not give lip service to who we are. Let us walk in righteousness faithfully as He is faithful to be with us always. Amein and amein.