Imbibing The Word Of God!

Imbibing The Word Of God

“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives” (Col. 3:16, NLT).

Studying the Bible in a way that changes your life doesn’t take a bunch of expensive tools. You don’t need commentaries or Bible study software. In fact, if you were stuck on a desert island with just a Bible, you could simply use the method you’ll learn about in this devotional.

God says that if we meditate on his Word, we’ll be successful. Here’s a method you can use to meditate on God’s Word in a way that’ll please God.

The “pronounce it” method of biblical meditation is an easy method for meditating on Scripture—and getting every ounce of spiritual nutrition you can out of it.

You start with a verse and read it over and over again. Each time you read the verse, you emphasize a different word. It’s the simplest way to start unlocking Scripture. You can do it even if it’s the first time you’ve ever opened up a Bible. It’s simple but amazingly powerful. Each time you emphasize a different word, you get a different perspective.

Take the first part of Colossians 3:16, for example: “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives” (NLT).

The first time you read the verse, emphasize the word “let.” “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you.” What does it mean to “let”? It means “give permission.” You open the door; it’s your choice. You have to choose to let the Word of God dwell in you richly. Gladly allow it to happen!

Then read the verse again and emphasize “message.” “Let the message of Christ dwell in you richly.” That means you need to get God’s Word in your mind.

Then emphasize the word “Christ.” You’re not dwelling on what some philosopher, guru or talk show host has to say. You’re dwelling on the words of Christ. You may not want to let the word of the world dwell in you, but that’s what happens when you spend your time watching TV instead of reading God’s Word.

Then you focus on the word “richness.” What does that mean? It means the opposite of “poorly.” In other words, “richness”  means lusciously, extravagantly and profoundly. God doesn’t want his Word to be a poor substitute in your life. He wants it to create beauty in your life.

Then emphasize the word “fill.” Don’t rush through God’s Word so you can get on with the rest of your day. To let the Word of Christ fill you is to let it live within you.

Finally, focus on the words “your lives.” The Bible isn’t just God’s Word for your pastor, a seminary professor or your small group leader; it’s God’s Word for you. The Bible is instruction for every single believer.

See all the great jewels you discovered in this passage just by focusing on one word at a time? You didn’t need a seminary degree or a great library of reference tools. You can do this.

Talk It Over

  • How will you dwell on God’s Word throughout your day?
  • How does your life reflect the richness of God’s Word and his grace? How would it look different to other people if you allowed God’s Word to make a greater difference in your life?
  • Practice the “pronounce it” method during your next quiet time. What difference does it make?

 

Advertisements

The Whole Church Is Failing Israel!

The Church of England has once again failed to give a moral lead to their nation. Their Synod (parliament) has voted against the Bishops’ recommendation that in the face of the huge pressure to allow same-sex ‘equality’, they should continue to take the traditional view of marriage. Those within the church who are desperately trying to honour the clear biblical teaching – that a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife (Genesis 2.24) – have reached a discouraging impasse.

Is it not time to say: ‘enough is enough’? Undermining the authority of the Bible only leads to heresy within, and confusion without. Sure, the watching world sees a church sadly divided, and  that is a surely terrible  witness. But there are surely issues over which it should be  impossible to compromise.

Endless debates create much heat, but bears little fruit. What, after all, is there left to debate? If the choice is whether or not to follow Scripture, then the advice from the Apostle Paul is: “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6.17) Those pushing for same-sex marriage are surely touching something ‘unclean’. At the end of the day, we will all stand before God to give account of the decisions we have made or haven’t made. (Romans 14.12)

The letters to the seven churches of Asia recorded in the Book of Revelation give as much emphasis on teaching as on behaviour – the key doctrines of Christian belief are hugely important.

The Apostle John, in his first letter, reminds his hearers that those who were spreading false teaching had come from within the churches. “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us,” he wrote. (1 John 2.19) Heresy was a great danger in the early church, just as Jesus predicted it would be in these latter days. When his disciples asked him about signs of the end of the age, the first thing he said was: “Watch out that no-one deceives you.” (Matthew 24.4.)

