A few more photos from Israel
Jim has processed a few more photos, hope you enjoy.
The streets in Israel gave us many moments for prayer, drivers drove CRAZY and our bus made turns that were hair-raising, but Johnny, our driver managed to get us safely from spot to spot..
The above is the view from Mt. Precipice
One of the profound places we visited was Mt. Precipice mentioned in Luke 4:16-29, So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Pastor Don pointed out that the Scriptures read in the temple were read at a set time so, when Jesus stood to read these scriptures, He knew what they contained, and it was a set time for Him to read these. Isaiah spoke these words 700 years before the time Jesus read the words in the Temple, and the Levites listening would have known this passage was specific to the promised Messiah. But, because they knew Jesus’s earthly background, they could not get past him being a carpenter’s son (or so they thought), and Mary’s pregnancy. This is the hill over the valley Jezreel, and when they heard Jesus’ words, they wanted to cast Him off the cliff. They could not believe anything good could come out of Nazareth.
Jesus was the light of the Gentiles, and he had the respect of the people. He came from a region that was multicultural, speaking Aramaic and Hebrew, and his speech was easily identified. Sort of like those in the north can identify the speech of a southerner.
What happened is the Levites, Scribes, and Pharisees excluded Jesus because He did not have a pedigree of their liking – He did not fit the picture of what they thought the Messiah would be, so they rejected Him. That is a warning for the church today, regarding pedigrees and expectations of what qualifies a person for leadership. We often do not step forward because we think our pasts disqualify us for leadership, but we are new creations In Christ. Jesus was disqualified by the people in the Temple when He proclaimed that the prophecy was fulfilled this day. They did not think He had good enough parents, no way was He the Messiah they thought. So they wanted to kill Him, to get rid of what they thought was an unworthy person to be the Messiah, but a miracle occurred. They had intent to kill, and Jesus just walked through the crowd, he didn’t speak, threaten or do anything, He just walked through the crowd and around the people. This is what happened in Jerusalem when they decided to kill Him at the wrong time. It is important to realize the devil cannot snatch you out of life until your appointed time, until you have served where God wants you to serve and have done what God wanted you to do. God gave us the 91st Psalm to remind us of His protection.
Pastor Don then pointed out that we matter to God, we are important to God, we matter to God just like Jesus mattered to God.
Then Pastor Don said the VICTORY OF THE SAINT IS KNOWING THAT IT IS NOT YOU, BUT GOD. Don’t listen when the devil tries to tell you we have met our Waterloo, God has our backs.
Our victory does not depend on us, it depends on whose we are.
Pastor Don had us sit for a bit and meditate on God’s plan for our lives and what we need to do to begin to achieve this plan, walking through the obstacles.
If you look at the above picture of Mt. Precipice I noticed how the fields looked like a giant patchwork quilt – and each piece was necessary to the whole. We are all part of the whole plan of God, and each of us has our ministry. It drew me to Haggai 2 where it is mentioned that we are not to compare temples – we each have our own particular ministry, our own plan. I was praying God would let me continue to do His work, unimpeded by my fleshly desires. I prayed that pride would not cause me to stumble. I spent 40 years hating God and avoiding God, and I want to make the most of the time left. There are still too many times when I let my personal desires, needs, and wants interfere when I should be more open and receptive to what others need.
I took this photo of many members of our group (not all) on Mt. Precipice.
Hoping your night is blessed.
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