Fool, Today Your Soul is Required.

I preached this morning from Luke 12, But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’

When Jesus says Fool, this is incredibly important to take notice. The Hebrew meaning of fool means, “perversity, not seeing the bigger picture.”

In this passage Jesus mentions three types of fools:

1. The crowd that only follows Jesus for He can do for them.

2. The Person who builds wealth for themselves and believes their success is because of them.

3. The Religious person who knows the Law, Doctrine, and doesn’t miss the church service. But doesn’t have love in their heart for their fellowman. Jesus said these are morally corrupt.

Posted in Uncategorized

Purim, Aunt Marjorie, and the Power of Prayer

I’m sitting waiting to take my parents to DesMoines, Iowa and board a plane back to Dallas this morning.  We’ve traveled to my mother’s sister celebration of Life service this past Thursday.  As I sat in Aunt Marjorie’s service, the presence of God was real and thick with God’s glory.  Aunt Marjorie was a true prayer warrior and intercessor.  Every day until her passing to glory last Sunday, she would take her note book of prayer request and pray for each person and situation.  She prayed for people to receive Christ as Lord and Savior, for missionaries, for pastors, for family, for friends and many other requests.  She would date the day she began praying for the request and then once the prayer was answered she would put a star by the name and request signifying the answer of prayer.  The question was asked by her Pastor at her memorial service, “who will take up this mantel?”

As I have pondered these words from Aunt Marjorie’s life, I have meditated on this week’s celebration of the Old Testament book of Esther.  This is called PURIM, which means in Hebrew “to cast lots.”  This was a cultural tradition in that day for people to cast lots to determine a major decision or the hearing from God.  Haman the evil Prime Minister of the Persian empire hated the Jewish people.  He had devised a plan to have them all murdered at the gallows by the casting of lots.  This past week was the anniversary of that day.  The Jewish people are in exile again and find themselves away from their Promised land and home of Jerusalem.  Esther is the only book in the Bible that does not mention God’s name.  He is working behind the scenes.  Esther is a Jewish Orphan girl who is being raised by her uncle Mordecai.  He is one of the elders of the King’s palace.  Through a series of events the queen, Vashti is killed by her husband the King.  The King orders all the young virgins to come to the palace and he will choose his king after each one spends a night with him.  Esther prepares herself for 12 months in baths and oils (anointing) to meet the King.  God’s favor is all over her though the King does not know she is of Jewish descent.  She is chosen queen.  Mordecai is her support and intercessor.  He represents the Holy Spirit in this story.  Through his wisdom and directions she saves her people from a Holocaust.

The book of Esther tells us every year we are to share this miraculous story to the world and celebrate with joy, gladness and feasting how GOD CAN TURN AROUND YOUR STORY.  Like, Mordecai and my Aunt Marjorie, who is praying for you and who are you praying for?  Like Esther, God is working behind the scenes of your life and He can Turn Around your circumstances.  God is working in secret behind your life.  Someone is praying for you today.  If God is the same yesterday, today, and forever he can do it for you.

In the New Testament, the book of John, chapter 11 there is a parallel story.  The story of Lazarus.  He is the brother of Martha and Mary who is sick and dies.  This story happens around the same time of Jewish celebration of Purim.  Lazarus is in the grave for 3 days.  Yeshua shows up and speaks to Lazarus to “come forth.”  Why didn’t all the people named Lazarus rise from the dead and come forth that day?  I believe it was because Lazarus had eyes to see and ears to hear when he was alive recognizing Yeshua as Messiah.  In Rabbinical teaching it is taught that what has become dead, there is where God will breathe life into it.  WOW!  What hope!  In your life whatever has died or is dying: dreams, goals, relationships, health, whatever through the Holy Spirit God is breathing life.

My Aunt Marjorie prayers got many people through dark and hopeless situations.  Someone is praying for you today.  Make sure you are praying for someone today.  God can turn your story around on a dime.  Happy Purim and Shabbat Shalom.

Posted in Uncategorized

Shabbat: God Sanctifies His People

Shabbat (Sabbath Day) is a Moadim. An appointed time when God meets with his people. It is a funnel from heaven to earth for God’s People.

According to Exodus 35, The Tabernacle was to be a holy place, a sanctuary in space where Israel could meet God. In the same way the Sabbath is a sanctuary in time in which we can meet with God.