Yes, Jesus prayed passionately for unity among his followers. It was never meant to be unity at any cost, however, but the sort of oneness about which Paul spoke in his letter to the Ephesians when he explained that the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers were there “to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature…” (Ephesians 4.12f) The context is clearly about developing maturity within the body of Christ as disciples learn to walk in harmony with the Word of God. But because the modern church has failed to give a moral lead on the issue of homosexuality, the entire Western world is now in the process  of ‘redefining marriage’, if that is really possible.

We have seen the same thing concerning Israel. Undermining the authority of the Bible has led to the heresy of ‘replacement theology’, teaching that the church has replaced Israel in God’s affections and purposes. As a result, there is very little true understanding of Israel in the church today, and yet God’s end-time purpose is for Jew and Gentile to work together for the gospel! How far we have fallen behind God’s programme!  Tragically, the church has succumbed wholesale to worldliness, ignoring the Bible’s directive: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12.2) For example, as the mainstream media demonizes President Trump as a fool and a fascist, Christians will all too willingly pick that up without considering whether the truth may well have been stretched and muddied.

Lynne Patton, a black female executive for the Trump Organization, released a statement last year defending her boss against accusations of being a racist and a bigot, tearfully revealing how she’s struggled with substance abuse and addiction for years. But instead of kicking her to the curb, she said that Trump and his entire family loyally stood by her through “immensely difficult times.”

This was revealed in an article by Liz Crokin, an entertainment correspondent who has been reporting for the past ten years on Trump – especially over his involvement in The Apprentice TV show. “Trump’s kindness knows no bounds and his generosity has and continues to touch the lives of people from every sex, race and religion,” she wrote. “When Trump sees someone in need, he wants to help.

JEW AND GENTILE, ONE NEW MAN

 

The Mystery Revealed

The full prophetic plan of the “One New Man” (Eph.2:15), is  the drawing together of Jew and Gentile and is an urgently  needed revelation for the time that we live in, and for the final age to come. The book of Ruth showed us the tremendous love that this Gentile woman Ruth, had, as she became a fellow citizen with Israel and the Jewish people, adapted to their way of life, and their belief in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In this article, I hope to impart to you, the mystery revealed  from the book of Ephesians regarding the joining of the Jew and Gentile as one in Messiah.

Although the body of Messiah today, which is the Church, has in fact joined themselves to believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the same God as the Jewish people, the separation between the Church and the Jewish people definitely remains. This “Oneness of Jew and Gentile” is not merely theoretical or theological. It is thoroughly real and practical.  At the same time, that the Jews cannot embrace the Church, whether as Gentile believers in Jesus or even a Jewish believer in Jesus,  this makes this joining twice as hard. As the Lord is preparing the stage for His second coming, many segments of His church are still definitely not recognising the significant role of Israel and the Jewish people in God’s prophetic plan. Without embracing this vision, the joining of Jew and Gentile as ONE NEW MAN cannot possible take place.

There is a tremendous spiritual war against the union of these two people groups joining together, because the ultimate result will be the manifest glory of God upon the earth, and will unlock the healing of all God’s creation. Today we have many divisions among the entire body of Messiah, between denominations, churches, movements, and believers throughout the whole earth, Why? The root of all divisions has never been healed, it is the most ancient of divisions, one which the apostle Paul, seeing into the future, addressed in the book of Ephesians, the separation and division of the Jew and Gentile. Paul is speaking to Gentile believers in Ephesus, revealing a mystery to them regarding this “ONE NEW MAN”. As we briefly look at parts of this book, we must remember the overall theme of the book, which is this joining of two people groups becoming one in Messiah. In chapter 1:17-18, Paul states that he always prays for the believers to have wisdom and revelation into the plan of God, that their eyes will be opened to this. Of course, we can take this to mean God’s plan for our own individual lives, but we must also see the larger plan, the joining of the Jew and Gentile in Messiah.

