Monday, October 19, 2009

Shabbat Shalom

Dear Family,

The holiday season in Israel is over and the city is finally starting to settle down again. I don't know how many of you have been watching the news, but things were pretty tense here in Jerusalem for a while. During the Feast of Tabernacles, many Palestinians were incited to riot in Jerusalem and there were talks of a 3rd Intifada. Praise the Lord that did not happen! I believe with all my heart that the Lord is preparing to pour out His Spirit upon this nation in a new way. Please continue to pray that the Lord would bring this forth. We in the Messiah know that only in Yeshua can true Salvation be found. Pray that all Israel would come to a place where she will cry out to the living God for salvation.

Callie and I have been thoroughly blessed in many ways over the past two weeks. Callie's father came to visit us and we had a wonderful time showing him Israel for the first time. He is the first from Callie's immediate family to come and visit us here in Israel. We were so blessed to have him and we hope the rest will come soon. In the middle of his time here, my parents both arrived in the Land and we were blessed to all share a Shabbat dinner together. We were also blessed by a few new things with our baby. We learned on Monday that we will be having a boy and I was able to feel him kick for the first time yesterday! The Lord's creative power is truly amazing! Please continue to pray for the Lord's protection of our child as he develops.

I have been struck recently by the astounding number of people within the Body that deal with a fear of rejection. Whether it is from the pains that we have felt in our personal lives or the hurt we received from the Body itself. Believers, like people in the world's system, are not immune to this fear and the havoc that it causes in our relationships. I would go further to say that sometimes it can be the most damaging when it is allowed into the Body of the Messiah. We are supposed to be brothers and sisters in the kingdom of God who should be willing to lay our lives down for one another. This closeness has the potential for great blessing, but also great hurt when we act in our flesh. I believe this is one reason why many congregations in the west are like community centers rather than an expression of the Lord's kingdom on the Earth. It is much easier to have a superficial gathering that does not ever gets close enough to be hurt by a brother or sister in the Lord. We keep ourselves at a distance for fear that we might be rejected. The good news is that Yeshua embodies all we need to overcome this fear.

First, we can know that we are 100% accepted by Him and we never need to fear that He will reject us. We are accepted by God for who we are and we can get as close as humanly possible with no fear of rejection. Our feeling of acceptance needs to be based on that and not what people do or say. Yeshua also spoke about walking in forgiveness. It is not enough that we are secure in OUR acceptance, we must carry the attitude of forgiveness so that our brothers and sisters will never feel rejection. It may be hard to believe that this could be possible, but we come again to the example of Yeshua. Yeshua walked for 3 years on this earth with one man who would deny Him and one man who would betray him, all the while loving them like brothers. We are the expression of His Body on the Earth and we must shed this unholy fear of rejection before more damage is done. We are in perilous times, and it will be the Body around us who will support us through them. Blessings to you!

In Yeshua,

Devin and Callie