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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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God’s Ways Are Not Our Ways

When we begin to follow the Lord, there is so much work He has in adjusting our worldview. But when our worldview is anchored in “religious” misconceptions, it is probably one of the harder things for us to let go of. This mixture of “earthly religion” cloaked in “heavenly expression” is not something that the Lord looks past and moves on. With His disciples He is short and confrontational because of how serious the issue is. Here is an example of what I mean:

“Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”

But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.  For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.” (Luke 9:51-56)

At the time this conversation takes place, Jesus knows that He is on a mission to pave a path of salvation that will soon be revealed to all of mankind. The path in the eyes of the disciples was leading towards Jerusalem and a throne with Jesus as King. The disciples were not wrong but they were missing the cross that had to come before the throne. The Kingdom will one day be established, and His righteous judgement will one day come, but Jesus knew that this was not that season.

What season are we in? In order to have the same attitude towards others that God has, we have to be in tune with what He is doing and where He is going. He calls us as disciples to walk with Him along the path, and He gives us promises as we go. But the path also leads through seasons of pain and suffering. If the Lord brings abrupt correction into your life, don’t resist it, He is correcting your misconception so that you remain on the right path, even if that leads through a season of difficulty.

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Meet Our New Partners in Nazareth!

We have new partners in Nazareth! Thanks to those who give generously to the work of CBN Israel, we were able to adopt a tenth partner to help us expand our work with Holocaust Survivors and New Immigrants. Our partners have beautiful hearts for God and have already begun hosting celebrations with Survivors and Immigrants in their local area.

As an opportunity for introduction between our partners and the Holocaust Survivors living in Nazareth, CBN Israel provided our partners with walkers and walking sticks to be distributed to those who were struggling with mobility. These special walkers come with a seat which provides an opportunity to rest along the way. With the gift of these walkers, those who were once confined to their homes, are now gratefully enjoying walks in the park, trips to their neighborhood grocery stores and the ability to attend events.

During the celebrations of Rosh Hashana and Succot, our new partners welcomed around seventy Holocaust Survivors and New Immigrants into their newly renovated meeting hall. Many of these guests felt peace and joy as they connected with our partners over food and dancing. They exclaimed, “It is so nice here. We really love to be here.” Due to the fact that nothing in this life is free, the Survivors were curious to know what it would cost them to continue attending these holiday events. “Must we pay something?” they asked. “No”, our partners replied. “You are always welcome here for free.”

As the feast of Hanukkah approaches, our partners are preparing to welcome back their new friends to another celebration in their meeting hall. Each Survivor and Immigrant who attends will receive gifts from our partners and food vouchers from CBN Israel.  If you wish to donate towards these gifts, please do so here.

With the adoption of our new partner in Nazareth, we have hopes to reach our goal of adopting more partners in three separate cities who are ready to come on board with us! To find out more about our “Adopt a Partner” program, write to us at: info@cbnisrael.org

As always, on behalf of the staff of CBN Israel and our faithful partners throughout the land we say, “May the Lord bless you”!

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I Have Established Watchmen On The Walls

In Israel, every Jewish, young man and woman must serve in the IDF (Israel Defence Force) for a minimum of two to three years. As they join, each new soldier places their right hand on the Tanach, otherwise known as the Old Testament, and their left hand raised before God as they pledge their allegience. Just a few weeks ago, my son, a Jew who believes that Yeshua is the Messiah, joined Israel’s elite forces and followed suite in being sworn in. But unlike the others, he placed his right hand on the Brit Chadasha, otherwise known as, the New Testament. It was his personal conviction and testament that his faith is not only in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but in Israel’s Messiah, Yeshua. 

Sixty-nine years ago, the nation of Israel was born again. A nation that once existed and then was destroyed and it’s people scattered because of sin. But God, in His great mercy and faithfulness, has resurrected us from the grave, gave us back our land and is restoring the people. Today, not only is God bringing His people back from all lands where they were scattered, (my wife and I included), but God is pouring out His Spirit and bringing our hearts to life again. My son is a living testimony of this. As the Lord has promised, so He is doing: 

“For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. “You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.”- Ezekiel 36:24-28

As more and more Israelis are recognizing Yeshua as their Messiah, the number of believing youth is also growing. They grow up in faith and when they come of age, they join the Israeli army and become, quite literally, “watchmen on the walls”.