In Ephesians chapter 2:11-13, it is clearly stated that the Gentiles were at one time estranged from the rights of Israel as a nation, and also strangers from the covenants, but through the shed blood of Messiah they are now brought near. One of the biggest problems believers have in interpreting the New Testament scriptures is that most of the time there is  little knowledge of the Old Testament. In the next two verses, 14-15, we need to take a closer look at certain words in order to understand what the Apostle Paul is saying, “For he (Messiah) is our peace, who has made us both Jew and Gentile one body, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, the law of commandments contained, in ordinances; for to make in himself of two one new man, so making peace.”

Most interpretations of these two verses would say that the word enmity refers to the Old Testament law of commandments, and that through believing in Jesus, these have been done away with. First we must clarify that the word law, actually means teachings, and if it were not for the Old Testament teachings we would not have any foundation at all, and we would not have the Messiah Jesus.

Jesus himself said in Matthew 5:17, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” The root meaning of the word fulfil is: to clarify or finalise, to perfect a foundation on which to build further. Jesus never meant to do away with or abolish the Old Testament teachings. Without knowledge of any Hebraic root teachings we will not be able to understand what Paul is referring to in “the enmity of ordinances”. Remember, Paul was a learned Jewish scholar who knew the Old Testament, and also the oral rabbinic laws. The enmity between Jew and Gentile was not the commandments, but it came because of mutual dislike of each other’s customs. This is common between cultures, but in this case, most Jewish customs are different. They did not just evolve; they were the obedience of the Jewish people in response to the Old Testament teachings given them by God.

In Ephesians 2:19, Paul continues speaking to the Gentile believers, “Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s family.” 

The word fellow citizen means to be in union with or together with by resemblance, companionship, or association. When someone becomes a citizen of a nation, they are required to learn the laws, customs, history, and language of that nation. A person becoming a citizen must also pledge loyalty, faithfulness, and commitment to that nation. We need to remember that it says in Romans 11:17, that the Gentiles were grafted in among the nation of Israel, and the Jewish people. When you graft something, you join or fasten it in such a way as to bring about a close and permanent union. This is what Ruth did as she attached herself to Naomi, a type and shadow of the Gentile becoming a fellow citizen with Israel and the Jewish people. The Gentile believers (Christians) should be thoroughly involved with the Jewish people, both Messianic and non-Messianic; thereby fulfilling scripture. Unfortunately, this union that Paul spoke about never really developed into the ONE NEW MAN relationship. In Ephesians 2:20, Paul states that these Gentile believers are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus The Messiah being the chief cornerstone. It is okay to apply this verse for today, that apostles and prophets are the backbone of the Church, but we also must remember that when Paul was writing to the apostles and prophets he was referring to were all Jewish. The rich biblical inheritance that believers in Messiah have worldwide has been passed down to them by Jewish spiritual parents. In verse 21 it states, “In whom all the building fitly framed together grows into a holy temple in the Lord.” The Jew and the Gentile are to be fitly joined together.

Jesus Is A Jew

Jesus The Jew

The most important thing about Jesus is almost completely ignored or overlooked and disregarded by all His followers.  I refer to the fact that He was born, lived and died as a Jew. The Gospel is also diminished by the fact that Jesus is a King and preached the Gospel of the Kingdom. He also commissioned His disciples to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom.  The fact that this is overlooked by so many today is despite the fact that the Bible is so filled with the vital nature and characteristic of Jesus and this greatly significant fact. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus, demonstrate so clearly that Jesus was totally Jewish in every aspect of His assumed humanity.

Jesus performed miracles and signs. He healed the sick, raised the dead, quelled storms of nature, fed the multitudes and exercised absolute authority over the spirit world—yet He wasn’t accepted as Israel’s Messiah.

One might think that with those credentials, He would be automatically proclaimed Messiah. We are told, however, that “He came to His own [people], and His own did not receive Him” (John 1:11). After a 3 1⁄ 2-year ministry, only 120 followers were there for the miraculous beginning of His Church (Acts 1:15).

One of the prophecies about the Messiah foretold that He would be “despised and rejected by men” (Isaiah 53:3). The great works Jesus did that brought about His popularity in the country, were not enough to overcome the disfavour He incurred from the religious authorities—or enough to secure loyalty from the fickle hearts of the common man.

His mission and His teachings were at cross purposes to those who held high positions in the nation, and His purpose was also misunderstood by most of those who saw and heard Him.

