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The Battle For Biblical Values

To the average non-Jewish Christian, why would the festival of Hanukkah be significant?

While it is true that the events of Hanukkah are not part of the Cannon of Scripture, the struggle of the Hasmoneans is the same struggle that is played out in different forms throughout history. That struggle is for those who believe and trust in God to take a stand for Biblical values against what society is trying to desecrate, defame or even to destroy all together. 

After the end of the Babylonian captivity, there was a remnant of Jews who returned to the Land of Israel which we read about in books such as Ezra and Nehemiah. This restoration of the Jews to their Land did not include an independent state, but a form of limited self-government along with a continued dominance of the empires of their time. When the Babylonian and Persian empires declined, the Greek empire under Alexander the Great filled the power vacuum. With the Greeks in control, the Jews living in Israel came under increasing pressure to assimilate with Greek culture and adopt their ways. The culturally dominant Greeks viewed Biblical beliefs as outdated. By forcing everyone to adopt Greek culture and values there would be peace within the empire. It was very similar to the secular worldview of today which holds that wars are caused by ‘religious people’ who have no tolerance for others. The false conclusion is that if ‘religious’ people would be less ‘intolerant’ and more “open-minded, everyone could live in peace.

The Greek oppression through laws and government against Biblical values reached a place of public desecration of all the traditions which the Jews held to be holy. Many laws like the sacrifice of pigs on the altar at the Temple of Jerusalem and outlawing the study of Scripture finally brought about open rebellion against the Greeks and their rule. In 165 B.C. the Hasmonean family of Mattityahu the High Priest and his son Judah organized a revolt leading to the eviction of the Greeks from Judea and restoring Jewish control over the Temple at Jerusalem. But in the process of the purification of the Temple for worship, they found only one day’s worth of oil to light the menorah of the Temple. Miraculously the oil lasted eight days, enough time to get new oil for the worship in the Temple. This is commemorated by the lighting of the candles during the days of the feast of Hanukkah. 
We know that almost 200 years later, the Jews still commemorated the liberation because the Gospel of John mentions Jesus in Jerusalem during the festival of Hanukkah:
“Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” (John 10:22-24, NKJV)

In our day, we must remember that the struggle of man for the freedoms we enjoy ought not to be taken for granted. There is a war of culture going on, and wherever we live, we have a part to play in maintaining Biblical values and the freedom to worship God. The blessings we may enjoy now because of Biblical foundations our society was founded on, can easily erode away without our realization that it has even happened.
What is your calling? How are you engaged in this battle to hold on to Biblical values?
In this Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah), is God placing a call on you to be involved? To use your time, energy and resources to bring an advancement of His Kingdom?
Don’t sit on the sidelines of this battle. Let God lead you into an adventure of being available to be of service in His higher calling.
May His light shine on your path as you answer His call.

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Living Israel

Pastor Gleb S. from the former Soviet Union immigrated to the Holy Land with a desire to see God’s kingdom increase throughout the nation of Israel. Initially, his heart was for drug addicts to experience God the way he had and to come off the streets free from their addictions.  

But God gave Gleb beyond what he had dreamed of. In just two short years, what began as a small gathering of a handful of people in his home, grew to one hundred believers in five functioning home fellowships. These fellowships began caring for the elderly among them including survivors of the Holocaust. Single mothers are ministered to and clubs have been opened for children and teens. A rehabilitation home was established for those who desired to come off drugs and just half a year ago, God inspired yet another idea to give aid to new immigrants making Aliyah to Israel. 

The members of “Living Israel” initiated a course for new immigrants to learn the Hebrew language entirely free of charge. When the Hebrew course is complete, these immigrants are then invited to attend the Alpha Course as an introduction to faith in Yeshua the Messiah. As a result, eighteen of the attendees are now an active and valuable part of the “Living Israel” community.

The course was so effective, that the community decided to make it available in the city of Bat Yam where many new immigrants arrive either by air or by sea. This time, eighty new immigrants are currently attending the Hebrew speaking course and fifty of those are considering attending the Alpha Course.

We at CBN Israel love hearing and seeing what God is doing through His people in the community of “Living Israel” and all throughout the Land! With your help, we have been able to support ten partners covering the areas of sixteen different cities and now, we are looking to partner with yet one more. Would you help us? With just $1,000 a month, we can ADOPT A PARTNER, bringing aid and support to their local community. Through these partners, we provide home visits, food vouchers, holiday celebrations and much more to over 1,300 Holocaust Survivors and New Immigrants.

