Rabbi Schneider - What Does the Lord Require From You?
I was reading a book called, The Path of the Just, a very famous Jewish classic written in the 1800's. This book, The Path of the Just, was based primarily on a scripture from the Torah, which is Deuteronomy 10:12. I began to study Deuteronomy 10:12, let me read it for you at the onset. Hear the Word of God. "Now Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul".
As I read this verse in the middle of reading this Jewish classic, it really hit me very powerfully. And I prayed. I said, "Father I'm a new covenant believer. I'm saved by grace. I'm following You through Yeshua, but I feel You speaking to me through this verse. So Father I'm just gonna ask You, if You really want me to give a lot of time to studying this verse, Deuteronomy 10:12, and digesting it right now; I'm just gonna open the Bible and as I open it and I'm just asking that You'll cause me to land on a scripture that will really confirm to me that You're wanting me to delve deeply right now into Deuteronomy 10:12, personally for my own life".
And beloved, God obviously is not obligated to answer any of us this way. I have found in my own personal experience, as I said last week, that sometimes He does and sometimes He doesn't. But He does often enough, that I'll often times if I'm inquiring of Him, I'll simply say, "Lord is there's something that You want to confirm to me about this through the Word"? So I opened up the Word, just wanting to find out if the Lord was asking me to dive deeply into Deuteronomy 10:12 during this season. And when I opened up the Word of God, just randomly beloved, I was expecting that there would just be maybe a scripture that would confirm my question. But what happened even further than that, was when I opened the Word of God it randomly, meaning I didn't plan on it, it just opened up to Deuteronomy 10:12; The exact verse that I was asking the Lord whether He wanted me to dig deeply into.
When I opened the Bible I actually opened up to the page that Deuteronomy 10:12 was on. That hit me profoundly and powerfully. And I began to really digest it into my own life. And I want to release to you what God has released to me. First of all let me say and some of this is review, but it's good to hear this again, because we're often not taught on these principles. We are not under the law as New Testament believers. We are God's chosen, saved by grace through faith in Messiah Jesus. But beloved, just because we're not under the law or saved by the law, doesn't mean that the law is irrelevant. In fact the very opposite is true. Jesus said, "Do not think I've come to abolish the law and the prophets. I've not come to abolish, but fulfill". And He said, "And everyone who teaches the principles in the law and the prophets will be called greatest in the kingdom of God".
There are principles revealed to us in the law and the prophets that help us to understand who God is and how to walk with Him. And Deuteronomy 10:12 is a prime example of this. Now as I begin to read once again, I want you to consider this was originally addressed to national Israel. That is the truth and the church has not replaced national Israel. However if you're a Gentile and you've received Yeshua Hamashiach, who is the King of the Jews, into your life, you've been grafted in, according to the Word of God, into Israel. The church is now the spiritual Israel of God. We haven't replaced national Israel, but the church is called the Israel of God, which means that we need to study carefully the words that God gave to national Israel, because there may be prophetic application for you in your life right now and this verse absolutely does. With that said, hear the Word of God. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but beloved one, the Word of God abides forever. Hear His Word. "Now Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him".
Now on last week's broadcast I talked about the importance of having a healthy fear of the Lord. I'm not gonna go all back into that today, but simply to say this, sometimes today there is so much emphasis on grace that it's as if the grace of God has obliterated the principle of fearing the Lord. But beloved the grace of God does not obliterate the principle of having a healthy fear of God. Jesus said, "Don't fear man that's able to destroy the body, but rather fear Him, fear Hashem, fear God, that's able to destroy both soul and body in hell". Beloved, we should fear God. Fearing God is clean and it keeps us on track. This is why the book of Proverbs teaches that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. The fear of God, beloved, is essential to keeping us on track and to having a healthy reverential concept of who He is. Get last week's broadcast for further details. And then Moses went on to say, "What does the Lord require of you"? The second thing he said is, listen, "To walk in all His ways".
We need to be sensitive every day to the ways of God; how to walk as believers, how to walk as Christians. We need to have the mind of Yeshua. We need to have the Word of God within us. And we need to not walk according to what we think, but we need to walk according to His ways. Again, I'm not gonna go into that in detail now, because I covered it last week. Let's go to the third thing that Moses said. Moses said we should number one, to walk in God's ways. What He's looking for, what's He requiring from us. Let's go back into the beginning of the verse just to set in context again. "Now Israel," that's you and I today, because we're the spiritual Israel, okay? "Now Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you".