 

What Were The Jews Looking For?

The Jews were acquainted with many of the prophecies about the Messiah, the chosen or “anointed one” as the word means in Hebrew. They firmly believed that the Messiah would be a strong and glorious earthly king who would deliver them from their Roman oppressors and form once again a great and independent Jewish kingdom. The wise men who came from the east seeking the newborn Jesus inquired at Jerusalem, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:1-2).

King Herod, who ruled Judea under the Romans, clearly understood that the Messiah the Jews expected was to be another king and thus a rival to himself. He then asked the chief priests and scribes “where the Christ was to be born” so he could eliminate the threat to his power (Matthew 2:3-16).

In the Greek language in which the New Testament was written, Christos (Christ in English) has the same meaning as the Hebrew word Mashiach (Messiah in English) — “anointed one,” signifying one who was specially chosen by God (see “What Do ‘Messiah’ and ‘Jesus Christ’ Mean?” beginning on page 68). Herod and the Jewish rulers considered the title “Christ” as synonymous with that of “King of the Jews” in accordance with the general expectation of the time (compare Matthew 2:2 and Matthew 2:4).

The expectation that the Christ would be a king fit with their understanding that He would also be a descendant of David, the most famous of all the kings of Israel and the one by whom all other kings were measured. We see this illustrated in Matthew 22:42, when Jesus asked the Pharisees, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” Their response was, “The Son of David” (Matthew 22:42).

Jesus was addressed as “Son of David” by two blind men (Matthew 9:27), by the woman of Canaan (Matthew 15:22) and by the blind men at Jericho (Matthew 20:30). When Jesus healed a demon-possessed man who was both blind and mute, “all the multitudes were amazed and said, ‘Could this be the Son of David?’” (Matthew 12:22-23). At His entry into Jerusalem He was greeted with shouts of “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (Matthew 21:9).

The number and scope of the miracles Jesus performed—miracles not equalled in the history of Israel even by the great prophets—led people to the conclusion that He had to be the prophesied Messiah. “And many of the people believed in Him, and said, ‘When the Christ [Messiah] comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?’” (John 7:31).

The  Astounding Prophecy Of Zechariah 12

In Zechariah 12,  two miraculous events are predicted to happen  in Israel in the Last days. The first is an astounding supernatural victory for Israel against an attack made by numerous nations fanatically dedicated to the complete destruction of Israel. The second event closely following the victory, is the unveiling of the Angel of the Lord who proves to be the promised Messiah. This is  probably the most important chapter in the Bible at this time, because it may be dramatically fulfilled in the very imminent  future. The nations that Zechariah mentions are currently feverishly preparing for this attack. They are already impatiently waiting on Israel’s borders, ready for what they perceive to be their prophetic  moment to totally conquer Israel. The chapter describes exactly how the attack will proceed and what the ultimate result will be. It is absolutely essential that the whole world prepares for this event.