Please consider giving a gift today!

On behalf of the staff of CBN Israel we pray, God bless you!

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So That You May Dwell In Peace

First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered on behalf of all men; for kings and all those in authority, so that we may lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity. This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”- 1 Timothy 2:1

History was made when the American President, Donald Trump, made the decision to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem on December 6th, 2017. He said, “‘We finally acknowledge the obvious, that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.” This declaration, however, has brought out the hatred in those who resist acknowledging the connection between Jerusalem and the Jewish people. 

Immediately following President Trump’s initiative to move the American embassy, the world was stirred with flamboyant expressions of both love and hate. Palestinians called for three days of rage, American flags were burned, and protests broke out in Gaza, Jerusalem and even Bethlehem where Israel’s Jewish Messiah was born thousands of years ago.

Though these days of rage were rather ineffective in terms of terrorizing the Jewish people, yesterday, on December 10th, a Jewish security guard, Asher Elmaliach, was stabbed in the heart by a terrorist from the Judea-Samaria region of Israel. This is not the first time one of Israel’s security guards, police personal, or soldiers have been the target of the assaults. This is why we must pray!

When the leaders are struck down, what message does that give to the people of the land? In the book of Zechariah 13:7, we read that when the Shepard, the authority in a position of protection for the sheep is struck down, the sheep scatter and are vulnerable to attack. These guards, soldiers and police may not be the President or Prime Minister, but they have been given a responsibility to protect the people and when they are struck down one after another, a message is being conveyed- a message of terror. 

But we are called to pray! First for our leaders and all who are in positions of authority, SO THAT we may live peaceful and quiet lives in godliness and dignity. God has chosen to delegate His authority to mankind and He does not override that delegation. He has chosen to move on the earth through the prayers of His people. 

“I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one. So now I will pour out my fury on them, consuming them with the fire of my anger. I will heap on their heads the full penalty for all their sins. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”-Ezekiel 22:29-31 

You see, God desires mercy-always! But He sought for someone who would “stand in the gap”, so that He could show mercy, and when He found no one, the result was the execution of His righteous judgement. Yeshua told His disciples to pray that the Father’s will would be done on earth. While we do not have authority to take on the enemy in our own strength, we do have authority to pray God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. As Yeshua taught us, we pray to the Father and request His will in the name of His Son, for the sake of His Son and because of the work of His Son. 

Just as the enemies of Israel have joined together as one to come against those in positions of authority and to come against Israel, so the same, we ask that all who love the Lord and stand with His people Israel, would join as one in prayer! 

  • Pray first and foremost for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. May His Kingdom of Righteousness be established!
  • Pray for protection for all those in positions of authority, and for God to give wisdom to our leaders.
  • Pray for peace in our nations, for godliness and righteousness to be established within our governments and throughout the nations. 

Pray as the Spirit of God leads, but take caution that you pray according to God’s will revealed through scripture. Stepping outside of that covering and into fleshly, emotional or un-scriptural prayers of proclamation can be dangerous! Remember, we only have authority where we have responsibility. It is best to present your requests TO GOD and trust that in His justice and mercy, He will answer prayer and perform His perfect will. 

God bless you! 

 

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Jerusalem Is A Sign

With the recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, what is a perspective we can take as believers in Jesus?

Let’s begin by going to an interaction between Jesus and His disciples in Jerusalem of His time described in Luke 21. As the disciples from the rural Galilee were walking through the Temple they couldn’t help but comment about the magnificent site of the man-made structure. They were looking at what they could see in the natural, but Jesus says:

“As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.” (Luke 21:6)

The disciples were not expecting such an answer. They were thinking in terms of a newly restored political capital of an independent Jewish State, and look around, we already have a magnificent Temple to worship in. Isn’t that a great beginning?

But Jesus didn’t come to be the king of another earthly kingdom. He came to make a way for us to be a part of a different kind of kingdom-a heavenly one. 

The stunned disciples inquire as to when and how this kingdom will be revealed. 

Jesus then describes that there will be a period where they, His disciples, will go through a lot of suffering and then will come the destruction of Jerusalem:

“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Luke 21:20-24)

Jesus is predicting that the destruction of Jerusalem would happen, and that the city will be “trampled by Gentiles” for a certain and limited time. This period started when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. but was predicted as a season lasting only until the “times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” After this period of desolation, it will be restored to those who had her before she was destroyed. Jerusalem’s predicted destruction was fulfilled, and now is the time of her restoration with Jewish sovereignty over the State.

