VIDEO Israel’s Redeemer and a Light to the Nations

ISAIAH 49 : 1-7

“Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the LORD called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name.

2 He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver.

3 He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.”

4 But I said, “I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing. Yet what is due me is in the LORD’s hand, and my reward is with my God.”

5 And now the LORD says- he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD and my God has been my strength-

6 he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”

7 This is what the LORD says- the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel- to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation, to the servant of rulers:

“Kings will see you and rise up, princes will see and bow down, because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

I am going to share some Beautiful and Blessed video’s of how the Jewish nation are seeking to hear God’s voice and know that he exists …… and then believing and receiving JESUS CHRIST as their SAVIOR – PRAISE BE TO GOD as we pray for more and more to come to know HIM.

https://www.oneforisrael.org

https://preparingforthe2ndcoming.wordpress.com/israel/

Now as Then – Driven by God

Now as Then

And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen! Alleluia!” Revelation 19:4

In talking about heaven, theologian N. T. Wright has written, “You must therefore live, in the present, as far as possible like you will live in the future.”1 If we are going to be holy in heaven, we should be holy now. If we are going to be loving in heaven, we should be loving now. And, if we are going to worship God in heaven, we should worship God now.

There is no doubt that worship is the central theme of life in God’s presence. In a vision, Isaiah saw “the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.” And the seraphim cried, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” (Isaiah 6:1-4). And the apostle John saw worship in heaven numerous times in his vision: Revelation 4:8-11; 5:8-14; 7:11-12; 11:15-18; 15:1-4; 16:5-7; 19:1-8. So if worship is going to be the theme of all eternity, it behooves us to worship now as we will worship then.

Think about the ways you can incorporate worship into your eternal life in Christ: personally, as a family, in your small group or church. Worship today as you will worship forever.

Nobody can call himself a Christian who does not worship Jesus.  John R. W. Stott


Driven by God

May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in obedience to him. 1 Kings 8:58

A few months ago I received an email inviting me to join a community of “driven people.” I decided to look up the word driven, and I learned that a driven person is someone highly motivated to succeed and who will work hard to achieve his goals.

Is it good to be a driven person? There is a test that never fails: “Do it all for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). Many times we do things for self-glory. After the flood in Noah’s day, a group of people decided to build a tower in order to “make a name” for themselves (Gen. 11:4). They wanted to be famous and avoid being scattered all over the world. Because they were not doing it for God’s glory, though, they were erroneously driven.

Father, give me the desire to obey You and do everything for Your glory.

In contrast, when King Solomon dedicated the ark of the covenant and the newly constructed temple, he said, “I have built the temple for the Name of the Lord” (1 Kings 8:20). Then he prayed, “May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in obedience to him and keep the commands” (v. 58).

When our greatest desire is to bring glory to God and walk in obedience, we become driven people who seek to love and serve Jesus in the power of the Spirit. Let our prayer echo Solomon’s. May our “hearts be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands” (v. 61).

Father, give me the desire to obey You and do everything for Your glory.

For help in your spiritual growth, read God at the Center at discoveryseries.org/hp152.

Do everything for the glory of God.

By Keila Ochoa

The Testing of Our Commitment

Hebrews 11:8-9

In situations when God is testing us, He will teach us new and deeper truths about Himself, His purposes, and His promises. Though we feel stretched in painful seasons, such difficulties are always designed to be beneficial.

From a human perspective, times of testing can be baffling because we don’t understand how anything good could result. Consider God’s command that Abraham sacrifice his long-awaited son Isaac. Abraham’s earthly viewpoint could have regarded this order as:

Unreasonable. “I cherish my son above all else. How could You ask this?”

Untimely. “Why now, Lord? My son is still young. He is the one through whom my descendants are to come.”

Unfair. “It’s not right that You ask this. Haven’t I left home to follow You?”

Unbearable. “This is too hard for me. I cannot take this pain.”

Abraham rejected that kind of thinking. Instead, he trusted God. The trial revealed Abraham’s unshakable commitment to the Lord’s plan.

Knowing which circumstances will help us grow, our Father asks us to exercise faith and choose His way. Recalling His unending love and wholehearted commitment to His children will help us do this. Be assured that God makes no mistakes in His dealings with us.

Imagine Abraham’s joy when the Lord provided a ram as a sacrifice in Isaac’s place. We will receive the same reward of spiritual joy when we remain steadfast. Won’t you respond to times of testing as Abraham did—by trusting and obeying God?

The Beginning of Creation

“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.” (Revelation 3:14)

This salutation in the last of the seven church epistles in Revelation contains the last of four occurrences of the distinctive phrase “the beginning of the creation.” The glorified Christ here assumes this as one of His divine names. Note that even God’s work of creation, long since completed (Genesis 2:1-3), had a beginning, and that beginning was Christ. “In the beginning was the Word . . . . All things were made by him” (John 1:1, 3).

The first two occurrences of this phrase also come from the lips of Christ. “From the beginning of the creation God made them male and female” (Mark 10:6). This assertion by the Creator, Jesus Christ (quoting Genesis 1:27), makes it unambiguously certain that Adam and Eve were created at the beginning of creation, not after the earth had already existed for 4.5 billion years. God also wrote this plainly on the tables of the law (Exodus 20:8-11). Those evangelicals who accept the geological ages evidently reject this clear statement of the creation’s Creator!

