Thursday, March 31, 2011

Convo with Pastor - Joshua 23:5

this land will be yours
Joshua 23:5
 
At the end of my recent journey to Israel, our leader asked us to summarize our trip in one sentence. The first person to stand up, a quiet Episcopal priest, said simply, "I stand with Israel."
 
Having been to the Holy Land, I'm beginning to comprehend the landstanding claims to this region by both the Jews and Palestinians. From each side's perspective, both sides arguments sound very legitimate. But the two sides aren't just Israel vs. Palestine. It's a bigger conflict than that. It's Judeo-Christian vs. Muslim.
 
In the next few weeks, I invite you to watch the news with a much more critical eye. As 1) turmoil mounts in the Middle East ... as 2) a (probably) more radical brand of Islamic leadership rises in many of Arab nations ... as 3) European nations (currently France and Turkey) begin insisting on an immediate Palestinian state ... and as 4) Iran's influence in the region grows (with their leader's oft-repeated goal of destroying Israel ... I want to invite you to pray for Israel.
 
For years in teaching Bible History, I've taught that God has chosen the Promised Land for strategic purposes in the fulfilling of his kingdom. Israel is essentially at the intersection point of three continents -- Europe, Asia, and Africa. Therefore, it was a very strategic spot for God to choose to fashion a people, begin his witness, and introduce the Savior.
 
Always before, my teaching was historical. But we may be watching a new piece of history unfold before our eyes. So again ... I invite you to pray for Israel ... for the military and political stability of the world ... for God's kingdom to come ... and for his will to be done.
 
In Christ's Love,
a guy who stands with
that Episcopal priest
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My best friend from high school - and still one of my closest friends - is Jewish. When we were in college, she spent a summer in Israel. One interesting fact from her trip - if you are Jewish, you automatically become a citizen of Israel when you step on Israeli soil. She now holds dual citizenship.

Because of our deep friendship, I have always watched what has happened in Israel pretty closely. I hope to travel there one day. Even so ... until then ... I stand with Israel.

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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