Let me say this again, what does the Lord your God require from you, what does that mean? It means that we have a responsibility as human beings that have been created in His image, to enter into His call on our life. In other words, we can't just go about our lives living any way we want to, doing whatever we please without regard to the fact that we've been created by God and for God and God is expecting a response from us that brings us into alignment with Him. God loves you and I, but He hasn't made us robots. He's looking for you and I to respond to His love. He's looking for a marriage partner. Church listen to me. He's looking for people that will love Him back. He's looking for people that will respond to Him out of their own free will, so that they can love Him. So God says, "I'm looking for people that will have the wisdom to fear Me. I'm looking for people that will desire to walk in My ways as a lifestyle and I'm looking for people," He said, "to love Me".
Hear it once again. I know it sounds redundant, but I want to get this Word into you. I want to drill it into you. "Now Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God," number one. Number two, "To walk in all His ways". And number three, listen, "To love Him". God is looking for a marriage partner. That's why the book of Revelation culminates in Revelation 19 with the marriage supper of the Lamb. The scripture says, "Blessed are those that are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb". These are the true words of God. What is a marriage feast? What's a marriage ceremony? Isn't a marriage supper or a marriage feast a celebration, listen now, of love? Not just about the husband's love for his bride and not just about the bride's love for her husband, but about the love of both the bride for the husband and the husband for the bride; both coming together, mingled together.
You see God loves us and He's looking for us to love Him back. How do we love Him back? Number one, we choose to fear Him because we love Him. Number two, we choose every day to walk in His ways. Jesus said, "If you wish to follow Me you must pick up your cross, deny yourself". It's not about what we think. It's not about what we think is right. It's not about relying on our own mind or our own thoughts. It's about knowing the Word of God, being sensitive to the Spirit and choosing, listen, to clothe our self with Messiah Jesus and walk in his ways. It means that sometimes we do what we don't feel like doing. It even means we sometimes do what we don't want to do, because we want to walk in His ways. Remember before Jesus went to the cross at the Garden of Gethsemane, what did He do? He got down on His knees and He said, "Father if it's possible let this cup pass from Me". He didn't want to go to the cross. But then He said, "But Father not My will, but Thy will be done".
I want to ask you, I want to challenge you, are you walking in His ways? When you watch television, do you just watch what you want to watch, or do you only watch what is profitable for Him for you to walk in His way? Every day all day long we have a choice with the words that we say, with the words that we speak, what we watch, what we listen to, who are friends are. All these different connections with the world are opportunities for us to choose to walk in His ways. And Paul said, "Let no man be deceived". People that are living in the world will not enter the kingdom of God. Jesus said, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many will seek to enter and not be able". And so I want to encourage you, God is requiring us to have a holy fear of Him, to walk in His ways and now we're at this next point, listen beloved ones, to love Him. It's all about love isn't it?
God wants us to do these things, listen, because we love Him. There are many times in life that I'm tired, I'm burned out, I've just been working hard, but the Holy Spirit's been speaking to me about calling somebody, reaching out to that person, just blessing them, letting them know that I care. I do it, listen why I do it. I do it because I love God. I say, "Father God I'm doing this for You". Sometimes it's doing the hard thing. Sometimes it's witnessing when we don't want to witness, because we know that when we do witness it may break up the relationship. We don't want to break up the relationship. Everything may be going smooth in that relationship, but because we love God we're committed to obeying Him and so we witness. We lift up the name of Jesus into the conversation. We try to share a message that relates to the Gospel, that gives hope.
Sometimes people receive it, sometimes they don't. We can't control that, but we continue to witness, listen, because we love God and Jesus said, "If you love Me you will obey Me". Beloved it's a choice. Love is not a feeling. Love is not an emotion. You've heard this before. Love may have emotion. Love has emotion at times, but mark my words, love is not an emotion. All of us that are married know that there's sometimes that we feel like serving, there's sometimes we feel the emotion of love, but many times we just love because we choose to walk in love. When Jesus went to the cross because of His love for the Father, He didn't have an emotion of going to the cross that was all goose bumpy, but He did what had to be done out of, beloved, His love for God. We need to love Him. Let's continue on. The next thing that Moses says to us, "We shall love Him". And finally he says, "And serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul".