Then Christ also referred to the end-times in the context of the beginning-times. “In those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be” (Mark 13:19).

The phrase is also used in Peter’s very important prophecy concerning the scoffers of the end-times who will argue (in willful ignorance) that “all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Peter 3:3-4), thereby denying that there ever was a real creation or real Creator and thus rejecting Christ Himself. But He is also the “true witness” and the “Amen,” and such denials will only be “unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). HMM

“A soft answer turneth away wrath.”

Joshua 22:21-34

The tribes on the other side of Jordan received the deputation with courtesy, and answered for themselves without anger.

Joshua 22:23

In the sincerity of their hearts they appealed to God that they had no idea of offering sacrifice anywhere but at the one appointed altar. Appeals to God must never be lightly made, nor in any case where anything less than the highest interests are concerned. It is consoling to feel that God knows our motives, but we must do our best so to act that God’s people shall also know what we aim at.

Joshua 22:24-27

They feared lest they should lose the means of grace, and lest the Jordan should become a line of division between them and their brethren at some future time.

Joshua 22:28, 29

Their intention was thus shown to be honest, though the action had a very doubtful appearance. We are bound, however, never to put a worse construction than we can help upon other peoples’ conduct.

Joshua 22:31

Religious quarrels are usually very fierce, but in this case true wisdom ended the strife. When one is ready to explain, and the other willing to receive the explanation, difficulties will soon be got over. May all differences in this family be handled wisely and tenderly, and peace and love ever rule among us.

Joshua 22:32, 33

Zeal for the truth made Israel prepare for war, but they were not hot-headed as some are in these days. Once enabled to believe well of their brethren, they were glad of it, and gave God thanks that doubtful matters were cleared up. It is well to watch over others with holy jealousy, but not to be rancorous and bitter.

Joshua 22:34

children of Gad called the altar Ed, or witness

Thus all ended well, and true religion ruled on both sides the Jordan. When shall our land become one again,—knowing only one Lord, one faith, and one baptism?

 

God’s Delivering Power Is Yours!

2 Corinthians 1:8, 9

Everyone has had to endure hardness at some point in life, including the apostle Paul. He describes some of the hardships he endured in Asia in Second Corinthians 1:8, 9: “For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead.”

Notice the first part of verse 8, where Paul says, “For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of the trouble which came unto us in Asia….” The word “trouble” is the Greek word thlipsis, which was used to convey the idea of a heavy-pressure situation. In fact, at one point this word was used to depict a victim who was first tied up with rope and laid on his back; then a huge, heavy boulder was slowly lowered upon him until he was crushed). This, indeed, would be a very heavy situation for the man underneath the boulder! He would be in a tight place, under a heavy burden, or in a great squeeze.

By using this word, Paul is saying, “We were under a heavy loadan unbelievably heavy amount of stress and pressure! We were in very tight circumstances. Our minds were being ‘squeezed.’ It felt like our lives were being pushed right out of us!”

You might think Paul is referring to physical suffering. Of course, physical suffering is difficult, but the greatest suffering of all always occurs in the mind—mental suffering. A person can live with pain in his body if his mind is still in control. However, when the suffering begins to work on that person’s mind, both his body and his mind could eventually break and fold.

Paul’s greatest suffering was not physical, but mental. This is why he goes on to say, “… that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life” (v. 8). Particularly pay heed to that first phrase, “that we were pressed out of measure.” This is the Greek phrase kath huperbole, and it is extremely important in Paul’s testimony. It literally means to throw beyond, to excel, to exceed, or to go beyond anything normal or expected. It also describes something that is excessive and beyond the normal range of what most would experience.

By using this word, Paul says, “We were under an amount of pressure that is not normal. It was FAR BEYOND anything we had ever previously experienced. It was excessive, unbelievable, unbearable, and far too much for any one human being to endure.”

Paul goes on to tell us that this pressure was “above strength.” This word “above” is also important. It is the Greek word huper, which always conveys the idea of something excessive. In order to explain how bad his situation was, Paul is piling words on top of words, all of which accurately portray how terrifically bad the ordeal in Asia was for him and his traveling companions.

It is almost as though Paul is saying, “Normal human strength never would have been sufficient for this situation. The strength it required was far, far beyond human strength. This predicament required strength in a measure I had never previously needed. It was beyond me!”

Then Paul says, “… insomuch that we despaired even of life….” The Greek word for “despaired” is the word exaporeomai. It was used in a technical sense to describe no way out. It is where we get our word exasperated, and it describes people who feel trapped, caught, up against the wall, pinned down, and utterly hopeless. Today we might say, “Sorry, but it looks like this is the end of the road for you!

Then Paul continues in verse 9, “But we had the sentence of death in ourselves….” The word “sentence” is the Greek word apokrima, which in this sense speaks of a final verdict. Paul is saying, “It looked to us like the verdict was in, and we were not going to survive.”

