Celebrate Freedom!

Last night began Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day) as Israelis remember the over 23,000 soldiers who've perished in various wars fought throughout the course of Israel's short history. Even right now, as we write this devotion, again the sirens ring aloud. Everyone in Israel can hear the sirens at this moment and just about all of them will stop what they are doing in remembrance of those who've laid their lives down for this country's freedom.

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Beware of your thoughts!

Picture this -- you come home from a long day of work -- you walk into your living room -- plop down on your couch in exhaustion -- and there in the corner of the room -- your eyes are drawn to something moving -- it's a rattlesnake! Do you say to yourself, "Oh, I'm too tired to worry about that now, I'll deal with it later?" Of course not! You'd jump up right away, find a bat or something of the like, alert your family, call the neighbors, call 911, call the fire department and who knows what else! It's a life-threatening situation!

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Enter the Kingdom as a child!

Hebrew is the only language in the world that was completely dead as an everyday tongue and then resurrected to become a living language after thousands of years. The "Father" of modern Hebrew, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, was devoted to restoring Hebrew for the Jewish people of our time, when for centuries it was strictly a written language.

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Pour yourself out!

Charles Finney wrote about how God gave him mighty infillings of the Holy Spirit. He said, "[These infillings] went through me, as it seemed, body and soul. I immediately found myself endued with such power from on high that a few words dropped here and there to individuals were the means of their immediate conversion. My words seemed to fasten like barbed arrows in the souls of men. They cut like a sword. They broke the heart like a hammer. Multitudes can attest to this...Sometimes I would find myself in a great measure empty of this power.

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Understand the Times!

Among the mighty men of David were those of the tribe of Issachar whose special gift was their understanding of the times, a gift of prophetic insight; and this was such a precious gift because included in their discernment was the ability to know how to apply it. In our time prophecy is everywhere. Yeshua (Jesus) warned us that there would be false prophets in the last days, especially approaching His second coming, and He said the prophecy would be so subtle and the false signs so powerful that even the elect might be deceived if that were possible; [Mt. 24:24] While it's clear to many of us that we're living in prophetic days, there are also millions who have no clue of the current times and seasons.

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Take Us Into the Holy of Holies!

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement is upon us. Beginning tomorrow evening, Yom Kippur marks the holiest of all holy days on the Hebrew calendar. It is the anniversary of the fall of man and it is the climax of the time of Teshuvah (repentance). Starting tonight night and into Saturday, all around the world, the religious will fast from food and water and read prayers in the synagogue, as will the majority of traditional Jews.

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Crush, Mutilate, Destroy!

According to ancient Jewish legend, one day Abraham was shown his father, Terah's room of many idols. Young Abraham, thinking that perhaps he could discover intimacy with them, made some desirable delicacies and placed them before the idols. When nothing happened, he realized that these idols were nothing more than clay -- they could do nothing for him or anyone else for that matter. So he proceeded to destroy all the idols, except for one.

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Keep Your Clothes!

During the days of the Temple, the Levities were in charge of keeping the Temple holy. So throughout the night, the captain would make his rounds to make sure that those assigned were watching attentively, so that no one would defile the Temple during the night. If a watchman was found sleeping, he was beaten and his garments were set on fire so that he had to return home naked in his shame!

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Don't Neglect Your Huppah!

In Israel, couples are married beneath a "huppah", which is a beautiful canopy under which the ceremony takes place. The word "huppah" means "covering" but also, a "chamber" or "marriage room". So the canopy is a reminder that the marriage chamber is the most important room in the house for a husband and wife because it's the most intimate room. The huppah emphasizes marital intimacy and reminds us that even if we have the most luxurious mansion in the world, neglecting the place of intimacy spells deep trouble for our marriage.

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