What’s in your wallet?


What's in your wallet?A popular credit card company ends their advertisements with that penetrating question: “What’s in your wallet?” Obviously, they’re hoping it will entice you to rush out and secure one of their cards so that you can buy a lot of stuff you don’t need and can’t afford so that they can charge you exorbitant interest on the unpaid balance.

It is however true that you can tell a great deal by looking at someone’s wallet. Try it sometime. If you looked at mine you would immediately know that I’m too cheap to go out and replace it even though it’s ragged, old and beginning to fall apart. You would discover that I buy Shell gas, am a blood donor, grocery shop at Harris-Teeter, vote in Mecklenburg County, work for The Obed Project, and am somewhat obsessive-compulsive since I sort my money by denominations & have them all facing the same way. By looking at my driver’s license you will see that I am blessed with good looks.

In a related matter, let me ask you another question: what is in your “tithe & offerings” wallet? Investors tell us that we need to have a diversified portfolio. I would echo that in regards to your giving; not only should you support the local church you attend but your giving needs to include the things that are near to the Lord’s heart. I believe that each and every one of us should have specific-targeted giving as it relates to the poor, world missions and Israel.

As you can well imagine, my point of interest here is Christians and their giving as it relates to Israel. What does the itemized giving on our tax returns under Charitable Contributions say about our heart for Israel? Do we care about the land and people that scripture calls the “apple of His eye”? Are we sacrificially giving to make a difference? Let me encourage you to get involved with ministries and churches that are actively supporting and ministering to the Jewish people and the land of Israel. Hopefully the treasures you’re storing up in heaven include some shekels.


ISRAEL – GOD’S PLUMBLINE FOR THE CHURCH


plumbline“For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land.”    Joel 3: 1-2

I have long been convinced that, in the end, Israel will be one of the factors that divides the Church. The spirit of anti-Christ is virulently anti-Semitic and that spirit is afoot in today’s church. We have much Christian “theology” that replaces Israel, downgrades her physical significance, and totally appropriates or negates the covenants and promises of God towards her. Many Christian theologians have tragically fallen into this anti-Christ spirit.

It is interesting to see the Hebrew word used for “divided” in this scripture. It is “chalaq” which is a root word which means “to be smooth”. The implication a deal done by flattery – to take away a portion; to smoothly divide and part. This certainly describes the world’s attitude towards Israel and the Lord’s judgment for this duplicity will be terrible. The Lord could have used many other words for divide or part but He chose this one.

We have been warned.

“Behold, at that time I will deal with all who afflict you; I will save the lame, and gather those who were driven out; I will appoint them for praise and fame in every land where they were put to shame.”    Zephaniah 3:19

The Lord also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; but the Lord will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.”    Joel 3: 16


When Messiah Received His Assignment


Scriptures“And now the Lord says, Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, (For I shall be glorious in the eyes f the Lord, And My God shall be My strength), Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.'” (Isaiah 49: 5-6) NKJV

This is an amazing Scripture. Here, in the midst of the Old Testament is the entire redemption plan of the Lord in two verses. As a Gentile, I am eternally grateful for the gloriousness of Messiah which convinced the Godhead that we should be included in His salvation plan. This scripture alone is powerful proof for all that are followers of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that Jesus (Yeshua) is indeed THE one true Messiah.


New Obed Site Up and Running


Welcome to the newly refurbished Obed Project website. Here you will find information about upcoming trips, photos from past trips, and (thanks to Jeanne) loads of insight into what God is doing in His land.

June 2008 TourWe recently finished a 14-day tour with a group of 25 from Alabama, Texas, and North Carolina. Obed tours are usually shorter, but there were many “second-timers” on this trip and we wanted to include some new sights and experiences for them. In addition to our usual tour package, we spent time in Eilat, Petra, the Negev desert, and Jaffa.

This tour was organized by our good friend Diane Withers, who teaches about Israel from a heart overflowing with exhuberance for God’s land and His people. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and she has brought many groups to Israel over the past few years. We look forward to her next trip! (Click here to see pictures from this trip. Or watch the video below. Or both.)


THE KIND OF WORSHIP HE CRAVES: ISRAEL ON YOUR HEART AND MIND


Ephod In Exodus and Leviticus the Lord painstakingly describes how He wants the High Priest who ministers before Him to be attired. It is very exact in every detail – for each article of clothing. One of the final pieces of equipment to be put on is the ephod. This garment is placed on the chest of the priest and contains twelve gem stones with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. Each stone carries the name of a tribe.

It is clear what the message is – if you want to be properly attired when ministering before the Lord, you must have Israel on your heart.

Exodus 28: 29: So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel on the breastplate of judgment over his heart, when he goes into the holy place, as a memorial before the Lord continually.


Hanukkah – What is it?


Hanukkah, also known as the Feast of Dedication, is not one of the ordained feasts from the bible, but we do see from scripture that Jesus observed it. John 10:22 says “Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.”

The history of Hanukkah, in brief, as told by this Christian gentile is as follows:

Three years after the Greek king Antiochus (a prototype of the Antichrist) forcibly introduced the sacrifice of pigs in 167 BC, the Jews recaptured the Temple Mount. They proceeded under the leadership of the Maccabees to cleanse the area, tore down the desecrated altar and built a new one as the Lord had told them to in Exodus 23: 24. The great Menorah, the candelabra of gold needed to be lit as they were told to do in Lev 24: 1-4. Rummaging through the Temple the priests found a tiny amount of oil and the lamp was lit. The Temple was back in Jewish control. Sadly, there was only enough oil for one day. The priests returned to the Temple and watched the lamp, sadly waiting for the rapidly approaching moment when the flame would flicker and die. But something both great and very small happened. Though the priests waited, the flame never died. The first day ended and yet the flame still burned. The third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh days all come and went but the flame refused to die. Finally, after eight days, the men returned with enough oil for the temple lamp.

Just as Jesus was at the temple at Hanukkah, we can share with our Jewish friends the Hanukkah story of unwavering commitment to God and His Word and to our determination not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

Hannukah CelebrationFor the Jewish families all over the world who celebrate Hanukkah, this is not just a private observance……the candles are placed in a window of the home so that others can see the celebration of the miracle. As the Feast progresses there is more and more light in more and more windows. Truly, darkness flees. The people are joyful – even fasting is forbidden during Hanukkah.

Hanukkah is a celebration of God’s Light to the World and a true definition of the power of the Holy Spirit. Just a little oil……and the world is changed.


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