But then Jesus continues to describe a season after Jerusalem’s restoration to Jewish sovereignty by saying:

“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” (Luke 21:25-28)

President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a sign to us whose hope is in Jesus as to the season we are in. We can fully expect there to be a continuing of “the distress of nations” and “the waves roaring.” But Jesus’ exhortation to His disciples today is the same as His exhortation to His disciples back then; that when we see these things happening, we ought not to look around us, but to LOOK UP, for our redemption is drawing near!

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Jerusalem Holocaust Survivors’ Trip to Hamei Ga’ash

On Sunday, just three days into the winter month of December, CBN Israel’s partner, Israel Roitman, invited a group of Holocaust Survivors from Jerusalem to journey to the hot springs of Hamei Ga’ash located near Israel’s northern city of Netanya. Roughly 70 Holocaust Survivors arrived at Jerusalem’s central bus station to climb on board the two tour buses that awaited them there. Everyone was looking forward to the experience and enjoying some time together, with all expenses paid for.

Along the way, Roitman shared meaningful words with those on board and used the time to catch up with each one individually.

Arriving at Hamei Ga’ash, everyone was given a robe, some slippers and a key to the locker room. From there, all were free to enjoy the spas, saunas and healing springs. There are even outdoor pools with cold waters that are particularly refreshing after bathing in the hot springs.

These hot and cold waters remind us of the words of Yeshua to the believers in Laodicea found in the book of Revelation 3:15. “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were either one or the other!” The hot mineral springs of Hamei Ga’ash bring healing to the body and the cold winter waters in the outdoor pools refreshed those who dared to dive into them. Yeshua desires for us to be like these waters. Either to heal or to refresh, but not to be lukewarm in our faith which is of no benefit to the Body.

Before the day was over, everyone was invited to enjoy a hot lunch served by the staff of the Kibbutz. There were breads, salads, meats and cake for dessert. “Thank you so much for this wonderful day”, the Holocaust Survivors remarked. “We had so much fun, we want to do it again tomorrow!”

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The Envelope System- A Practical Tool for Practically Everyone

The Envelope System is a budgeting method used to visualize where and how money is spent. This method, made recently popular by Christian Financial Educator, Dave Ramsey, helps users to not overspend and accrue unwanted debt. The system is said to help users make better financial decisions knowing that there is no back up credit card to cover frivolous spending. 

The way it works is by labeling envelopes with a name for each expense. Every month, when the paycheck arrives, the money is taken out of the bank in cash and immediately distributed to the designated envelopes. These expenses include monthly bills, yearly payments, savings for vacation, etc. When it comes time to pay the bill, the money is taken out of the envelope and used for it’s intended purpose. At the end of the month, any money that remains in these envelopes (i.e. food or gas), can be placed in savings or used for the following month. If the month is not over and the money has been used up, a choice needs to be made whether to take the money from another envelope or to wait for the next paycheck. The goal, as is with all budgeting systems, is to end up with a cushion of savings, to learn where the money is being spent and finally, to be financially free. 

Here at CBN Israel, we seek to build up the body of Messiah here in the Land of Israel. And one of the ways this is accomplished is by helping families in crisis to walk in financial freedom. We have recently discovered the envelope system including an on-line app making it easier than ever to help families learn budgeting. Here is an example:

In the upcoming weeks, we will begin hosting financial training seminars, introducing these helpful tools that we pray will be a blessing. We will also include gifts for those who attend these seminars such as purse-sized organizers to hold their envelopes. 

We would like to ask you to be praying for us as we plan for these seminars. Please pray:

   1.) For the Lord’s wisdom and guidance. Apart from Him, we can nothing. But through Him, we can do and give all that He is asking of us.  

   2.) That God would bring those who need to hear this message. 

   3.) For the Body of Messiah to be the head and not the tail, above and not beneath, victorious in all things including the area of finances. We desire to see believers become givers, self-controlled spenders, teachers of God’s ways and able to help others walk in freedom. 

Thank you for standing with us! On behalf of all the staff we pray, God bless you!

 

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He Who Transplants, Still Sustains

I was a home-schooled child visiting the capital of the state of Connecticut when the state motto, which was written in Latin was translated for me and my siblings on our educational tour through the building. I remember the words to this day; “Qui transtulit sustinet” which means, “He who transplants, still sustains”. Little did I know that this was not only the motto of the state I was born in, but a motto for my journey with God.