So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. (Exodus 31:16)

Why are the laws of Sabbath repeated here in the Torah? The Sabbath laws have already been stated in Exodus 16 and Exodus 20. By repeating them here (and again in Exodus 35) in conjunction with the instructions about building the Tabernacle, the LORD shows us that there is a connection between the Sabbath and Tabernacle.

The Israelites might have assumed that, though regular melachah (work) was forbidden on the Sabbath, it was all right to work on the Sabbath to build the Tabernacle. Since the work was holy work, it should be permissible on the Sabbath. The repetition of the Sabbath laws next to the instructions for the Tabernacle makes it clear that the Sabbath was not to broken even for that holy work.

The Sabbath was given as a sign of God’s covenant with Israel. It is a perpetual sign of the covenant relationship between the children of Israel and the LORD. The Tabernacle functioned in a similar manner. It too was a sign of Israel’s relationship with God.

The Jewish people are commanded to observe the Sabbath. “You shall surely observe My Sabbaths. … The sons of Israel shall observe the Sabbath” (Exodus 31:13, 16). The Hebrew word translated as “observe” is shamar (שמר). The word shamar means “to guard, protect and keep.” God wants His people to guard and protect the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

This can be compared to a man who wanted to marry a girl. He gave her an expensive diamond engagement ring as a sign of his commitment to her. He told her, “This ring is a sign between you and me. It represents the covenant of our betrothal. Guard it well and keep it safe.”

The LORD told Israel, “This is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you” (Exodus 31:13). Just as the diamond engagement ring represented that the girl was set apart for her fiancé, the Sabbath represents that God’s people are sanctified by God.

Posted in Uncategorized

Friend Of The Bride Groom

At Mount Sinai, God officially proposed to Israel (so to speak) offering to make them His people if only they would obey Him and keep His covenant. The rabbis compared it to a betrothal. In that metaphor, the Holy One, blessed be He, came to Israel as a suitor proposing marriage to His beloved.

The Almighty was the bridegroom. Israel was the bride. The Torah was their wedding contract (ketubah). Moses played the role of the “friend of the bridegroom” as a liaison between God and the people.

In Jewish wedding customs, the friend of the bridegroom served as an intermediary between the suitor and the woman. In the wedding, he presented the bride to the groom. As the friend of the bridegroom, Moses was responsible for negotiating the match. He brought the bridegroom’s proposal to the girl, and he carried messages back and forth between the two parties.

Finally, Moses led the people to the foot of the mountain and presented them to God:

And Moses went forth and came to the camp of the sons of Israel, and he aroused the children of Israel from their sleep, saying to them, “Arise from your sleep, for behold, your God desires to give the Torah to you. Already the bridegroom wishes to lead the bride and to enter the bridal chamber.” … And the Holy One, blessed be He, also went forth to meet them like a bridegroom who goes forth to meet the bride. So the Holy One, blessed be He, went forth to meet them to give them the Torah. (Pirkei deRabbi Eliezer 41)

In the Gospels, John the Immerser played a similar role. Once, his disciples came to him, warning him that Yeshua of Nazareth was growing in popularity and that His disciples were baptizing people. John’s disciples felt as if Yeshua’s ministry infringed upon their ministry. John corrected them, pointing out that he only came as the forerunner of Messiah. Just as the friend of the bridegroom gets out of the way, relinquishing the girl under his charge to the groom, so too, John needed to relinquish his ministry to Yeshua. John seems to have alluded back to the story of Moses at Mount Sinai by comparing the people of Israel to a bride, Yeshua to a groom, and himself to a friend of the bridegroom:

John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven. You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah,’ but, ‘I have been sent ahead of Him.’ He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:27-30

Taken from First Fruits of Zion commentary.

Posted in Uncategorized

Prayer of Protection and Peace

For all of our Friends and ministry partners: Today’s Torah Reading is from Exodus 14. The journey of Israel leaving Egypt. How God led them with protection and provision.

Exodus 14:14 says, “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall ( be held in) hold your peace.”