“On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves; and give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” – Isaiah 62:6

You who intercede before the Lord are also His watchmen. You who have prayed for the salvation of Israel, rejoice! For God is answering prayer! Now I ask that you join CBN Israel in praying for these soldiers who defend this country. Pray for wisdom and protection. Pray that God would pour out His Spirit upon all the soldiers, that they might know Him! And pray that God would give them hearts like David, full of courage and faith.

God bless you, faithful ones, who have and are taking part, through prayer, in what He is doing. 

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Give it to God

*Alice is a hard working woman who cares for her severely disabled son alone as a single mother. Though she was exhausted from life’s demands, bills needed to be paid and her son needed her help. But the high cost of living, drove her like a hard task master. 

Alice has been a part of the CBN Israel community of single mothers for several years. When we heard of her situation, we accompanied Alice to request government housing for her and her son. Those who receive government housing, need only to pay a minimal amount of the rent, however, the process of approval can take many, many years. 

After being denied several times, Alice expressed, “I am tired of fighting for what I need. I have done all that I can, and the rest I give over to the hands of the Lord.” Our staff then wrote a letter to the national insurance, explaining the circumstances for Alice and why she desperately needed the help. And then, we waited. 

“The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry.”- Psalm 34:15

This morning, we received a phone call from a very excited Alice. “I’ve been approved!” she exclaimed. Unbeknownst to her, Alice had been moved to the top of the waiting list and was given the approval to be placed in government housing. 

Alice’s story teaches us a very important lesson. We don’t need to defend ourselves, nor to manipulate or force our way into a situation. We only need to do what we know is right and then to leave the outcome in the hands of the Lord. 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”- Proverbs 3:5-6

*Name altered for privacy

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God Answers Prayer for Healing

One beautiful, October day in the city of Ashkelon, Israel, *Amira limped through the door of a local Humanitarian Aid Center. As volunteer partners of CBN Israel greeted Amira, they took notice of her limp and inquired as to what had happened. She had recently undergone surgery on her leg and just before she walked through the door, she had fallen and impacted the exact area where she had surgery. Amira was very worried about the consequences of her fall and what would come from the pain she was experiencing. “Can we pray for you?” the staff inquired. Amira agreed and the volunteers began to pray for healing in Amira’s leg.

One week later, Amira contacted the volunteer partners of CBN Israel with excitement in her voice. The pain was gone! She reported that just hours after their time of prayer, the pain had greatly subsided, and now, she is healed! Even one month since that moment of prayer, Amira is still pain free. God truly answered the prayer of faith for healing.

*Name altered for privacy

 

While you are here…

We’d like to ask for your help. At CBN Israel, we desire to see the local body of believers thriving in Israel. Through our work and the work of our partners, widows and single mothers receive care and justice. Holocaust Survivors are comforted. New immigrants are welcomed into community and supported through difficult transitions. Entrepreneurs have a hand up towards a successful business God’s way. And the next generation of youth can grow in faith through the powerful tool of Superbook.

All the work of CBN Israel is made possible through the generosity of people like you. Would you consider giving a one time, or monthly gift today?

Thank you for considering partnering with us!

CBN Israel

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The Significance of Beer Sheva

This week in Israel, we marked the one hundred year anniversary of the British conquest of the town of Beer Sheba located in southern Israel. On October 31, 1917, the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Light Horse Cavalry made the surprise charge against the Ottoman Turkish forces that defended the city. The failure of the first two attacks on Gaza failed in pushing the Turkish forces back, but once Beer Sheba was taken, the Turkish forces in Gaza retreated in fear of being surrounded and cut off. This battle has been hailed as a key turning point in the release of what was known then as “Palestine” from Turkish control and a key event leading to the establishment of the State of Israel.

Our God is a God of perfect timing, and He often gives us hints to what He is doing by coordinating events so that we can see and understand. In the book of Exodus, we read the story of the release of the children of Israel from the bondage of the Egyptians. Their deliverer Moses, makes a point about the timing of God in the events he records:

“Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years—on that very same day—it came to pass that all the armies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. It is a night of solemn observance to the Lord for bringing them out of the land of Egypt. This is that night of the Lord, a solemn observance for all the children of Israel throughout their generations.” (Exodus 12:40-42)

In light of what took place in Beer Sheva, there is a significance that on the same day the Balfour Declaration was signed in London making a commitment of the British Empire to work towards the establishment of a Jewish state on the land that was being conquered. We can see now in retrospect that God was putting together the pieces of a puzzle that would eventually lead to the establishment of the Jewish State and 50 years later the re-unification under Israeli sovereignty since Biblical times.

God had promised Abraham that He would give him this land as part of His covenant with him. Abraham may have had the promise, but Beer Sheba was the first land where he was given the ability to settle. Was it God’s sovereign hand that brought the release of Beer Sheva first as He had before? Was He letting us know that these events were leading up to the fulfillment of His promises?

This is the essence of our call in blessing Israel and her people. God is working in our time and His call is to come and join Him in what He is doing.

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First Superbook Club in Hebrew, a Success!

The children of a kipputz just outside Jerusalem were surprised to see their community center full of red balloons as they came in on Wednesday afternoon. What was the celebration? Was it someone’s birthday? The staff of CBN Israel welcomed over twenty children to the very first Superbook Club in Hebrew! This was an event the staff had been looking forward to hosting for over a year as the material was in preparation.

The children were seated and introduced to the Superbook Salvation Peom which has been translated into thirty-nine different languages.

The staff explained, “Children all over the world are learning more about God through Superbook in their languages and now, you can too! But wait! Who is that coming through the door behind you?!” Every little head in the room quickly spun around to see a smiling character approaching them. It was GIZMO! In the Superbook series, Gizmo is the animated, toy robot that takes the children, Chris and Joy, on adventures through Biblical stories. When the children experience a situation in their lives that requires the wisdom they need from God’s word, the Bible, a.k.a. Superbook, opens and takes them back in time, with Gizmo as their excort. It is through these Bible adventures that the children learn how to live their lives God’s way.

When everyone had met Gizmo and had their fill of robot hugs, the children were treated with popcorn and juice as the episode of Daniel and the Lion’s Den appeared on the big screen. Though tv entertainment is nothing new for a child of the twenty-first century, the Bible coming to life through CGI animation was certainly a novelty for these children.

When the episode had finished, the children were presented with Superbook tee-shirts. “These are for you to wear when you come to Superbook Club every month”, said the staff of CBN Israel. Almost in unison, the children replied, “How long do we have to wait till the next one?!”

Now that the children have been introduced to Superbook and are excited to be a part of what kids are experiencing around the world, a community leader will continue to host the club and help the children engage with the lessons that can be learned from the episodes of season one.

We, at CBN Israel, are excited for these children, believers and non-believers alike, who are being exposed to God’s word and the real heros of the faith who were ordinary people just like them. Please join us in praying that God will work in each of their hearts by His Holy Spirit and introduce Himself to them in a very real and personal way as they experience the stories of the Bible through Superbook in their own language.

To learn more about Superbook or to purchase curriculum, visit the CBN website. Superbook in Hebrew is not yet available for purchase.

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Get Out of Your Country

Every week the Jews gather together around the world and read designated portions of Scripture. This week we read the portion in Genesis 12 describing God’s first revelation to Abraham. The portion called in Hebrew: “Lech Lecha” meaning “get out of your country.”

“Now the Lord had said to Abram:

“Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
(Gen.12:1-3)

God starts Abraham’s adventure by telling him to “leave.” Abraham was raised in a tribal culture where tribal loyalty was a high value. God’s call was contrary to everything Abraham had been taught by the tribal culture he was raised in.

It is impossible to know what was going on in Abraham’s life, but somehow he chooses to leave behind his family and culture and follow a God he had not known, in exchange for a promise that he would become a blessing to those around him.

We may not automatically think this way, but Abraham lived in an adulterous society surrounded by false objects of worship. In order for God’s ways to take root in his life, Abraham had to be removed from the things that would hinder the process. Without Abraham’s obedience to “get out,” God would never be able to make him the blessing he ultimately became.

In the same way, God calls us out of our own way and out of the comfort of what is familiar and in to His purposes so that He can make us a blessing. But sadly, many of us refuse to allow God to remove the things in our lives that hinder the process from taking place. Understanding that God’s purpose is to make you a blessing may help inspire the obedience that is necessary for the promise to be fulfilled.

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