  At twenty-six years old, I moved permanently to the nation of Israel. I didn’t come with wealth, status, paperwork or many material possessions. I came only with a word from God that this was the direction He was taking me and that He would be my guide. Ten years later, I have this testimony that God is faithful. 

I was reminded of this motto one spring day as I yearned for color to return to my garden after enduring a long, drawn out winter in Jerusalem. Everything in me wanted to pay a visit to the neighborhood plant nursery and select multitudes of life-giving flowers to brighten the drab looking garden where everything appeared dead. But due to urgent expenses that needed more attention than my wish list, I heeded my husband’s request to wait a little longer before buying things I wanted but didn’t need.

All these years, God has provided for me and my family through friends, extended family and even more frequently, beside neighborhood dumpsters! I have found clothing in mint condition still with the tags on all neatly folded and placed in pristine shopping bags. Shoes fresh out of the box just the right size for my children; much needed pots, pans and silverware, furniture, all kinds of items, all in great condition. There they are, just laying besides the dumpsters as if they were placed there by God Himself, waiting just for me. “But what about flowers Lord? I asked. “Would you provide flowers which I want but don’t need by a dumpster as well?”

Well, why not! Just a few short days after I whispered my request to God, I was bringing my children home from an after school program when something in a large, construction dumpster caught my eye. I quickly found a place to pull over and got out to have a closer look. There, laying freshly picked, still with their roots and dirt, were five plants blooming with small, burgundy daisies. I was amazed! But perhaps it was too good to be true. I went home, took dirt from my compost and planted the flowers in planters that I had found by dumpsters earlier that week. Days went by and I watched carefully to see what would become of them. I wondered, “were these the answer to my prayer? Or were they being transplanted too late in the game to live?” Only time would tell. Within a week or two, I had my answer. The plants thrived, brought out new growth and most certainly lived.

It was in that moment that God reminded me of the place He has brought me from many years ago. Though there have been struggles, feasts and famines in our finances, joys and hardships along the journey, here I am still standing and still with this testimony, that “He who transplants, still sustains”. 

The same God who brought the children of Israel through the desert, is the same God who is sustaining His people in their promised homeland today. And the same God who shepherded His people in times of famine, is still shepherding His people in times of plenty. Is the God of Israel your God? If so, then you too can take comfort that no matter what season of life you are walking through, if He calls you out of the boat, He will be with you. If He calls you out of your comfort zone and into a walk of faith in Him, will He not be faithful? Remember these words that all who trust in Him can apply to their lives: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope”- Jeremiah 29:11.

God bless you.

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The Difference Between God’s Love and Blessing

Many people look at events such as the Holocaust or even their own experiences and ask the question, “If God is love, how could He have allowed such horrible things to happen?” The conclusions are often these; “He isn’t love” or “He doesn’t love me”.

Well, I think these conclusions are not based on the truth nor on understanding about God.

Let’s look first at what the Bible says about God’s love.

1 John 4:8– “Anyone who does not love, does not know God, because God IS Love.” Here we read that the nature of God is what Love looks like.

We read in Romans 5:6-8, that God’s love is not based on our works, actions or anything to do with us. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.

Again, we read in the book of Ephesians that God’s love is not based on us but on Himself-who He IS. “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by His grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5).

In the gospels, such as in Luke 6:27, Yeshua, the representation of God the Father made flesh in human form, tells His followers to love those who are considered enemies. How could He ask of us something that He is not willing to do Himself? You see, WE were enemies of God when He chose to sacrifice Himself for us. Therefore, He can ask of us to do the same thing as representatives of Him. His love is not based on our returned affections. It is based solely on who He is.

In Romans 8:35 we read that NOTHING can separate us from God’s love. If His love was based on our works, actions, words, faithfulness, anything that has to do with us, then we would most certainly be able to separate ourselves from God’s love. But that is not what the Bible says. It clearly states that NOTHING can separate us from God’s love.

In Jeremiah 31:3, God says to His people, Israel, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” Surely this love was not based on Israel’s faithfulness to God. Because all through the scriptures, from the very beginning in the Garden of Eden, we read the struggles that Israel has in staying faithful to God. But this verse in 1 Timothy is amazing as it speaks on the matter of our faithfulness versus God’s faithfulness;

“This is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; But if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” – 2 Timothy 2:11-13.

WOW! For a second there, it’s a back and forth. If we do this, then this will happen. But when it comes to being faithful, God doesn’t do down that road with us. Even if we chose to be unfaithful, He will remain faithful. Why? Because He won’t go against His own self. God. Is. Faithful.

