Rabbi Schneider - Ways to Increase in Love
Baruch HaShem, bless the name of the Lord. This is Rabbi Schneider from Jerusalem. Behind me you can see Mount Zion, what an awesome opportunity to bring you the Word of the Lord from this place. And I'm particularly excited today to be with you in the book of Colossians, where we're looking there at Paul's prayer along with Timothy. Paul and Timothy were praying together for the saints at Colossae. I love this, because Paul and Timothy are praying for God's people, that they would receive a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God's will, that they would be able to walk in understanding, that it would produce within them the fruit of being able to walk in a manner that's worthy of their calling.
So we're going today to Colossians chapter 1. I'm gonna begin reading from verse 9, which I started on last week and then we're gonna continue to make some forward progress. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of the Lord abides forever. Hear the Word of God. Paul and Timothy are writing together and they say this, "For this reason also since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask you that you might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding".
Now I preached a whole message on that last time. If you didn't hear it, I encourage you to go back and get that teaching. You can get it on YouTube, you can go to the information at the end of our broadcast today and order it through Discovering the Jewish Jesus. It laid the foundation for where we're gonna go next. I simply pointed out last week, number one, I find it very weighty that when we look at the prayer life of Paul and Timothy, that their prayers went beyond just their own needs. So that Paul begins this prayer in Colossians chapter 1, by saying, "Ever since I heard about what God is doing in your life," once again writing to the saints in Colossae and he's saying to them, "Ever since I heard of it," he said, "I haven't stopped praying for you". And then he begins to pray with Timothy. And he says, "That God would give you," listen to this now, "A spirit of the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and understanding".
And so Paul was praying that the saints there would be able to walk in a supernatural understanding by the Holy Spirit of the will of God and that they would be able to take this perception, that they're receiving from the Holy Spirit, this divine wisdom that they're receiving, that they would take that wisdom then and walk it out in such a way that the way they're walking Paul said, would be in a way that would bring glory to God. So listen to what he says. "I'm praying that God will give you a knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk," listen now, "in a manner worthy of the Lord". And that's where I left off last week.
And I want to stress this today, because too many of us, all we ever hear about is God answering our prayers; That if you've got a need turn to Jesus, that if you're sad turn to Jesus. He'll make you happy. That if you need a job, turn to Jesus, He'll give you a job. If you need a husband or a wife, or a house, whatever you need, turn to Jesus. He'll make you happy. He's gonna give you a better life. He's gonna give all these things to you. But what people are often times unfortunately not hearing, is the other half of the story, which brings balance and truth. That God doesn't save us just to fulfill us beloved, but He saves us, listen now, to bring glory to Him. You see God wants our lives to reflect His glory. So Paul says, "I want you to have these things in order," verse number 10, "That you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord".
And so I challenge the audience last week and I want to challenge you today, maybe you watched it yesterday depending on what channel you're watching. But are you, are you challenging yourself? Are you holding a mirror up to your face every day asking yourself, "Am I walking in a manner that's worthy of the Lord that called me"? I mean I try to hold that mirror up to my face all the time. Is the way I'm handling myself pleasing to God? Am I witnessing the Lord wants me to witness? I mean it's about how we feel, it's about us fulfilling our calling. It's about us walking worthy of our calling. It's not about us feeding the flesh. It's not about us just satisfying our own wants and desires. It's about us walking in a manner worthy of the Lord. The Hebrew scriptures speak about the beauty of holiness. Holiness is beautiful.
You see the Bible says that we stand before Him, listen now, holy and blameless before Him in love. And the root word, the root Hebrew word for holiness comes from the word kadosh and it carries with it the meaning of separation. So if we're walking as Paul prays for us here in a manner that's worthy of the Lord, what that means is, that we're walking a holy lifestyle and by definition to walk in holiness needs to be walking in a way that's separate from the world. You see the name of Jesus is always on our lips. We walk as a sweet and fragrant aroma to Him, that we're fragrant aroma of Jesus to the world around us, not just the people in church, but the whole world around us.
In other words, wherever we go the beautiful name of Jesus is on our lips. We talk about Jesus openly and publicly. We love Him publicly and openly. We praise Him publicly and openly. Sure some will scorn us, but Jesus said, "Blessed are you when men persecute you for righteousness sake, for they did the same thing with the prophets of old". Your reward in heaven is great. But Jesus said, "Woe to you if everybody speaks well of you, that's what happens when you're a false prophet". So Paul says, "I want you to be filled with spiritual wisdom and understanding in the knowledge of His will, that you'll walk worthy of your calling". And to walk worthy of your calling, beloved child of God, is to fulfill God's purpose for your life while you're on earth. And one of God's purposes over your life is that you'll be His witness in the earth. Paul said that we're ambassadors of God in the world, reconciling the world to Him, encouraging, begging, and treating people to be reconciled to Him through Christ.
So you can't shrink back from being a witness. You can't fear being rejected, because Jesus said, "If you deny Me before men, I'm gonna deny you before the Father". You see there's a price to pay for walking in a manner worthy of the Lord. There's a price to pay for following Jesus. Jesus said, "Pick up your cross, deny yourself and follow Me". So Paul wants us to be empowered to walk in spiritual revelation and divine insight, in order that we'll walk in a manner that's worthy of the Lord. And part of this is carried out when we're living in this world as His witnesses. You see many of us want an experience with the Ruach Hakodesh, we want an experience with the Holy Spirit. But if we're gonna enter in to an experience of fullness with God's Spirit, we have to be willing to pay the price for which He rest in us and that price is that we're willing to put Jesus first and not deny Him in front of the world.