When all these different phrases and words are looked at together, it becomes very plain that Paul’s primary suffering at this moment was mental, not physical. He is describing mental agony on a measure that few of us have ever experienced.

 

Because of all these Greek words, the following could be taken as an interpretive translation of these verses:

“We would not, brethren, have you ignorant of the horribly tight, life-threatening squeeze that came to us in Asia. It was unbelievable! With all the things that we have been through, this was the worst of all. It felt like our lives were being crushed! It was so difficult that I didn’t know what to do. No experience I’ve ever been through required so much of me; in fact, I didn’t have enough strength to cope with it. Toward the end of this ordeal, I was so overwhelmed that I didn’t think we’d ever get out! I felt suffocated, trapped, and pinned against the wall. I really thought it was the end of the road for us! As far as we were concerned, the verdict was in, and the verdict said, ‘Death.’ But really, this was no great shock, because we were already feeling the effect of death and depression in our souls….”

Paul doesn’t tell us exactly what happened to him and his team when they were in Asia. But whatever it was, it was the most grueling experience they had ever been through until that time.

You may ask, “Why would Paul want us to know that he had been through such difficult times? Did he want us to feel sorry for him?” Absolutely not! Paul wanted us to know that everyone endures hardness from time to time. Even the greatest, most well-known, celebrated spiritual leaders are confronted with situations that are devastating or challenging.

You see, even with all his knowledge, revelation, and experience, Paul was still assaulted by the devil. That assault was so aggressive that Paul wrote “we despaired even of life,” describing the intense emotions he felt as he went through these extremely difficult circumstances.

But Paul didn’t break, and he didn’t die! Likewise, if you’ll hold on and fight right where you are, you also won’t break or be destroyed! Like Paul, you will win the victory. Then you’ll be able to say that the ordeal happened in order that you would not trust in yourself, “… but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver…” (2 Corinthians 1:9, 10).

God’s delivering power is yours! He has rescued you in the past; He will rescue you now; and He will rescue you again and again in the future. All He asks is that you “stay put” right where He called you—refusing to move, rejecting every temptation to give up, and deciding never to give in to the pressure that the devil wants to pile on top of you. If you’ll be faithful and slug it out with the power and armor of God, you’ll discover that God will be with you all the way through to a successful conclusion!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, You have never abandoned me, and You never will! When the devil tries to crush me with stress, I throw the weight of my cares upon You. I can’t thank You enough for taking all those pressures off my shoulders and freeing me to walk in peace! My heart is simply overflowing with gratefulness for the strength and power You have released inside me. I know that with Your continued help, I shall be victorious, and these problems will flee!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that God’s delivering power is mine! He has rescued me before; He will rescue me now; and He will rescue me when I need His power again in the future. I am “staying put” right where God called me. I refuse to move; I reject every temptation to give up; and I will never give in to the pressures to stop doing what God has told me to do. I will be faithful, and God will empower me to make it all the way through to my place of victory!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Can you think of a time when you underwent circumstances so difficult that you wondered if you would survive the situation? You obviously survived, so what was the one thing that most helped you get through that ordeal?
  2. As you think of others who are going through hard times right now, what is the most effective thing you could do to help them get past their difficult circumstances?
  3. Why don’t you make a list often practical things you can do to encourage these people and to remind them that you are standing with them in faith until they come through this ordeal in victory?

Even with all his knowledge, revelation, and experience, Paul was still assaulted by the devil. That assault was so aggressive that Paul wrote “we despaired even of life,” describing the intense emotions he felt as he went through these extremely difficult circumstances. But Paul didn’t break, and he didn’t did Likewise, if you’ll hold on and fight right where you are, you also won’t break or be destroyed! Like Paul, you will win the victory.

 

Surviving Prosperity

When I met Jerry he was making preparation to become a missionary pilot. But a sad thing happened to him on the way to the mission field: He got rich.

 

And turned cool spiritually… married a non-Christian… disavowed the faith… and died a premature death.

 

Why is it so few believers endure the deadening effects of prosperity upon their soul? My guess is that for every ten who survive adversity you will find one who survives prosperity!

 

Is it any wonder Jesus made the poignant observation that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God? (Matthew 19:24)

 

Let me suggest three reasons why prosperity and spirituality rarely go hand-in-hand:

 

(1) Because wealth often robs us of our sense of dependency upon God:

 

Whenyour silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your GodYou may say to yourself, My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.‘” (Deuteronomy 8:13, 14, 17)

 

(2) Because wealth often cools our spiritual fervor by giving us a false sense of well-being:

 

Of the wealthy Laodicean believers, Jesus observed, “You are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!You say, I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing. But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” (Revelation 3:15, 17)

 

(3) Because wealth usually gives us the option of easy living which is antithetical to Christ’s call to discipleship:

 

We can effortlessly identify with the musings of the wealthy farmer, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” (Luke 12:19)

 

QUESTION: How are you surviving your prosperity? Is your heart as warmed today toward God as it was in the days when you had little of this world’s material goods and trusted God for your simplest needs?

 

If you cannot answer that question with an honest “yes,” then there is a pretty good chance that your soul has been seduced by prosperity.

 

 

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