David is called a “man after God’s own heart.” Considering that he lusted after his neighbor's wife, committed adultery with her, and had her husband murdered, the Lord's description of him is remarkable. How could a man who was convicted a murderer and an adulterer also be called one after God’s own heart?
Last Friday night and Saturday, Jews throughout the world solemnly “afflicted” their souls during Yom Kippur. However, most kids in Israel look at Yom Kippur as “ride your bikes in the streets day!” You see, Yom Kippur in Israel is the one day when TV and radio stations are completely shut down and the streets are almost completely void of vehicles of any kind.
A story is told of Napoleon Bonaparte. As he was busy conquering Europe in the 1800's during one of his military campaigns, Napoleon accidentally let the bridle of his horse slip while he was looking through some papers. The horse reared itself and the Emperor lost his balance. One corporal quickly leaped forward and caught the bridle just in the nick of time, bringing the horse under control and saving Napoleon from what might have been serious injury or even death. Napoleon saluted the corporal and said, "Thank you, Captain!" "Of what company, Sire?" asked the corporal. "Of my guards," replied Napoleon.
When the apostle Paul wrote this letter to his young student Timothy, he taught him some profound truths that I often apply in my life. I suppose when Timothy received these instructions, he was about my age – a young man still developing his skills at evangelism, teaching and instructing.
When Peter stepped out of the boat to walk on water – he literally stepped out of the boat! Imagine that! But was Peter going overboard? No, I don't believe so — he was literally taking a step of faith with his eyes fixed on the Lord!
So the captain came to Jonah, and said to him, "What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish." At this point the captain (who probably worshiped Baal and Yamm, god of the sea) has more faith than Jonah.
Many of you know that we've been in Israel a little over ten years now. I am still trying to adjust to the spiritual atmosphere, culture and language. Those few things, in and of themselves, are enough to become overwhelmed. But if that's not enough, we are pioneering a new ministry here, trusting totally in God for His provision, trying to raise two young children in a way that is pleasing to Him and all the while, going through our own personal trials.
Here in Israel, I have to carry my passport everywhere. It's always in my pocket where ever I go. It's my source of American identity here in the Land, should anyone ever question it.
Some time ago, two university students in Moorhead, Minnesota painted a mural on the wall outside their dorm room. It was of a school of fish all swimming in the same direction except for a single fish heading the opposite way. That one fish going the other direction was meant to be Jesus. Included in the mural were the words, "Go against the flow." Sadly, university officials argued that the mural might offend non-Christians, and told the students to paint over it.
When we were in the womb we had eyes, but there was little to focus on. Our eyes had rods and cones to distinguish shapes and colors, yet there were no shades or colors to see. We were in total darkness. But we had eyes that were meant to see light. Our eyes were the evidence that beyond the womb was a whole other world, still yet to be seen.
Have you ever felt uneasy, unsettled or unstable? Or maybe a better question is — who hasn’t? How do we overcome these feelings?
Do you ever wonder why it is that sometimes we don't get the things we pray for? James hits it on the nail when he says that we ask amiss, that we may consume it upon our pleasures.
One of my favorite "hidden" lessons in the Pesach (Passover) celebration "Seder" meal is the mystery of the “afikomen.” This specially prepared meal– during which the participants are reminded of Israel's supernatural deliverance from Egyptian slavery by the mighty hand of God– also includes 3 particular pieces of matzah, (unleavened bread). These three are placed in a "matzah tash" — a special pouch containing three compartments…
The New Testament records that when Yeshua (Jesus) died; there was a great earthquake and the veil of the Temple was torn in two. The size of this gigantic veil is not recorded in the NT…but we read from other sources that it was roughly 60 feet long and 30 feet wide with multiple woven layers the thickness of a man's hand! It was hung on a crossbeam stone – a lintel – which was over 30 feet long and weighed more than 30 tons! It was not an easy cloth to tear…
Have you ever used the phrase "I have every reason in the world ….."? I sure have. But I was thinking about it. What I'm really saying when I say that is — that I have every reason to do whatever it is I'm doing in the world's eyes –and not in my heavenly Fathers!
I heard a story about a man who was imprisoned during Napoleons reign. While sulking in his dungeon one day, he etched on the wall the words "Nobody Cares".
I could tell you about countless difficult and drawn out circumstances over which we have tried to stand firmly in faith until they finally came to pass. Sometimes we made it and sometimes we were weak and began to doubt. But God mercifully came through for us on most of these things, despite our lack of strength to stay faith-ful.
Momentum is simply the force or speed of movement that carries an object to its final destination. If you want to break through, you need to have a certain amount of momentum. In order for a rocket to blast into space, it needs tremendous momentum to break the gravitational barrier – but with the enormous power of jet engines and rocket fuel the ship is propelled faster and faster till it breaks free of the earth’s gravitational pull.
Murmuring or complaining is one of those sins that are overlooked. Sometimes we get so focused on the "big sins" such as murder and adultery that we overlook this sin — but the Lord doesn't give this sin a free pass — quite the opposite. It's a hidden killer! This sin unleashed a plague that killed thousands of Israelites! [Numbers 16]
This groundbreaking conversation took place at Caesarea Phillipi, which lies today in the modern day reserve of the Banias in the Golan Heights region of Israel. The city was established by Ptolemaic Greeks, a Hellenistic community where the worship of the god Pan was centered. Reviled by the Jews of Yeshua's time and considered by them the most idolatrous place in the entire Galilee, to this day it remains a place of nature worship and deep paganism…