Sermon for March 6, 2022

The Deep Breath That Makes You New

(Rightly doing things THE WAY God intended)

Joel 2:1-2 TLV Blow the shofar in Zion! Sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all living in the land tremble—for the day of Adonai is coming—surely it is near!  (2)  A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, as blackness spreads over the mountains. A great and mighty people—from antiquity there was never anything like it, nor after it ever again from generation to generation.

Joel 2:12-17 TLV “Yet even now”—it is a declaration of Adonai—“turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping and lamenting.”  (13)  Rend your heart, not your garments, and turn to Adonai, your God. For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abundant in mercy, and relenting about the calamity due.  (14)  Who knows? He may turn and relent, and may leave a blessing behind Him—so there may be a grain offering and a drink offering for Adonai, your God.  (15)  Blow the shofar in Zion! Sanctify a fast; proclaim an assembly.  (16)  Gather the people; sanctify the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even those nursing at breasts. Let the bridegroom come out from his bedroom and the bride from her chamber.  (17)  Between the porch and the altar let the kohanim, ministers of Adonai, weep, and let them say: “Have pity, Adonai, on Your people. Don’t make Your heritage a scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should the peoples say, ‘Where is their God?’”

Psalms 51:1-17 TLV For the music director: a psalm of David, (2)  when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he went to Bathsheba.  (3)  Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your mercy. According to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions.  (4)  Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.  (5)  For I know my transgressions and my sin is ever before me.  (6)  Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are just when You speak, and blameless when You judge.  (7)  Behold, I was born in iniquity and in sin when my mother conceived me.  (8)  Surely You desire truth in the inner being. Make me know wisdom inwardly.  (9)  Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.  (10)  Let me hear joy and gladness, so the bones You crushed may rejoice.  (11)  Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.  (12)  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  (13)  Do not cast me from Your presence—take not Your Ruach ha-Kodesh[1] from me.  (14)  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.  (15)  Then will I teach transgressors Your ways and sinners will return to You.  (16)  Deliver me from bloodguilt, O God—God of my salvation. Then my tongue will sing for joy of Your righteousness.  (17)  O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise.

2 Corinthians 5:20-21 TLV We are therefore ambassadors for Messiah, as though God were making His appeal through us. We beg you on behalf of Messiah, be reconciled to God.  (21)  He made the One who knew no sin to become a sin offering on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 6:1-10 TLV Since we are co-laboring, we also urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.  (2)  For He says, “At a favorable time I listened to you, in a day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time. Behold, now is the day of salvation.  (3)  We give no cause for offense in anything, so that our ministry may not be blamed.  (4)  But as God’s servants, we are commending ourselves in every way—in great endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses,  (5)  in beatings, in imprisonments, in riots, in troubles, in sleeplessness, in hunger;  (6)  in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Ruach ha-Kodesh[2], in genuine love,  (7)  in truthful speech, in the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left;  (8)  through honor and dishonor, through evil report and good report. We are regarded as deceivers and yet true; (9)  as unknown and yet well-known; as dying, yet behold, we live; as disciplined yet not put to death;  (10)  as grieving yet always rejoicing; as poor yet enriching many; as having nothing yet possessing everything.

Matthew 6:1-6 TLV Beware of practicing your righteousness before others to be seen by them; otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.  (2)  So whenever you do tzedakah, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, so that they may be glorified by men. Amen, I tell you, they have their reward in full!  (3)  But when you do tzedakah, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, (4) so that your tzedakah may be in secret; and your Father, who sees in secret, shall reward you.  (5) “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Amen, I tell you, they have their reward in full!  (6)  But you, when you pray, go into your inner room; and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, shall reward you.

Matthew 6:16-21 TLV “And whenever you fast, do not become sad-faced like the hypocrites, for they neglect their faces to make their fasting evident to men. Amen, I tell you, they have their reward in full!  (17)  But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, (18) so that your fasting won’t be evident to men, but to your Father who is in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.  (19) “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.  (20)  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in or steal.  (21)  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

1 רוּחַ rûach – wind; by resemblance breath, that is, a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; figuratively life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extension a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions): – air, anger, blast, breath, X cool, courage, mind, X quarter, X side, spirit ([-ual]), tempest, X vain, ([whirl-]) wind (-y).

כּוּן kûn – properly to be erect (that is, stand perpendicular);. hence (causatively) to set up, in a great variety of applications, whether literal (establish, fix, prepare, apply), or figurative (appoint, render sure, proper or prosperous): – certain (-ty), confirm, direct, faithfulness, fashion, fasten, firm, be fitted, be fixed, frame, be meet, ordain, order, perfect, (make) preparation, prepare (self), provide, make provision, (be, make) ready, right, set (aright, fast, forth), be stable, (e-) stablish, stand, tarry, X very deed.

חָדַשׁ châdash –  to be new; causatively to rebuild: – renew, repair.

[2]   πνεῦμα pneuma – a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christ’s spirit, the Holy spirit: – ghost, life, spirit (-ual, -ually), mind.

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