Coffee brewing is an imperfect science. There are many ways to get the best out of your roast. You could pass high pressured hot water and steam through it, or let it steep in hot water. Or you could mix it with water at room temperature, let the whole mixture relax in the refrigerator for a day then dilute that concentrate as you desire, when you desire. Like all choices, there are consequences of course. Hot brews, while bringing out the aroma quickly, also bring out the acidity and go bad after a few hours. But cold brews, though they take longer, extract none of the acidity, and can last for weeks, if kept in the refrigerator.

No, this is not a masterclass in brewing. But from brewing, we can earn a thing or two about how Jesus wants us to not only enjoy our Father’s blessings, but also live the good and Godly life.

In the same way that we can extract aromas from coffee two ways, we can extract good behavior from people two ways. The method most commonly used by the world, for the control of peoples en masse, is fear. Dictators love fear. Prison wardens love fear. Teachers love fear. Terror organizations love fear. Some preachers love fear. Fear is fast, self-effecting and coupled with a minimal surveillance, highly effective. Fear has become so common placed in this world that Christians often tag the phrase ‘fear of the Lord’ to anything they want others to do for them. And so, this slowly grows into a misunderstanding that God runs His kingdom on fear. For indeed, there is much to fear in scripture.

** Caution: Reading the next section of scripture has known to cause discomfort in some people.
If you do experience discomfort while reading, stop and move to the next paragraph. **

15 “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
16 “Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.
17 “Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
18 “Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
19 “Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.
20 “The Lord will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me.
21 The Lord will make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from the land which you are going to possess.
22 The Lord will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation, with severe burning fever, with the sword, with scorching, and with mildew; they shall pursue you until you perish.
23 And your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron.
24 The Lord will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed.
25 “The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth.
26 Your carcasses shall be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and no one shall frighten them away.
27 The Lord will strike you with the boils of Egypt, with tumors, with the scab, and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed.
28 The Lord will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart.
29 And you shall grope at noonday, as a blind man gropes in darkness; you shall not prosper in your ways; you shall be only oppressed and plundered continually, and no one shall save you.
30 “You shall betroth a wife, but another man shall lie with her; you shall build a house, but you shall not dwell in it; you shall plant a vineyard, but shall not gather its grapes.
31 Your ox shall be slaughtered before your eyes, but you shall not eat of it; your donkey shall be violently taken away from before you, and shall not be restored to you; your sheep shall be given to your enemies, and you shall have no one to rescue them.
32 Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, and your eyes shall look and fail with longing for them all day long; and there shall be no strength in your hand.
33 A nation whom you have not known shall eat the fruit of your land and the produce of your labor, and you shall be only oppressed and crushed continually.
34 So you shall be driven mad because of the sight which your eyes see.
35 The Lord will strike you in the knees and on the legs with severe boils which cannot be healed, and from the sole of your foot to the top of your head.
36 “The Lord will bring you and the king whom you set over you to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods—wood and stone.
37 And you shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword among all nations where the Lord will drive you.
38 “You shall carry much seed out to the field but gather little in, for the locust shall consume it.
39 You shall plant vineyards and tend them, but you shall neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them.
40 You shall have olive trees throughout all your territory, but you shall not anoint yourself with the oil; for your olives shall drop off.
41 You shall beget sons and daughters, but they shall not be yours; for they shall go into captivity.
42 Locusts shall consume all your trees and the produce of your land.
43 “The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower.
44 He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail.
45 “Moreover all these curses shall come upon you and pursue and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you.
46 And they shall be upon you for a sign and a wonder, and on your descendants forever.
47 “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything,
48 therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you.
49 The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you will not understand,
50 a nation of fierce countenance, which does not respect the elderly nor show favor to the young.
51 And they shall eat the increase of your livestock and the produce of your land, until you are destroyed; they shall not leave you grain or new wine or oil, or the increase of your cattle or the offspring of your flocks, until they have destroyed you.
52 “They shall besiege you at all your gates until your high and fortified walls, in which you trust, come down throughout all your land; and they shall besiege you at all your gates throughout all your land which the Lord your God has given you.
53 You shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and your daughters whom the Lord your God has given you, in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you.
54 The sensitive and very refined man among you will be hostile toward his brother, toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the rest of his children whom he leaves behind,
55 so that he will not give any of them the flesh of his children whom he will eat, because he has nothing left in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you at all your gates.
56 The tender and delicate woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground because of her delicateness and sensitivity, will refuse to the husband of her bosom, and to her son and her daughter,
57 her placenta which comes out from between her feet and her children whom she bears; for she will eat them secretly for lack of everything in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you at all your gates.
58 “If you do not carefully observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, THE LORD YOUR GOD,
59 then the Lord will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary plagues—great and prolonged plagues—and serious and prolonged sicknesses.
60 Moreover He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you.
61 Also every sickness and every plague, which is not written in this Book of the Law, will the Lord bring upon you until you are destroyed.
62 You shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of heaven in multitude, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God.
63 And it shall be, that just as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good and multiply you, so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you and bring you to nothing; and you shall be plucked from off the land which you go to possess.
64 “Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known—wood and stone.
65 And among those nations you shall find no rest, nor shall the sole of your foot have a resting place; but there the Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and anguish of soul.
66 Your life shall hang in doubt before you; you shall fear day and night, and have no assurance of life.
67 In the morning you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were evening!’ And at evening you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were morning!’ because of the fear which terrifies your heart, and because of the sight which your eyes see.
68 “And the Lord will take you back to Egypt in ships, by the way of which I said to you, ‘You shall never see it again.’ And there you shall be offered for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.” Deuteronomy 28:15-68