If we look at the Old Testament and see how Israel was unfaithful to God and how God remained faithful to them, we will gain a clear picture that these statements the apostles and prophets made about God are true. His love was not based on the faithfulness of man, nor on man’s works and abilities to do anything for God, but solely on Himself. He IS Love and He IS Faithful. Period.

On the contrary, God’s blessings are conditional!

Let’s go back to the very beginning when God formed man in His image, entrusted him with ruler-ship over all God’s creation, and then to paraphrase, He said, “one thing I ask of you, don’t disobey Me by eating the fruit off the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” As long as the first man and woman were obedient to keep God’s command, they experienced the abundance of God’s blessings. They were never sick, they were never lacking anything they needed, they lived in perfect peace, and they enjoyed the fullness of fellowship with God. But the moment they chose disobedience, everything changed. They were cursed, they lost fellowship with God, they were displaced from their homeland, and the creation they were called to care for, were now the ones giving their lives as sacrifices to atone for their sins. Even their children were effected by their disobedience.

Remember God’s words to Cain, Adam’s son, when he was angry that God was blessing his brother Abel but not him? “Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but YOU must master it.”…And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.” Genesis 4:6-8.

Moving forward through the Bible, we read what God says to His people Israel as He had them standing on the mountains of Gerazim and Ebal. Because the text is lengthy, I will give you the cliff note version of the list of blessings on obedience, versus the curses that come with disobedience.

Blessings on Obedience Curses for disobedience
Exaltation over all nations Cursed no matter where you go
Blessed wherever you settle You will not be able to succeed in making wealth
Blessed will be your children and all that reproduces Cursed will be your children and cursed will be everything you own. You will be unable to reproduce.
Blessed with abundance of provision You will be confused and rebuked
Safety in traveling Sickness will come upon you and not leave you alone.
Victory over enemies Inflammation, heat, fire and mildew and sword.
Blessed in the work of your hands and in the land in which you dwell Overtaken by your enemies in every which way
People will see how blessed you are and know that you belong to God You will be susceptible to all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.
You will be givers and not borrowers Others will consume the fruit of your labor instead of you enjoying it yourself.
The head and not the tail You will be slaves
You will be above and not beneath No rain on your land
Rain will fall on your land and cause the land to flourish. Driven out of the Land and scattered among the nations.

 

And the list of curses goes on and on much more so than the list of blessings. As the people stood on these mountains, they were experiencing a visual aid of what the Lord was warning them of. You see, Mount Gerazim was flourishing with vegetation and life. But just on the other side of the valley was Mount Ebal which was dry, barren and lifeless.  In addition, to insert an interesting note, if one were to stand in the valley of decision between these two mountains and turn to fully face the mount of blessing, they would be facing in the direction of Jerusalem to the south. If that person were to fully face the mountain of curses, they would be turning their back on Jerusalem and in Hebraic thinking, that is like saying they are turning their back on God. God and Jerusalem go together. In Jerusalem is the sacred and holy site called the Western Wall. Jews from around the world come to stand at this wall and pour out their prayers before God because He has stated in His word that He would forever be in that place, hearing prayer, forgiving sins and bringing healing. The God-fearers who go to that place to pray walk with their faces toward the wall when they approach and again, face the wall when they leave until they have cleared that inner court area. They do this as a physical expression before God that they are not turning their back on Him.

In Genesis 12:1, God spoke these words to Abraham concerning His descendants who would come through the line of his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob. “[Go forth from your country, and from your relatives, and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

Here we read a statement of this conditional blessing that the Lord places upon people. If we bless those that God has blessed, we will be blessed directly by Him. And if we curse those who God has blessed, we will be cursed. And that is a choice that we make. Now, if we take a look at an area of our lives that we can see is definitely not being blessed, then we again have a choice of what we will do with that. We can either have an angry countenance like Cain did when God did not bless him because he was not doing what pleased the Lord. And we can incorrectly conclude with the lie that God doesn’t love us as much as someone else who is being blessed. OR, we can repent, ask God to forgive us of our sins and disobedience, and then set our hearts in the direction of doing God’s will. In turn, we will see the result of God’s blessings on our obedience.

Let’s close with one of the last verses from the book of Deuteronomy 30:19- “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”

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The Fruit of Thanksgiving

We live in a dark and broken world, however, we who have experienced God’s deliverance not only have the freedom from our past darkness but the hope of a glory filled future in Him. The transformation of the mind is an essential part of preparing ourselves for the glory of the coming Kingdom.