All these are related. Loving Him, walking in His ways, fearing Him, serving Him, all these, beloved, are connected to one another. Finally Moses says here, "The Lord is requiring," listen now, "That we serve Him with all our heart and with all our soul". I wonder how are you and I serving God? I know many people they attend congregations and all they do every week is they come and they sit there, they stand up for the song, participate hopefully in the offering, listen to a sermon, and they go home. That's it. But you know the Bible says that we're to be engaged in a life of serving and that God has given gifts to the body, listen now, that we might serve the body. Jesus began to wash the disciples feet and Peter said, "No Lord, I'm unclean. Don't wash my feet". And Jesus said, "Unless you let Me wash your feet". He said, "You can have no part of Me". And then He said, "As I have done to you, so also you do to one another". Meaning, we need to serve each other.
And there's so many ways that we serve. We serve our family. We serve our husband, or our wife, our children, our grandchildren. We serve our employers. And we're doing all of these things unto the Lord. We don't do it as being man pleasers. We do it as being God pleasers. But I want to ask specifically right now if you're attending a congregation somewhere, are you serving? Do they need people in the nursery? Do they need people in the kitchen? Do they need people in security? Do they need help in finances? Do they need help on the worship team? Do they need help with ushering? There's so many places, beloved, where pastors are continually reaching out to their congregation looking for people to serve and yet often times there's people that sit in their congregation for five, ten, twelve, fifteen years and they've never done anything to involve themselves in serving the community of believers where they're attending.
Now I know that there are some here today and you're at home, you're home bound and listen I'm not trying to put any guilt or condemnation on anybody. So please understand that. But I'm trying to inspire people to recognize that God is calling us to serve, to serve Him. And we serve Him by serving the body and by being His witnesses. We serve Him by loving people. Beloved, we serve Him by cherishing our spouses. We serve Him by giving. But we have to recognize that living a life unto the Lord, listen now, is living a life of service.
I want to let you in to a window of my life right now that some might consider spectacular and some may not even believe me; But I'm standing before the Lord right now and I'm telling you the truth. About three years after I originally came to the Lord, which was back in 1978, when Jesus supernaturally appeared to me in a vision. About three years after that I was going through a significant time of repentance in my life. You see I came to the Lord as a Jewish person without being often times sensitive to some of the sins that the New Testament talks about. And so when I came to the Lord I didn't automatically start living a Christian life. It took the Lord some time to help me to understand what that meant. And after I'd been walking with the Lord three years, the Lord began to convict me of some very specific sins in my life. And He was saying to me, "It's time to clean up your life in these areas"ю
And so I was going through this deep season of repentance and as I was going through this deep season of repentance I was sitting in a chair one morning and I remember very specifically I was drinking a cup of tea. And the tea had replaced the cigarettes, which I had just given up, because the Lord had showed me I was relying on cigarettes, which are really killing me, rather than relying on Him for peace. So I'd given up the cigarettes. I was drinking this cup of tea. I wasn't expecting anything to happen. As I was sitting in the chair this morning, the Spirit of God literally, visibly appeared above my head.
Now I didn't see with my eyes, because He was above my head, but I saw Him even more clearly, more clearly than I could see anything with my eyes. This wasn't a thought. This wasn't an imagination. It wasn't a vague impression. It was supernatural light. The Spirit of Elohim, the Spirit of God Himself, literally appeared above my head; much like happened in Acts 2 where the Spirit of the Lord appeared above the disciples heads in a tongue of fire. And then the Spirit of the Lord, which appeared above my head, it was life. It was a Spirit of life, it was in motion. All the colors of the rainbow were in it. Then He came through my head, took possession of my inner man and then He spoke into me and I heard Him audibly. And He said this exact sentence to me. He said, "I am a servant".
And then it was over just like that. I couldn't help the experience along. I couldn't have stopped it from happening. But Jesus was telling me that He's a servant, that He lives in me and that my life involved in serving Him involves being a servant. Beloved we're called first of all to serve the Lord our God and then to serve other people. Jesus said, "Let he that is greatest among you become the servant of all". I want to encourage you today beloved, there's a word of revelation in the Torah, in Deuteronomy 10:12 today for you. God is asking us to respond to Him by number one, fearing Him. I'm talking about really fearing Him in a way that causes us to not sin and shows our love for Him.
Secondly God is telling us to clothe our self with the character of Messiah and walk in His ways. Thirdly the Lord is telling us, "I want you to choose to love Me". Love is not a feeling first, love is not an emotion first, love comes out of your will. The Lord said, "Whosoever will". And then the Lord said, "I want you to serve Me with all your heart and with all your soul". Some of you have heard it before, it's just one life and it will soon be passed. And only what's done, beloved ones, for Christ will last. Will you fear Him? Will you walk in His ways? Will you love Him and will you serve Him? Beloved, the choice is yours. God loves us and He's asking us to respond back to Him in like manner.