The verse numbers were left there for deliberate effect.

Yes, this is Deuteronomy 28, where God pronounced blessings for His people; and yes, there were only 13 verses of blessings; and no, you did not read it wrong, there are 53 verses of curses that follow.

Our Father did not experience a moment of madness when He set these down. This is just to show you how much He hates sin. So much that He pronounced nearly five times more curses than blessings for those who sin. Now, for the Christian, this is often used as the hot steam and high pressured water to extract out good behavior. And it is certainly effective, isn’t it? You only need to read it half way before you start trembling in fear. A perfectly worded manifesto for the next would be dictator.

But beloved, we need to understand that these curses were never meant for us and do not apply to us today. It was for a specific time and a specific group of people. It was for Israel, who in pride, said,

“Then all the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” Exodus 19:8

“All the people spoke at the same time and said, “We will obey everything the Lord says.” Exodus 19:8[GW]

They thought they could do and obey EVERYTHING the Lord said. Much like how the following men wanted to show off and justify themselves before Jesus.

“Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”
And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.”
So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.” Luke 18:18-23

Notice how the young man was so sure he could do enough to inherit, to earn, to merit eternal life? Yet, he broke the first commandment of Moses,

“You shall have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3

Because the young man valued his riches more than he valued God; and the treasure in Heaven Jesus had promised him.

“And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”
So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”
And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”
But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”
And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:25-37

Here was another man who wanted to inherit eternal life. And notice how Luke records for us that He wanted to justify himself to Jesus? To all who want to justify themselves, want to rely on their own strength, instead of the Grace of our Father and of Jesus, God always shows them the impossible task. Because,

“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Beloved, we need to understand that demanding perfection from us was not our Father’s intention right from the beginning. In fact, this was what He purposed when He made us.

“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26

Our Father and Jesus, when They made us, They purposed us to have dominion over all Their creation. And They purposed this without needing us to prove ourselves at all. When Jesus walked the earth, healing the sick and casting out demons, He never made the people qualify themselves before He healed them. He healed them where and when they wanted, no questions asked. All they needed to do was ask of Him.

Beloved, in the same way, eternal life is a gift, freely given by God to whomever who would do the work of God. Because Jesus said,

“This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” John 6:29

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

And not just everlasting life does God give to us who believe, but the right to become children of God, for it is written,

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13

Man’s strength is limited. That is why, when pressured, man can perhaps produce good behavior quickly, but only for a short time. Also, with the good behavior comes acrid discontent. But if we accept the gift of righteousness that Jesus came to give us through the shedding of His blood, we become like the beans brewed cold, soaking and relaxing in the cleansing power of His blood which was shed for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28)

When that happens, when we allow His goodness to permeate our lives and see His goodness manifest itself in our lives, good works would naturally flow from us.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

This would perhaps take much longer than high-pressured steam. But the effects will last longer and our hearts will be filled so much more joy, there would be no acidity in our brew for then,

“the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

So which would you choose? The hot, high pressure steam and water of self-justification, or the cool relaxing soak in the love of Jesus and our Father? Do not make life difficult for yourself. Rely on Jesus. He has given you everything. Claim it in His name.

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