When I read that verse this morning I prayed that promise for you all. Love, Jim and Debbie Laymon

Posted in Uncategorized


This coming Torah Reading starting January 20th reminds me of an incident that happened to me an my family. Several Years ago when our children were little we were headed to Florida for a family vacation. Being a type “A” personality I had to always leave on time (the time I wanted to leave) and get to Florida in 12 hours with no delays. We were going to a condo on the beach so we were not only packing our luggage but groceries. While loading the van one of the grocery bags ripped and all the bag of sugar spilled all over the floor of our van. Of, course being very immature it set me off in a tizzy. I had to clean it all up and it delayed out leaving an hour. Once we got on the road after 15 minutes on the intrastate it was bumper to bumper traffic. Just creeping along. Another hour delay. I was hot and not very happy until we came upon a very bad wreck with bodies laying on the shoulder covered in sheets. That is when the Lord spoke to me loud and clear. “I caused your delay. You and the family could of been that wreck. Your delays is me protecting you!”

This reminds me of a story I recently read: The Guy: At the end of a bad day he turns to God and says, “Lord can I ask you a question?” The Lord: answers: Of course, my friend! The Guy: Please don’t get angry with me. The Lord: I promise not to get angry with you, go ahead and ask. The Guy: Why have you made me so many difficulties today? I have had such a difficult and distressing day. The Lord: What do you mean? The Guy: It started with waking up very late. The Lord: yes, I know. The Guy: My car did not start, the battery was dead, I had to ask someone to help me start the car with cables. The Lord: O.K. The Guy: For lunch I ordered, and the waiter brought me the wrong thing. By the time that they fixed what I ordered it was so late that I didn’t have time to eat it and remained hungry. The Lord: alright please continue. The Guy: Walking out of my office my phone rang and when I pulled it out it dropped on the pavement and broke. Than I was so tired and upset that I purchased an electric Shiatzu massage chair to relax. I came home with expectations for a peaceful and relaxing evening, but was so disappointment. Nothing went well the whole day!

The Lord: I understand! Let me tell you what was happening this day behind the scenes.

This morning the angel of death was on his way to your house to take your soul. I had to send my angels to stop him. This is the reason that I let you sleep longer. I didn’t want you to be involved in this battle.

I did stop your car from starting because just around the corner of your house there was a drunk driver that would have hit your car.

As far as your phone falling and breaking. The person who called you was a well-known conman who would have cheated you from a whole lot of money with his scheme. As my friend I preferred to save you from this conman’s scheme.

As far as your new purchase of the electric Shiatsu chair you purchased there was a serious electrical problem in this chair and if you would have sat down on it – you would have electrocuted. So, I cut the electrical cord.

The Guy: Lord, I understand now that I didn’t think of all these things being for my good, and excuse me for my doubts and complaining. I just did not think of these possibilities. Thank you Lord for guarding me from all these calamities and saving me today from all the sad things that could have happened to me.” The Lord: It is o.k. my friend. You should know that everything that I do are for your good because I love you my child. I hope that now you know that all that I do is planned and in consideration of what is good for my children and the ultimate plan for the salvation of the world.

The Torah reading this coming Shabbat (January 20, 2018) is the story of the Exodus. The Parasha (portion) is called Bo (“come into Pharaoh” or “go into Pharaoh”) in Hebrew. It starts from Exodus 10:1 – 13:16. This narrative is the most dramatic part of the Exodus story. God reveals his “cards” to Moses in the first verses of this reading. God said: “I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of Mine before him,and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son’s son the mighty things I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them, that you may know that I am the LORD.”” (Exodus 10:1–2 NKJV) To our modern eyes and ears this sounds very strange, and unfair. In normal English this state, “I have convinced Pharaoh and his wise man not to allow you and the children of Israel to go out of Egypt so that I might make a big drama and punish Egypt so hard that you will have a relevant story to tell your children for many generations to come.” To our modern sense of justice this seems unfair. It also opens the option that God could have softened the heart of Pharaoh to immediately release the children of Israel from Egypt and let them God to freedom and return to their inheritance from God in land of Canaan.

Rabbi Joseph Shulam writes about this. He said,

“We see that The Lord knew well what was already in Pharaoh’s heart. After the 10th Plague and the death of Pharaoh’s first-born son, and after he released the children of Egypt Pharaoh change his mind and wanted to destroy Israel. The end game for Pharaoh was to destroy Israel. The slavery was only a way to break them and break their spirit and hope. This we see from the first chapter of Exodus. Please notice what was Pharaoh’s plan:

“And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage—in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve was with rigour.

Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah; and he said, “When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.” (Exodus 1:14–16 NKJV).

We see from this text that Pharaoh’s desire was the destroy the children of Israel. If there would be no male children of Israel born it would take one generation for there not to be Israel. If there is no Israel there is no promises to Abraham, our Father to be fulfilled. If there is no seed of Abraham there is no Messiah. If there is no Messiah idolatry and all that it carries with it will be the only force in the world. Israel’s genealogy in those days was through the male children and therefore Pharaoh’s end-game was to wipe away all of Israel. Therefore, Pharaoh gathered his chariots after he let Israel to go into the desert.

“Now it was told the king of Egypt that the people had fled, and the heart of Pharaoh and his servants was turned against the people; and they said, “Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” So he made ready his chariot and took his people with him. Also, he took six hundred choice chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt with captains over every one of them. And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the children of Israel; and the children of Israel went out with boldness. So, the Egyptians pursued them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and overtook them camping by the sea beside Pi Hahiroth, before Baal Zephon.” (Exodus 14:5–9 NKJV)

The object of Pharaoh and his chariots was not peaceful toward Israel. He felt that they are trapped between the see and the desert and that now he, Pharaoh, can finish with them. God had another plan for Egypt and God’s plan is well described in the song of Moses (Exodus 15). What is more interesting for me is that in the book of Revelation when the crowed beyond numbering will be gathered around the Sea of Glass they will be singing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. (See Revelation 15:3). This will be the song of the final victory of the forces of God against the forces of evil that control our world.”

It is good to know that God is always in control and that everything that He does is always for the good of those who love Him and Yeshua the Messiah.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Red Red Stuff

Slopping with the pigs eating the Red Red Stuff from this weeks Torah Portion

Jacob made a stew. Esau returns from hunting, exhausted and famished. When he sees the stew he exclaims, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished!” The Hebrew is even more comical. He uses a verb more appropriate to describe “slopping the pigs.” In his desperation, he cannot quite formulate the word for soup, so he stammers around calling it, “red, red stuff.” “Quick, slop me some of that red, red stuff!” he begs.

Jacob, on the other hand, replies calmly and deliberately and in clear legal terms, “Sell me as this day (from this day on) your birthright.” There are no hidden terms, no fine print, and no deceitful bait-and-switch. It is a straightforward and honest offer.

Esau should have refused. He should have been insulted that Jacob would suggest such a sacrilege. Jacob asked him to forfeit everything that Abraham and Isaac had cherished—the entire covenant, the land of Canaan, the blessings and the promises, the future destiny of the nation, all for the price of a bowl of soup.

Instead of refusing the offer, Esau briefly considered it and accepted the terms. He said, “Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?” This was hyperbole. His life was not in danger; he was not about to die. He let his appetite dictate his will. His desire for red, red stuff, at the moment, outweighed the value of being Isaac’s firstborn.

Whenever we allow our appetites to rule us, we follow in the footsteps of Esau. A disciple of Yeshua should not let his desire for “red, red stuff” dictate his decisions. Opportunities to honor or despise his birthright in the kingdom pass before him on a daily basis. He is constantly placed in positions where he must decide between what he craves and what is right. A man controlled by his appetites is a godless man. All forms of materialism and greed fall into the same category. Some people desire power, control, and prestige. Others will find that physical addictions and substance abuse dictate their decisions in life. For many men and women, sexual temptation is the “red, red stuff” for which they are willing to compromise their spiritual birthright. All of these are signs of the spirit of Esau. The writer of the book of Hebrews warns us:

Let there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears. (Hebrews 12:16-17)

Disciples of Yeshua are children of Jacob, not children of Esau. Our animal nature does not rule us. We belong, not to our appetites, but to the Master. Our heads must rule our hearts: “Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body” (1 Corinthians 6:13).

Esau accepted Jacob’s offer. The Hebrew of the Torah artfully describes Esau’s cavalier exit with a succinct series of one-word verbs: “He ate; he drank; he rose; he left, and he despised his birthright.”

Taken from First Fruits of Zion weekly E-Drash

Posted in Uncategorized