  1. A Ferocious Attack.
    In the Last Days, several Islamic nations filled with ancient bitter hatred for Israel, will gather on Israel’s border. They will boldly issue numerous threats to attack and annihilate Israel and Jerusalem. The attack will be launched as the first stage of their determination to wrest Israel from Jewish rule and replace it with Islamic and Sharia law. It will be the most powerful attack ever made on Israel. Several earlier attacks since the first in 1948, have failed dismally leaving Israel’s enemies with great humiliation that is extremely difficult for Muslims to bear. They see such defeats as extremely grave dishonour to Allah and the whole body of Islamic tradition.
  2. Anti-Semitism Throughout The World.
    Practically all the other nations on earth will give tacit agreement to the attack, to be launched with the intention of providing space for a new Palestinian State. Anti-Semitism can be traced back to the earliest days of human history when it began. Throughout the following ages it has continually grown ever stronger. The roots of it began between Ishmael and Isaac. Instead of becoming weaker through the passage of time it has become ever stronger. Since 1948, when the new state of Israel was proclaimed in the land of “Palestine” it has become more passionate than ever. This phenomena is continually deepening and is surely reaching a great crescendo in this day. It will finally reach a conclusion as a direct result of this great battle for the control of Jerusalem and Israel.
  3. A Stalwart Defense.
    The governors (leaders) of Judah will declare that the inhabitants of Israel find their strength in the Lord of Hosts their God. In Zechariah 12 and Asaph in Psalm 83, predict ferocious and fierce attacks to be made on Israel. Asaph declares that the intention is to “wipe Israel off the map that she will be remembered no more.” This is an extremely bold ambition that Islamic forces finally believe Allah himself will grant to his people. It is a vital part of the Islamic vision for the end of days, and all Muslims are encouraged to believe for such a climax to all human rule except that activated by Allah.
  4. An Army Like Fiery Torches.
    God will makes the Jewish forces like a fiery torch devouring the enemy forces on the right hand and the left. (There is no mention of Jewish casualties or losses in this chapter!) Although the forces fighting for Islam will appear frighteningly superior to those of Israel, the evident appearance of the God of Israel in support of His ancient covenant people, will reverse the odds and makes Israel far more capable of achieving a miraculous victory. The supernatural nature of God’s intervention will clearly overcome and totally supersede the apparent strength and size of the enemy armies. They will be decisively defeated.
  1. Led By The Angel Of The Lord.
    Jewish forces will be infused with supernatural strength. Even the feeblest soldier will be like King David and like the Angel of the Lord who will go before them. At various times in the Jewish Bible we may read of amazing victories achieved by Israel. In most of these records we may notice the appearance of one called “The Angel of the Lord.” This is the appearance of the God of Israel in a manner appropriate to providing competent defense and victory for the Israelite people of God. Zechariah clearly describes the intervention of this person on behalf of Israel.
  2. God Will Powerfully Defend Israel. V9.
    God will “determine to destroy” all the nations that come against Israel. Not only will Almighty God provide a great defense for Israel, probably saving millions of lives from death, He will also convincingly terminate the enemy armies that attack Israel. Such a victory may seem almost too fantastic to believe. However, when we consider the massive armaments that Iraq and its allies will have we can realize that it would surely require a truly supernatural army to destroy the Islamic forces. If Israel was left to its own defenses against such an army  these nations can muster, we may imagine how hopeless would be Israel’s chance of survival would be. Capable defence and the reality of Israel’s victory, will definitely require the supernatural intervention that only God can produce.
  3. A Great Holy Spirit Outpouring. Vs 9-10.
    The Holy Spirit will be initially poured out on the household of King David. However, Joel’s prophecy of the End Times has always predicted a sensational outpouring of the Holy on All Flesh. (Joel 2:28). When might this miraculous and marvellous event happen? If we search the scriptures for a likely moment in the prophetic future when this predicted event might happen, we must look again to Joel 2. In verse 27, Joel states that I AM will be “In the midst of Israel.” Joel further states that after this (Joel 2:27-28) he will pour out His Holy Spirit on ALL Flesh.
  4. Israel Recognizes Her Messiah Verse 12. 12:10-14 (NKJV)
    The Jewish population will finally look upon the face and form of their deliverer, the Angel of the Lord, who is actually their long awaited Messiah. They will confirm the evidence of their eyes by the scars of His wounding at Calvary 2,000 years ago.
  5. The Outpouring Of The Holy Spirit On The Jews

Zechariah 12:10  And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced.  Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.

  1. Great Mourning And Repentance In Jerusalem
    11 In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.
    12 And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves;
    13 the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; 
  2. All The Israeli Families That Remain Will Repent
    14 all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves.

Satan’s Darkness And God’s Light

The world is becoming filled with a greater darkness in all regions of the earth.  Human hearts and minds are becoming more bent toward evil, and more cold day by day. Arrogance, rebellion, entitlement of flesh, hatred, violence, etc. are so thick at times that it’s hard to breathe.  Why is the world so dark, when YHVH gave His people such incredible light to share with the populations of the globe? I believe the answer is that the people entrusted with the light of YHVH’s truth have been hiding it under a bushel.  Why?

DIVINE TRUTH IS NOT NEGOTIABLE … it is absolute.