Let's continue on. Paul says, "So that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please him in all respects". You see if you're gonna please God beloved, you need to be bold, you need to be a witness. Jesus said, "You'll receive power not many days from now and you'll be My witnesses". You see Yeshua came to Jerusalem to be crucified. Who crucified Him? The pharisees of His day that had a form of Godliness that was devoid of power. You see they couldn't do the miracles that Jesus did. Jesus caused the lame to walk. He caused the blind to see. Even the Jewish historian Josephus, that didn't believe that Jesus was the Messiah, said there was this man Yeshua of Nazareth, He was accused of being a sorcerer. No one denied that He had supernatural power. The miracles traveled everywhere, that's why Christianity is the largest religion in the world. No one could deny the experience they were having as the God of Israel was pouring forth His Spirit in the land of Israel, that spread to the entire world. And you and I have been given the privilege of caring the message into the world.
This is why Jesus said, "Greater works than these shall you also do". What are the greater works? The greater works beloved, is that today we carry the message of the Torah, that Jesus fulfilled the Torah and we carry that message to the entire earth. I want to challenge you today, those of you that are hungry for God, those of you that want more of His power, those of you that want to experience a sweeter intimacy with the Ruach Hakodesh, you have to be willing to pay the price. Jesus said, "Unless you pick up your cross, deny yourself and follow Me you can't be My disciples". Jesus said, "As the Father sent Me, so also now I send you. Go therefore telling people to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, making disciples wherever you go".
I want to challenge you today. Yeshua of Nazareth, Yeshua Hamashiach, the King of the Jews is coming back soon. Will you be ready to meet Him? Many of you are saying you're ready to meet Him, but just like the story of the 10 virgins, all 10 said they were looking for Him to return, but when He returned only five of them had oil in their lamps. Only had five of them were burning. Only five of them were engaged. Only five of them had the Ruach Hakodesh moving and churning through their life. Only five of them were mobilized in action. The other five were The other five were The other five were sleeping. Let me ask you, are you sleeping in the dark or are you going as Jesus told you to go? "As the Father sent me," Yeshua said, "So also now I send you". Listen, everybody can share the Gospel with somebody.
Let's continue on. Hear the Word of God. Paul says, "I want you to be filled with all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in all good work". Listen now, "Increasing in the knowledge of God". So Paul is saying, "I want you to bear fruit in every good work and I want you to be increasing in the knowledge of God". I love that word increasing, because Yeshua said He, "Came to give life and to give it," listen now, "More abundantly". And when I think about the nature of abundant life, when Yeshua said, "I've come to give life and to give it more abundantly," one of the characteristics of an abundant life, listen now, is that it keeps on increasing. It keeps on growing. There's a continual, listen now, bubbling up of the Holy Spirit hatching as it were from inside us, releasing more and more and more and more of God, who is unlimited.
So Paul is praying that they will keep on increasing in the fullness of God. He says, "That you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work". Listen now, "And increasing in the knowledge of God". When Paul says here that we should bear fruit in every good work, one of the primary good works that we increase in beloved one, listen now, is just loving people. You see we need to remind ourselves that love is not a feeling. In fact often times loving somebody is doing the exact opposite of what you feel like doing. Remember right before Jesus went to the cross He got down in the garden and began to pray. And the Bible says He said, "Father if it's possible," He said, "Let this cup pass from Me. But not My will but Thy will be done".
You see Yeshua didn't want to go to the cross. He said, "Lord if it's possible I don't want to go here. But if it's not possible," He said, "Father not My will, but Thy will be done". You see Yeshua was committed to loving and His commitment to love wasn't based on His feelings, but rather it was an act of the will that was based on His commitment, His fidelity to do the Father's will. And so when Paul prays here that we would keep increasing in every good work, one of the primary ways that we increase is that we increase in love. The greatest of these, the scripture tells us, is love. Jesus said, "All men will know you by your love".
So we need to constantly be pushing our self, to be sacrificing, to love people. And often times this involves doing that which isn't natural, but we know it's right. In other words, the Holy Spirit is laying somebody on our heart to reach out to, maybe to call them on the phone, maybe we know they just went through an operation and we know that we should call them to pray for them, to show them love and concern, to let them know we're thinking about them. But we're tired. We don't really feel like calling them. We don't really feel like we have anything in us to give. We don't even feel a good spirit inside, but we know we should.
You know what we do? Because of our commitment to love, because of our commitment to do the will of God, we pick up the phone and we call them and we do it not because we feel like it, but because we're committed to doing good works. Jesus said, "Not a glass of cold water given in His name would go unforgotten". And what you'll find as I often find beloved, is that when you go ahead and take that act, you pick up the phone to call that person that the Holy Spirit's been laying on your heart to call, just to tell them that you love them, to pray for them, to see how you're doing; Once you call them and begin to give, what happens is the Holy Spirit just begins to pour out. And that which felt unnatural in the beginning begins to feel natural.
You spend a few minutes on the phone with that person praying for them, blessing them, loving them. They're so encouraged, they're so built up by it and you get off the phone experiencing the sweetness of the Holy Spirit on your heart, in your soul and upon your thoughts, listen to me, because you did the will of God. So I challenge you today beloved and I charge you o church of God let's keep increasing in our knowledge of the Lord and let's stretch the boundaries by increasing in love, walking in holiness and as we do we're gonna become complete in Messiah Yeshua.