Sunday, December 17, 2006

Studying the Christmas Story Instead of Just Reading It

It occurred to me that I have never really studied the Christmas story.

Sure, I had read it...or portions of it many times. But, I had never really studied it.

So, this week, I have started my new study the story of the birth of Jesus from each of the gospels.

I'm learning a lot! So many subtle nuances are there, clearly for an inspired purpose...yet easily lost if I'm just reading, and not digging in.

So, I have started taking a lot of notes on what I'm learning, and chief among them is a list of prophesies that Jesus (Yeshua) fulfilled. Over and over again, the Scriptures from the gospels quote Scripture from the books of the prophets in the Old Testament.

Amazing to see them come to fruition through Yeshua.

Also...this year we are celebrating Hanukkah for the first time. Wow! We are learning so many things! Just tonight the children and I were talking about Judah Maccabee, and how God helped him and his army of men
re-take control of Jerusalem, even though their numbers were quite smaller than those of the Syrians under Antiochus.

Not surprising, though. We see that picture over and over in the Old Testament...God often reduced the size of the army before He led Israel into that God would get the glory, instead of man.

And to think...He did it again for the Maccabees!

Guess that throws that whole, "God was through with the Jews a long time ago...and now the church has become the new Israel" garbage right out the door, doesn't it?

God's faithfulness for Israel has never ended.

Or, if you need more about the Yom Kippur war?
Or, the re-establishment of Israel as a state?
Or, Or, Or....I could go on and on.

God loves Israel! They are now, have always been, and will always be...His people.

Genesis tells us that He will bless those who bless Israel and will curse those who curse Israel.

That's pretty crystal to me.

Praise be to God...we are grafted into Israel! We are one through Yeshua! There is no distinction between Jew and Gentile, because we are one through Christ...who fulfilled the law and brought us all under grace.

Praise God!
Happy Hanukkah!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I feel like I'm back in college!

I know that I haven't been posting much lately, and it's not because I haven't been IN the's more because I've just been trying to understand all that I've been learning.

I guess I've been busy processing. :)

I'm reading a book by Kay Arthur right now. It's a historical novel called,
"Israel, My Beloved".

Truly, I am learning so much about the history of the nation of Israel from this book. I know that it's all in the Old Testament...and I'm not for a minute discounting the Bible. It's just that unless I'm doing an inductive study of the Old Testament, one book at a time, there is still much of it that I don't understand.

So...this historical novel is teaching me SO much!

I am so grieved as I read what the Jewish people have lived through, and the vast majority of it has been in the name of Christianity. (Christianity in the wrong hands!)

It breaks my heart!

I recently called the "church"..and I use that term loosely...that I was brought up in, to ask them what their stance on Israel is.

I thought I remembered that they taught this...and sadly, my memory was correct.

They teach that God is done with Israel until the tribulation ( or maybe it was until the mellenial reign of Christ...either way, they are wrong..dead wrong ).

That is such a lie from satan!

Israel is still God's chosen people. That has never changed, nor will it ever change. He makes that clear over and over and over again in His Word...both the Old AND the New Testaments!

We, the nations, are blessed to be "grafted in to The Olive Tree". The olive tree is Israel.

You see, even in the New Testament, we are told that the Gospel is first for the Jew and then for the Greek ( the Gentile...that's anyone who isn't a Jew).

I have a friend who is a Jewish believer, and he says that when a Jew discovers that Yeshua ( Jesus' Hebrew name ) is the promised Messiah of Israel, and accepts Him as their own, that it's "like coming home"..."like the sweetest homecoming ever". Those were his words.

Wow! That's powerful!

See what a lie like "God is done with the Jews until the mellenial reign" can do to God's plan for His very own chosen people?!

A lie like that keeps the Gentile, the nations, from sharing the Gospel with the Jews.

If you think about it, that's like stealing! Yeshua is the PROMISED MESSIAH OF ISRAEL! He is theirs! He belongs to them first, then to us!

Did you know that during the Spanish Inquisition, Jews were told to "accept the cross or die"?!

Can you imagine treating someone like that today?

Please...if God has blessed you and put Jewish people in your life...please, love them. Show them the love of Yeshua. Lay down your life for them, as He did for you.

We took our kids to see The Nativity recently, and afterward Brennan and I were talking about some of the things in the movie. She asked me some questions about what it meant to be Jewish.

It was so wonderful to be able to explain to her that God loves the Jews with all of His heart...and that they are his chosen people. That He made covenants with them that He honors to this day.

I also told her that as a Christian, she was always to stand up for Jewish people. Always.

I told her that if she is ever playing and hears someone making fun of a Jewish child, based upon their race, that she is to always stand up for protect them as best she can.

I told her that she is never to make fun of someone for being a Jew, because they are very precious to God, and that if she were to do that, it would dishonor Him.

I'm amazed that I'm 36 years old, and I'm just now learning about the horrific things that God's people have had to endure because of man's pride and sin.

I guess the truth of it all was hidden from me through the "God is through with the Jews until Jesus comes again" lie. That still grieves my heart so much!

"Accept the cross or die"...can you imagine how much that grieved the LORD?

It makes sense, doesn't it. God's chosen people are the Jews, and Yeshua was Jewish.

God promised them a King from the line of David. Yeshua fulfilled that....and tons of other Old Testament prophesies about the Messiah.

I'll post them as I learn them.

As sad as I am that I'm just now learning these things...I'm so happy that I am learning them. It's never too late, right?

In Him,