The spirit of this world rejects the idea that there is anything absolute; but most especially it proclaims that there is NO ABSOLUTE TRUTH. In this way, the institutions and the individuals of this world can openly reject YHVH, and feel justified in doing that.  To declare the truth about the Lord, and about His word, is becoming more personally costly in this present age.  That is because the world rejects and mocks YHVH’s truth tellers as arrogant, destructive, and ignorant.  In order to blend in, and to avoid being rejected, persecuted, and punished for sharing the truth, much of the church has chosen to be silent.  Many of the shepherds have stopped teaching/preaching the bible as THE authority, lest they be fired from their jobs. Others edit the truth; dropping the blood atonement reality … even the sin reality, as the reason for the need of atonement. God forbid that they might speak about the alternative of going to , them to bear.  They don’t want to appear to be judgmental or negative. In the opinion of many leaders, the belief that the bible is THE authority is arrogant, unfair, and far too discouraging to preach in their popular religion of inclusive love. The offense expressed by the humanistically inspired church members, who hold the power of the purse, is just too threatening for many pastors. As a result, they go to silence and into the practice preaching short, safe, weak, erroneous, ear-tickling sermons. Within these compromised leaders, we find that the fear of man is stronger than the fear of YHVH.  Isaiah declares that when deepest darkness covers the earth in the Last Days, God’s glorious light will shine upon Jerusalem.

Isaiah 60:1-3
1  “Arise, shine Jerusalem; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
2  “For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples; But the LORD will rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you.
3  “Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.

 We can surely recognise that deepest spiritual darkness is presently covering the earth which means that God’s glorious Light will also shine on Jerusalem. The prophetic moment which God predicted approximately 2,000 years ago is happening now upon the earth. We are obviously entering the finale of this age and the Kingdom of God will soon be established on this earth.  Are we truly ready for this momentous time?

Opposing Sharia Law!

Opposing Sharia Law!

On June 27, 1952 the American government passed a law called “1952 McCann Walters act.”  It actually out-lawed Sharia Law, but Obama completely ignored that law. Instead, he started to import thousands of aggressive Muslim “refugees” who refuse to obey American law and demand that America adopt Islamic Sharia Law and Constitution. These same Muslims who were supposed to be refugees, are still determined to see Sharia Law imposed upon America.  What will be Trumps’ response to their determined efforts?

Obviously President Trump will forcefully deny  these alien efforts even though several million Americans will oppose him. These Americans have obviously been deluded by Obama and will now vigorously resist  President Trump.  They will do so with such force that this situation could even become a civil war.  It will certainly severely divide America, promoting a fierce scenario of  bitter hatred and alienation.  The future of America is in grave doubt. Numerous other nations are in a similar position including Britain, Germany, Denmark and many more countries.  Although so far, Australia appears to be safe from such issues, we cannot claim that they will never happen here. The manner in which our government leaders mock and deny such voices as Pauline Hansen, suggest that they have no fear of the Islamic determination to  rule the world.  The present voices of militant Islam remind me of the nations in,

Genesis 11:6 (NKJV)
6  And the LORD said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.

The situation in the world today is also one in which it will require the direct intervention of God to rescue the world from threatened disaster. Such intervention usually comes in answer to fervent prayers from God’s people. At this moment in time, His people seem totally oblivious to the urgent threat posed by Islam.  It is certainly time for God’s people to wake up and earnestly seek His powerful intervention. Let the cry go up “Your Kingdom Come. Your will be done!”

 

Brigitte Gabriel was born in the Marjeyoun District of Lebanon to a Maronite Christian couple, a first and only child after over twenty years of marriage.She recalls that during the Lebanese Civil War, Islamic militants launched an assault on a Lebanese military base near her family’s house and destroyed her home. Gabriel, who was ten years old at the time, was injured by shrapnel in the attack.

She says that she and her parents were forced to live underground in all that remained, an 8-by-10-foot (2.4 by 3.0 m) bomb shelter for seven years, with only a small kerosene heater, no sanitary systems, no electricity or running water, and little food. She says she had to crawl in a roadside ditch to a spring for water to evade Muslim snipers.

