Joseph, the son of Jacob grew up caring for flocks, a shepherd boy,(Genesis 37:2). While we might have a romantic view of an easy pastoral life among sheep and goats, the main responsibility of a shepherd was to protect the flock against hungry predators (wolves, lions, etc.) looking for an easy meal, actually quite a dangerous job. The shepherd loved his sheep; and Joseph was a good shepherd.
During World War II, a US marine was separated from his unit on a Pacific Island. The fighting had been intense, and in the smoke and the crossfire he had lost touch with his comrades. Alone in the jungle, he could hear enemy soldiers coming in his direction. Scrambling for cover, he found his way up a high ridge to several small caves in the rock. Quickly he crawled inside one of the caves.
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…
Isn't it interesting that of the multitudes thronging and pressing toward Yeshua (Jesus), only one really touched Him? What made Yeshua notice her among all the rest?
Sukkot is a festival about rejoicing in the blessings that God has provided, but let’s be sure our focus is on the Lord of blessing – instead of the blessings!
Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) started last night throughout the world. The feast of Sukkot commemorates the time in which God led the Israelites through the wilderness for 40 years, providing them with every need on a daily basis – shelter, food, water and clothing.
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.
My wife has had an interesting life. Here, she shares a small portion of her past: I was born in Israel. My parents divorced when I was a toddler and my mother met and married a hippie American tourist who was searching his roots in Israel at the time. Later, we went back to the States with him. Little did we realize that he was heavily addicted to drugs and this among other things made for a very unhappy family and little on which to live.
Reading this parable, we are struck by the serious consequences of failing to produce Kingdom fruit. But there's something I want to particularly point out. Many of the great heroes of the faith — people like Moses and David, were not given great responsibilities immediately. Each of these men first served as a lowly shepherd, tending sheep. Having tested them first in this humble vocation, God then felt confident to elevate them to positions of greatness — but it all started with a small step!
F.B. Meyer once said, “The education of our faith is incomplete [till] we learn that God’s providence works through loss…that there’s a ministry to us through the failure and fading of things. The dwindling brook where Elijah sat is a picture of our lives.
A farmer was showing his visiting citydwelling friend around his farm. "Watch this!" he said. He gave a whistle and his little dog came running from the house, herded the cattle into the corral, then latched the gate with her paw. "Wow, that's some dog — what's her name?" The forgetful farmer thought for a minute and then asked, "What do you call that red flower that smells good and has thorns on the stem?" "A rose?" "That's it!" The farmer turned to his wife. "Hey Rose, what do we call this dog?"
Another great preacher whose writings I love to read is John R. Rice. He wrote, "I once imagined I was in Heaven, walking along with the Angel Gabriel. I said, "Gabe, what is that big building over there?"
We tend to focus on the part of that scripture where God does the blessing — but why did He bless Him? The answer lies in the passage! The Lord told Abraham: "I will bless you — and you shall be a blessing." Abraham was blessed so that he could be a blessing!
One of my favorite passages in the Scriptures is Psalm 1, and clearly this psalm holds an important key for our lives as believers to be fruitful and prosperous. That key is meditation. The psalmist describes the one who prospers as one who meditates "day and night"; a continual meditation developing the Godly habit of disciplining one’s mind in divine truth.
When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt I'm sure several million people were wondering, "How am I going to be fed? How am I going to survive in this wilderness?" Imagine the logistical nightmare. An incalculable quantity of food and water were needed to survive in the desert. Where would it come from? Yet, in this seemingly impossible situation, God provided!
Most of you know the story an Indian named Squanto and his first thanksgiving celebration with the Pilgrims. However, you might not know that over a decade before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, English traders were trading with the Indians throughout the region. Squanto’s amazing story really originated then.
Missionaries Dick and Margaret Hillis found themselves caught in China during the Japanese invasion. The couple lived with their two children in the inland town of Shenkiu. The village was tense with fear, for every day brought terrifying reports of the Japanese advance. At the worst possible time, Dick developed appendicitis, and he knew his life depended on making the long journey to the hospital. On January 15, 1941, with deep foreboding, Margaret watched him leave.
by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions. James 5:16b The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Ever wonder what someone who's never seen the modern world thinks of us approaching a wall, pressing a few buttons and out comes lot's of money? Cash machines — they're everywhere — and if you've got […]
Among those in the court of Alexander the Great was a philosopher of outstanding ability but little money. He asked Alexander for financial help and was told to draw whatever he needed from the imperial treasury.
In today's society fast food is making billions. It's slogans are "have it your way" and "have it hot and and have it now". How easy it is for us to fall into this "fast food mentality". It has almost become who we are. But in God's kingdom there's no fast food. We can't always have it our way and now. When we are caught up in this fast food mentality, we lose the true meaning of patience. True patience is the ability to wait on the Lord through trials without complaining and worrying; it is to be tested and persevere through trial.