At this point in your participation in the service, I recommend that you go to Sabbath Ritual and participate in the prayer in which we like to engage each week, as I do each morning, to avail ourselves of Yahuah Hayah's "Power of Agreement" (Matthew 18:19) for the basic things that all of us must have each day of our lives! Although repetitious and time-consuming, doing that will bless you, the fellowship and all of His children in the universe! It is what some people call "getting prayed up"!
As for the thoughts that Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) gave me for this Sabbath, one part of the definition of "advantage" given by my Internet Mirriam-Webster Dictionary is that it is a "benefit resulting from some course of action"! To seek one's "benefit" is a part of being "intelligent", since one part of the definition of "intelligence" given by the same dictionary is "the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment"; and the obvious reason anyone has for manipulating his environment is to bring "benefit" to himself!
When one is a child, he sees things that appeal to him; and, in his young mind, the appropriate thing to do is to reach out and grab it. But the results of grabbing vary, according to the situation! If the thing grabbed is a cookie, taking a bite of it can be a rewarding experience! But, if the thing grabbed is a puppy's tail, a nip on the hand can be the result, along with the expected tears!
If the thing grabbed happens to be in the hands of another child, a struggle can well ensue from the other child's refusing to let go! And the first child begins learning about "possession" of things; and, when another person grabs something he has in his hands, he, too, can be reluctant to part with the object.
The child also learns that grabbing for certain things can result in a parent's saying, "No!"; and, if the child persists, he can get his hand slapped; and the child begins to learn of an "authority" in his life - a person bigger than he who often intervenes in his activity, for good or evil, according to how he views it.
So, early in our lives, we learn the lesson of "advantage"! And, as the title of my sermon implies, that includes the action of loving!
Grabbing a toy carries, with it, the advantage of being able to play with it, which to a child seems desirable, since he enjoys playing!
But, interestingly, a child hears the voice of his Creator, in his spirit; and one of the fascinating things about a child is his tendency to hand something to another, which usually elicits a pleasant response from the other, such as a pleasant "Thank you", a pat on the back, a kiss, an immediate return of the object or any number of ways by which to show appreciation for his generosity! The act of giving is thus encouraged! And the child begins to learn about loving interaction!
As the child grows, he learns more and more about the environment in which he has been placed! Certain things work well; and others do not! Doing things that work are rewarding, while trying to put round things in square holes is frustrating!
Behavior that pleases the parents in our environment can be rewarding! If they are wise, they reward activity they want in their children; and they frustrate inappropriate behavior with punishments of various kinds, which communicate their displeasure! But, if they are foolish, they permit preoccupation with themselves and their own activities to foster indifference to what their children are doing; and the result is predictable: the children do as they please without regard to the wishes of their parents or of anyone else, since the others do not have the authority of parents!
In time we learn the advantage of "going with the flow" or cooperating with the way our environment is structured! Similarly, we learn that little or no "advantage" and a lot of disadvantage is to be gained by going against the "nature" of our environment! And, eventually, we learn that a Person or God is behind that "nature" - the Person and God Who is the Creator of all and the King over it, Who is the supreme "authority" in our lives! And, if we are favored by a good religion in our environment, we are given a name for that Supreme Being, that is pleasant to His ears, by being correct! I have been taught that the name of my God is "Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM)", that His Son's name is "Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ)" and that His Spirit is called "ha Kodesh (the Holy) Ruach (Spirit)"!
But here things get complicated! And discerning what voice is that of Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) and what voice that of lying spirits posing as Him becomes a challenge! And that challenge has been met unsuccessfully by some very intelligent people over the many centuries recorded in Yahuah's "Holy Bible"!
From our life's experience we learn that certain choices we make are wise and certain of them foolish, according to the results they bring! Some results are obvious, while others are so difficult to discern that sophistocated scientific experiments are the only way to learn why certain things happen or fail to happen the way they do over extended periods of time!
From Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM)'s Holy Bible we learn that two kinds of advantage exist, one by the nature of things or by the way He consistently reacts to our choices, whatever they may be, the other by His reaction to why we do what we do, which is our motivation or the intent in our heart in choosing to do one thing or another!
One can discover that loving others or doing things that please them results in their loving him or her back! And that is, of course, a blessing in itself! But we learn also, first from our parents and later from Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM), our Creator and King, that not only do certain things work to our advantage but, when they are pleasing to the authorities in our life, the rewards of the authorities come as additional advantages above and beyond that which comes from doing the correct thing!
So, while loving others has immediate and obvious advantages in fulfillment of Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM)'s saying through Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ): "Give, and it shall be given unto you." (Luke 6:38), it also has other advantages in being in obedience to one of the commandments of His Torah or law, for which obedience He has promised that "all these blessings shall come on thee and overtake thee" (Deuteronomy 28:2) - not merely one but all!
When one looks into that of which "all these blessings" consist, by reading both Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, he comes away with his head reeling, if he has actually received and believed what he has read! because Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM)'s blessings in addition to the way in which He consistently works throughout His creation are so comprehensive and wonderful as to stagger the imagination!
