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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Seventieth (Carrying Out Orders)

Praise and give thanks to the Lord, for He is good (Psalm 92:1, 107:1)! It's definitely been a week for us! But the Lord saw us through, and had family and a bunch of wonderful people He had placed in our lives provide love and support through it. Sara Gene's still got some recovering to do, but she's well on her way and on a good path to getting back to full strength.

That kind of experience is an example of what Peter was talking about in 1 Peter 1:7. It seems easy when you read verses 3-7, and you're not going through such a harrowing experience, to do exactly what Peter exhorts in these verses. But I'll tell you, when you're faced with uncertainty such as we faced this past week, it's not as easy as it sounds. It is easy to fall into the worldly pattern of feeling helpless, putting all your hope in man and medicine, and living in fear. Just sitting in the emergency room for a few minutes, it was eye opening and saddening to see so many sick and scared people.

Yehovah answers His children though, and I ask that you praise Him and thank Him for that generally, and for the specific experience that I had in that emergency room. There was a particular woman that had a very young baby she was rocking and very anxious about. I don't know when she arrived, as she was already there when I got there, but she was so anxious she couldn't stop moving and she was trying to call anyone she could about her sick baby while she was waiting for him to be seen. I was not the only one that noticed, as two girls that were waiting in line to check in stepped out of line just to try to comfort her. I was so sad for her worry and fear that I prayed for Yehovah to help her with her anxiety. Within a minute or two, they called her name for her baby to be seen. I was just expecting the person on the phone to comfort her as an answer to my prayer, not that she'd be able to see someone sooner!

As things progressed with Sara Gene though, it was me that needed the comforting. There were some pretty scary moments. In a less scary moment, I was watching a video of a pastor and he planted a novel perspective in my mind that relates to Jesus' ministry on earth. The pastor was talking about the Last Supper and when Jesus told the disciples to not let their heart be troubled (John 14:1), and the pastor said he believes that when Jesus gives such a commandment, He gives the power to follow that commandment. This message seemed as though it was meant for me in that moment, as my heart was definitely troubled.

So, this got me thinking, and I thought about how Jesus is the Truth (John 14:6), and He only lives, works and speaks truth. That means He cannot give a commandment that cannot be followed, because the truth would be that He told someone to do something impossible. Being in the military, that is the task leaders like me have when giving orders. We have to ensure the orders we give are able to be carried out. And that's without being able to know all like Jesus does!

When Jesus gave this order, He didn't just give it to the disciples in His presence, He gave it to those who were to read those words thousands of years later (hint: that's us!). And that means, it's an order that we are absolutely able to carry out! We are not to let our hearts be troubled, or upset. He tells us why we are able to carry out this order in verses 2-6, and it all comes down to trust in Him, what He has promised us, and how to receive what He has promised.

His order, in this case, was in response to the disciples being worried about Jesus leaving them, however He gave other commandments as well. In John 13:34, He gave the commandment to love one another. Again, 100% an order that's able to be carried out...although much like not letting our heart be upset, this commandment is easier for us to carry out for some people than others. In Matthew 5, Jesus gave an order to rejoice and be exceedingly glad (vs. 12). He also gave us the order to let our light shine so others can see our good works (vs. 16), and to love our enemies (vs. 44).

These are just a few of Jesus' orders. There are many others, and they are all able to be carried out by anyone and everyone. So, since that is the case, the question then becomes why wouldn't we carry them out? What's stopping us? Or who? Well, I can think of two individuals: us, and Satan himself. It is our choice to keep His orders, and we can let our naturally rebellious hearts (as shown by the rebellion of Adam and Eve to God) decide that we don't keep them, or we can be deceived by Satan into not keeping them.

You see, John told us if we keep Jesus' commandments we are in Him (1 John 2:3-6), and Satan definitely does not want us to be in Him. In fact, this is a message that was important to John as a discriminator between those in Christ and those of Satan (2 John 1:9,10), because we know that who is not for Jesus is against Him (Matthew 12:30).

I encourage you this week to search through the gospels and try to find as many of Jesus' commandments, or orders, that you can. Write them down, and where you found them, and ask yourself if you're carrying out His orders. If not, ask yourself why that is and how you can turn that around. Also, I ask that you pray for all those that are sick and scared, that they turn to Him for comfort and healing.

Shabbat Shalom and God bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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