According to Gabriel, at one point in the spring of 1978, a bomb explosion caused her and her parents to become trapped in the shelter for two days. They were eventually rescued by three Christian militia fighters, one of whom befriended Gabriel but was later killed by a land mine.

Gabriel wrote that in 1978 a stranger warned her family of an impending attack by the Islamic militias on all Christians. She says that her life was saved when the Israeli army invaded Lebanon in Operation Litani. Later, when her mother was seriously injured and taken to an Israeli hospital, Gabriel was surprised by the humanity shown by the Israelis, in contrast to the constant propaganda against the Jews she saw as a child.

She says of the experience:

“I was amazed that the Israelis were providing medical treatment to Palestinian and Muslim gunmen…These Palestinians and Muslims were sworn, mortal enemies, dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of Jews. Yet, Israeli doctors and nurses worked feverishly to save their lives. Each patient was treated solely according to the nature of his or her injury. The doctor treated my mother before he treated an Israeli soldier lying next to her because her injury was more severe than his. The Israelis did not see religion, political affiliation, or nationality. They saw only people in need, and they helped.

 

New Conflict With Hamas?

ISRAELI GENERAL: TOWARDS NEW CONFLICT WITH HAMAS

According to former General in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Yoav Galant, Israel is headed for a new conflict with Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in Gaza. Galant is also a former Commander of the Southern Command, with responsibility for Gaza, and expects the next conflict to take place during the coming spring or summer. He offers two reasons for his assessment: First of all, the economic situation in Gaza is very difficult, and the despair of the people is directed against Hamas. Secondly, Hamas has continued to dig tunnels, develop their rockets and prepared for war.

During the last year, Israel has prevented 1 225 attempts to smuggle dual-purpose material that can be used in warfare into Gaza. These include drones, model-airplanes, commando knives, and diving equipment. Israeli intelligence have marked a decisive effort by Hamas to develop its naval commando program and its drone program. The organization now possesses drones that can carry explosives. It smuggles much of its material into Gaza through Egypt. In addition, Hamas has started patrolling the border to Israel as a means to map the movements of the IDF. In other words, the terrorists has used the years since the last war in 2014 to significantly improve their capabilities.

On Monday, a rocket launched from Gaza landed in open areas outside of Ashkelon. This is the first time in months that the siren, Color Red, was heard in Israel’s southern districts. A salafi terror organization took responsibility for the attack, but Israel responded as usual by attacking Hamas-targets. Israel holds Hamas, as ruling power in Gaza, responsible for every attack coming out of the area. Later on Monday, Hamas fired at Israeli soldiers patrolling the border, and Israel returned fire. It does not however, seem like Hamas is headed towards a conflict at present.

Comment
The IDF learned many lessons from the war in 2014. It has now developed both technology and tactics for how to deal with all possible threats coming from Gaza. However, in spite of this and in spite of the heavy blow Hamas took during the previous war, the terror organization is not deterred. On the other hand, if there will be a war in the coming months, this would seem to be because Hamas has a need to divert the criticism from the population in Gaza to its rule. The people of Gaza have been increasingly vocal in blaming Hamas for their misery. They no longer accept that Israel can be blamed for every ill. These protests are a new and brave phenomenon, thinking of the terror regime Hamas implements also towards its own population.

Therefore, if Hamas indeed leads the region to another war, they would do well to think of the day after. They would no doubt receive the sympathy of the international community during the war, but the local population will have to suffer because of the destruction, and this despair will in the end be directed against Hamas. The next war could therefore lead to Hamas’ downfall – if not by the hands of the IDF, then by their own population.

As concerns the international community, this is the time to get engaged. If they really care about the people in Gaza, they need to act now to prevent more suffering. And the way to do this, is not to blame Israel for blocking certain goods from entering Gaza. They need to confront Hamas! As long as Hamas sticks to its goal to destroy Israel, the population of Gaza will suffer. Israel will, as every normal nation, do what it needs to defend itself. Nobody should expect, or demand, anything else. It is therefore Hamas that sits with the key to the well-being of the population in Gaza. So international politicians and diplomats, please get to work!