So it is advantageous to love others, first of all because it works well and, secondly, because it is an obedience to Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM), which brings His blessings on top of the immediate advantages; and one sings, with the psalmist: "My cup runneth over!" (Psalm 23:5) We simply cannot contain what Yahuah's blessings bring to our lives! And loving others is an obedience second only to obeying His commandment that we love Him!
35 One of them, who was a lawyer, asked Him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said, unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy mind! ["might" - (Deuteronomy 6:5)] 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets! (Matthew 22:35 to 40)
So, if being obedient to Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) has the advantage of one's enjoying His blessings, which are beyond our comprehension in the first place, how much more blessed is obedience to the two commandments upon which "hang all the law and the prophets"? A graphical representation of such blessing would "go off the chart", as the saying goes; so I and Yahuah, the Creator of all and King over it, Whom I love worship and serve, both highly recommend loving others as the way to go, expecially loving one's enemies! (Matthew 5:44)
The result of Yeshua ha Mawshiyach's obedience to Yahuah Hayah, to lay down His life by letting wicked men torture and crucify Him and then to pray for Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) to forgive them, was for Yahuah to give Him a gloriously resurrected body!
Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) is particularly imporessed, by children of His who love their enemies well enough not to resist their evil while praying for their salvation! For He loves His wayward children and knows that His obedient and loving children are His best way to "call ... sinners to repentance" (Matthew 9:13), as did Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ)
Initially, Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) made that call by permitting Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ)'s blood to be shed; and then, when Yeshua appeared later to His disciples, He said: "As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you!" (John 20:21) He said earlier:
Whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after Me, cannot be My disciple! (Luke 14:27)
Yes, Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM)'s "way" (Deuteronomy 28:9) is rewarding! He said, through Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ), through Moses: "Yahuah shall establish thee an holy people unto Himself, as He hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of Yahuah, thy God, and walk in His ways!" (Verse 9) But that way requires a price - an obedience involving one's enemies and the cross they typically thrust upon one, sometimes unto death! Are you ready to pay that price?
To show the price He requires, Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) told, through Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ), a parable:
28 Which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation and is not able to finish it, all who behold it begin to mock him, 30 saying, This man began to build and was not able to finish! 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him who cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage and desireth conditions of peace! 33 So, likewise, whosoever he be of you who forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple! (Luke 14:28)
The world does not understand Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM)'s correcting relations by loving even those who are hurting them. My grandsons are continually showing me moving pictures from Hollywood that dramatize solving problems through violence! And, to justify that admittedly effective remedy, the "enemy" is always shown to be brute insensible beings determined to "do one in", as they say, presumably stopable only by overcoming them with force!
For the person steeped in this culture of violence, the idea that such enemies would respond to kindness in return for their brutality is beyond comprehension! Yet Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) continually taught, through Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ), the peaceable solution! He said, through Yeshua:
39 Resist not evil! Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn, to him, the other also! 40 If any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain 41 42 Give to him who asketh thee, and from him who would borrow of thee turn not thou away! 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy! 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them who curse you, do good to them who hate you and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that ye may be the children of your Father Who is in Heaven! For He maketh His sun to rise, on the good and on the evil, and sendeth rain, on the just and on the unjust! 46 For if ye love them who love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? 47 And, if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father Who is in Heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:39 to 48)
When I was a boy, I was encouraged, after school, by other boys, to fight with another boy, which I did! In the confrontation we exchanged the expected blows; and, after it was over, as I went home hurting from the injury I was suffering, I asked myself; or, rather, Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM) asked me: "What was the point of that? What did you gain?" And, from that day to this, I have continued to seek the better way to resolve difficulties with my neighbors, not without many a setback, to be sure, when, having lost my patience, I have gone back to the world's way!
But the world's ways are disappointing, to say the least! So I have always been glad to get back to Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM)'s wonderful way.
So it is not surprising that, when I came across Yahuah (Self-Existent, Eternal) Hayah (I AM)'s teaching through Yeshua (Jesus) ha Mawshiyach (the Messiah or Christ) of His way of peace, I was well ready to receive it. I pray that you are, as well!
I pray that this information I have given you is true in Yahuah Hayah's sight, that it can be stored in your spirit for great and beneficial use to you as the days go by and that we might hear from you now and then as you find it working its wonders in your life!
Father, by my "faith in God" (Mark 11:22), I "speak" (Mark 11:23), to Your children, and command that they be given the knowledge and understanding of Your truth by which to seek Your peaceful way to resolving difficulties with their neighbors!
I rejoice (John 15:11) that You are faithful to fulfill Your children's powerful use of their "dominion ... over every living thing that moveth upon the Earth"! (Genesis 1:28) I know you answered this prayer, in ha Kodesh Ruach, Your Holy Spirit, the moment I said it; so I "believe" I "receive" (Mark 11:24), even now, a family of brothers and sisters who are rejoicing over Your amazing way of rewarding those who love even their enemies!
I pray that Yahuah Hayah shall bless you mightily, throughout the coming week, and that you will realize in your heart how important you are to the ministry that He has given to Faith Harvest Israel to see that His truth is learned, believed and carried out by all His children throughout the world, so many of whom are in such desperate need of it.
1 - Pastor Floyd talks about the names of God used on this website on His page entitled "The Names" of God"