Crystal Writes A Blog

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The Best Baked Bread


For some reason, the older I get, the more I like fresh bread. Maybe it’s because I grew up on bagged loaf bread and didn’t go out to eat much, so I didn’t know how good fresh bread and butter could be. Oh, but now, yum. My favorite treats at restaurants are not the desserts, but the slice-it-yourself breads that places like Outback restaurants bring on request. There’s just no comparing the fresh flavors with the stuff in the bag full of preservatives.

Yeshua told the disciples that He had bread they didn’t know of. Here’s what He says in John 4, verses 32 and 34, when they suggest that He eat something…

But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.”

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.

Our Lord was satisfied to work for our salvation, and it fed Him. He passed that mantle to the disciples and then to us. We may not be satisfied by man’s bread alone, but we are promised we can live on God’s bread. In today’s Infinite Supply newsletter, author Chip Brogden talks about the hidden manna of God…

Infinite Supply Image for November Eleventh by The School of Christ

Infinite Supply Image for November Eleventh by The School of Christ
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original article at The School of Christ dot org website.

November 11

Hidden Manna, Secret Name

“To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”
REVELATION 2:17

The manna is HIDDEN and the name is SECRET. The Lord is doing a work, but that work is, for the most part, hidden and secret. If we are always looking for something out in the open and in plain view then we will miss the deeper workings of God below the surface.

Source: The Irresistible Kingdom by Chip Brogden

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We’re told in the Old Testament that the manna God gave the children of Israel while they were in the wilderness was bread from the angel’s food, and that it tasted like wafer cakes with honey. Imagine baking up some of that.  Now imagine that God has something in store that has been hidden and is even better.

I don’t know from His words when He considers us having overcome to where we will receive this promise of hidden bread. It may be when we receive that indescribable refreshing after we have overcome a battle on this earth. It may be something that has a description that hasn’t yet entered the heart or mind of man. Whatever it is, though, I do know that if God is reserving it for those who overcome, it’s the good stuff.

Just like the wine at the wedding of Cana, He may be saving the best for last. Maybe it’s because it’s taking a while to bake, but if it’s the best we’re ever going to have, it will be worth working and waiting for.

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November 12, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Nonfiction, School of Christ | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Broken Bread


Broken Bread by Flickr User Michael Porter, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike

Broken Bread by Flickr User Michael Porter, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

What does it mean to be broken? And why are there so many biblical references about brokenness? I’m going to start with a familiar New Testament reference from 1 Corinthians 11:23b-24, New King James’ Version…

…the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

Why did His body have to be broken by death and by being convicted of that for which He was not guilty? I think we can find part of the answer in today’s reading from Leviticus 6:12 (19) through Leviticus 7:10 where we learn more about the sin, guilt, and grain offerings, and about the differences when those offerings are made by and for the priests. In the first part of this portion, it talks about the grain offering on the day when a priest receives an anointing. The bread is to be mixed with oil and cooked on a griddle, and then it is to be broken, and THEN it is to be offered up in smoke with no one eating any of it.

When I think of broken bread, I think of the body of Messiah as in the Scripture at the top of this post. Like the grain given on the day of the priest’s anointing, Yahshua, though filled with the oil of God’s Spirit, endured things that would normally harden a person: rejection, abandonment, loss of a friend, betrayal, unfairness, false accusations, homelessness, hunger, thirst, etc. But if there was any hardness in Him at all, it was only so He could become broken for us. He knew He was the offering to become anointed as our High Priest.

The next part of this portion focuses on the sin offering. Unlike the grain offering for anointing, this one is to be eaten by the priests. Before it can be eaten, the activities such as sprinkling the blood must be done to make the offering holy. The holiness surrounding the sin offering is so important that if any of its blood touches a brass bowl, the bowl must be scoured. And if any of it touches a clay pot, the pot must be broken. There’s the brokenness again. And since clay often represents humanity, I see this offering as focusing on us and our need to be broken.

I believe brokenness is a necessity because it is evidence of repentance. Even though Yahshua had no reason to repent, He set an example by becoming the first one to be broken. (Just like He set the example of being washed in baptism even though He had no sins to wash away.) And while the grain offering for anointing was not normally eaten, I believe He wanted us to eat His broken body to connect it to the sin offering since He is both our High Priest and our Sacrificial Lamb.

In brokenness, we imitate Christ. We lay our sins on the altar, and we allow God to break the sin of our flesh away from us, and to scour our hearts clean. We must be cleansed, so we can adhere to the last part of the command for the sin offering; that it must be eaten in a holy place. Brokenness cleanses us to make us a holy place, so we can be an acceptable offering to God. After we have broken the flesh and have been cleansed, we are His royal priesthood, and we are that holy place (temple) for God’s Spirit to dwell. At times, we may become hardened again by life and by sin, but under God’s anointing, we can find an altar and be broken again, and we can offer ourselves up in holy praise that rises to Him as a sweet-smelling aroma.

March 9, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

If You Are Hungry, Just Challah


Challah by Flickr User Ceressa Bateman, CC License = Attribution

Challah by Flickr User Ceressa Bateman, CC License = Attribution
Click image to open a new tab/window to view original and access user’s photo stream at Flickr.

Challah (pronounced holl-uh) is a Hebrew word and refers to the special Jewish braided bread that is eaten on Sabbaths and certain holidays. Click the word for the Wikipedia page. Also, Hebrew for Christians has a nice page with the blessings over the bread in both Hebrew and English.

The one thing I find refreshing in most Hebrew prayers that I have read is that all the praise goes back to God as the Originator. In other words, instead of saying something like, “Thank you for this bread,” the blessing over the bread says, “You receive glory because You bring forth bread from the earth.” It lifts God up as The Creator and Our Provider not just for the moment, but always and forever. I love seeing Him in this wonderful way.

As I read today’s reading from Exodus 15:27 through Exodus 16:10, I could not help but think of Yahshua, our true Bread of Heaven. He speaks to the disciples about this in John 6:28-33. The words from the New Living Testament say…

28 They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”
29 Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
30 They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? 31 After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.
32 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. 33 The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

Today’s Torah reading lays a foundation for this when the children of Israel become hungry after some more time in the desert. They begin complaining to Moses and Aaron, and they even go so far as to say they wish Yahveh had just killed them by His own hand while they were back in Egypt. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I guess that’s what was happening here since they were having trouble remembering being slaves and instead just remembering sitting around pots of boiling meat.

Moses and Aaron try to tell them to take their complaints to God. God promises that He will rain bread down from Heaven both to provide for them and to test them to see if they will keep His commandments as to how to collect the bread each day. They are told that what they collect just before Shabbat (Sabbath) will double in volume, so they will not have to go out and collect on Sabbath.

As the reading comes to an end, God tells Moses to gather all the people together and say to them, “Come into the presence of God because He has heard your grumblings.” As Aaron spoke, there before them, God’s Glory appeared in a cloud. He not only provides for us, but He hears us, and He shows up for us. We just need to seek and search for Him with all our hearts, and His word promises that we will find Him.

January 15, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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