In the story of God’s redemption of Israel from the bondage of slavery in Egypt, God reveals the ‘structure’ of worship in the sacrificial system of the Tabernacle. As expected, there were the sacrifices that were offered to make atonement for sin because of the people’s continued imperfect condition. But Leviticus 7:7-14 includes a provision for sacrifices of ‘thanksgiving’ as an expression of worship. What would God need with sacrifices of ‘thanksgiving’ if He was only interested in ritual perfection of the worshiper- why would you need to go beyond the atonement? But God doesn’t merely call us to perfecting our deeds under the ‘law;’ His purpose is to use our circumstances to transform our worldview to one where we see things from His Kingdom’s perspective.

God was already pointing to the necessary transformation of the mind and attitude of His redeemed. The response of gratitude to God for the redemption He made possible was part of cultivating a different and new perspective on life. It is ‘Thanksgiving’ as an attitude expressed in sacrifice that cultivates the loving relationship God desires between us and Himself.

Prior to redemption, the person held in bondage has no ability or reason to have thanksgiving as part of their worldview. They are surviving day to day under oppression with no hope of anything changing for the better. But not us. Our deliverance from bondage to sin and the guilt over the past is God’s ‘down payment’ so that we have assurance that He will complete the process until His full Kingdom has been made our reality, and while continue to experience of hardship associated with living in a broken world, our Thanksgiving is our heart responding to the hope in God’s promises that continue to be fulfilled even if it hasn’t come to completion yet. When you read the account of the children of Israel wandering for 40 years in the wilderness and the grumbling and complaining along the way, I have to wonder how many times the priests had someone show up to the Tabernacle to make a “Thanksgiving sacrifice.”

Continue to recognize and pay close attention to those things that God has already done, and make the ‘giving’ in your life a declaration to your own soul of how bountiful His love has been poured out over you. Don’t miss out on the joy by performing just some religious duty.

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Holocaust Survivor Experiences God’s Power Over Asthma

Boris is an eighty-three year old Holocaust Survivor from Ukraine. Growing up in a ghetto during World War II, Boris recalls one of his strongest memories was the gnawing feeling of hunger. When he was only eight years old, he and his sister would beg for food on the streets, for there were no documents entitling his family to receive government rations. Later on, his mother was employed in the police department which brought in rather large government rations. Remembering their days of hunger caused the family to give generously to others, saving many from starvation. 

After surviving the horrors of the holocaust, Boris grew and married his wife, Lilia Pinskaya. The two dedicated their lives to caring for others and even spent many years helping to clean up Chernobyl after the nuclear accident. But it was in this time of service that Boris and his wife, along with all the other workers, were affected in their health due to vast amounts of exposure to radiation. Lilia came down with cancer and Boris developed a severe case of asthma which resulted in frequent and painful bouts of coughing. 

With Lilia’s deterioration of health, a Ukrainian doctor prescribed making Aliyah to Israel where the two could receive better medical treatment and hopes for a longer life together. But shortly after the move to Israel, Lilia’s battle with cancer ended and Boris was left to face life alone in a new land. 

After a decade of lonely widowhood, Boris became a regular member of CBN Israel’s Holocaust Survivor program in the city of Afula. Here he found community, and experienced the love of God. It was during one of these gatherings that Boris broke out into a severe couching spell resulting from the asthma. The partners of CBN Israel offered to pray in faith for his healing. Boris agreed and welcomed their prayers.

No sooner had the word, “Amen”, left their mouths did Boris begin to feel relief. Breathing became easier and his whole body felt the urge to rejoice. Something was happening! 

When our partners saw Boris again two weeks later, he began to share with them what he had experienced. The coughing was gone! He was able to breathe. God had answered their prayers and healed him completely! 

Boris was so excited about his freedom from asthma, that he began to share the story of healing with his Chernobyl friends who had also been greatly suffering in their health. One by one, they call up, asking if they too can receive prayers for healing. “Must we pay to receive these prayers?” they ask. Our partners share with each one that God’s gifts are free and so are their prayers.

This is the greatness of our God! He is alive and is at work today. He has made a way for each one to receive His amazing gifts for free. Do you need prayer for healing? Let us know! We would be happy to pray for you.

Boris is just one of hundreds of Holocaust Survivors who are experiencing God’s love through CBN Israel and our partners throughout the country. To help us carry on the work that God has entrusted us to do, please consider giving a one time or monthly gift.

From all of us here at CBN Israel, we pray, may the Lord bless you!

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