Knowing The Names Of God

If you are a Christian, you will know God. As believers, we are always seeking to develop our relationship with our Father in heaven, and to get to know him more. One of the ways in which we can do this is by understanding his name. It might sound random, but the different names for God, recorded in the Bible, can teach us a lot about his character

  1. Elohim: Creator (Genesis 1:1)
    “It all started with a Creator–our God who pieced together the Universe with His hands and great attention to detail. When you acknowledge the name Elohim in your prayers, you are calling out to the One who holds all things together, brings beauty to the world, and structure out of nothing. You’re calling out to the God who knitted you together in your mother’s womb. Acknowledging His creative power and ability to hold all things together reveals your trust in His infinite ability.”
  2. Adonai: Lord, Master (Psalm 16:2)
    “It’s important to remember and acknowledge your place and His authority; to refer to God as your Master. You don’t have it all figured out and there will be times you try something on your own, only to fail. In these moments, call out to Adonai and recognize Him as your Master. Surrender to His will and care for your life.”
  3. Jehovah-M’Kaddesh: The God Who Sanctifies (Leviticus 20:7-8)
    “Our God is a holy God; set apart and unlike anyone. When you put your faith in Him, He extends that sanctification to you and makes you holy. This transformation changes your life and should be celebrated in acknowledging Jehovah-M’Kaddesh. Ask God to help you live in this new transformation extended to you and thank Him for this incredible gift.”
  4. Yahweh Roi: The Lord is My Shepherd (Psalm 23:1-3)
    “A shepherd is someone who watches over a flock, but more so, protects and cares for the ones in their charge. You have this great privilege of being in the care of Yahweh Roi who sacrifices His own life to watch over you. Shepherds would even sleep at the gates of where the flock slept in order to protect them. God watches over you, cares for you, protects you, and leads you by still waters. Pray for Him to always lead you and be willing to always follow.”
  5. El Roi: The God Who Sees (Genesis 16:13-14)
    “This is perhaps one of my favorite names; calling it out comforts me in my loneliest moments and hardest days. When Hagar fled and God called to her in the wilderness, she called Him El Roi–that moment has felt so familiar to me many times. When you feel alone, forgotten, hurt, or scared, call out to the God who sees you, no matter where you are or what you’ve done.”
  6. Yahweh Tsuri: The Lord My Rock (Psalm 144:1)
    “When the world seems to shake around you, you don’t have to be shaken either because you have a firm rock as your foundation. Calling out to Yahweh Tsuri is calling out to His faithfulness, strength, and stability. When times are uncertain, cry out to the Lord who is your rock and firm ground.”
  7. Yahweh Nissi: The Lord My Banner (Exodus 17:15-16)
    “This is the name you want to call out in your spiritual battles. A banner was carried in battle to be a sign to others of what you stood for and to rally the troops. When you go through your own trial, you can be confident that Yahweh Nissi is standing over you. He is the strong and powerful–undefeatable–God on your side when you’re up against any struggle or foe.”
  8. Jehovah Jireh: The God Who Provides (Genesis 22:13-14)
    “As Abram was about to sacrifice his son, an angel of the Lord appeared and provided a ram for the sacrifice. God knows all and sees the bigger picture; He knows what you need before you do. You can trust in Jehovah Jireh to provide for all your needs when you need them. If you’re in need of provision, cry out to Him and trust He has you covered.”
  9. Jehovah Rophe: The God Who Heals (Exodus 15:22-27)
    “When it comes to healing–physical, emotional, or spiritual–there’s no source worth putting your hope into besides Jehovah Rophe. He is the source of all healing and when you’re in search for it in any capacity, God is the One to turn to. If you’re battling a physical ailment or an emotional scar, cry out to the God who heals.”
  10. Abba: Father (Luke 15:20)
    “A child in the care of a loving father has a confidence about them; an assurance of their place as a child and in the unconditional love of their parent. As a child of God, you can be confident in your relationship with Him and the love He has for you. When the prodigal son returned, his father saw him coming from far off and ran to him. When you pray to Abba, you are praying to a Father who cares deeply for you and would go to great lengths for you. Rest in that relationship and love today.”

Let’s ask God for more of Him more today! His name reveals His glory, and his unending care for His children. Praise Him! Amen!

FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail