Mission Statement

In classical sacrifices, the people get the good bits, and the gods get the refuse, the bits that would get thrown out otherwise.

Not our God. Leviticus (particularly Leviticus 3) describes the sacrifices that our LORD demanded from His people of Israel. God gets the kidneys, the tail, and all the fat. He gets the prime steak, He gets the best.

Today we do not literally give sacrifices of animals. For us the ultimate sacrifice has been made through our Lord, Christ Jesus. But should always be our ambition to do the same thing - to offer God the best of what we have, to offer Him the fat, and not the smoke and bones.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Israel Prayer Points

• There has been a lot of on-going conflict within Israel, most publicly between the Israeli’s and the Palestinians. Pray that there be on-going peace between these two ethnic groups, and that there be a build-up of trust and compassion between them
• Many countries internationally, especially Muslim countries, refuse to recognise Israel as a state. This means that not only are there conflicts within Israel, but that they face threats from outside, including from the vast majority of the neighbouring countries.
• There is opposition even in Australia, especially in regards to “the fence”, which separates Israeli and Palestinian areas. There has been protests, including against Max Brenner (chocolate store) and L’Oreal (skin care brand), including some violence against Max Brenner employees. Pray that those opposed to the state of Israel will seek peaceful ways of expressing their concerns.
• 75% of Israel is Jewish. Of this percentage, 25% is Orthodox, 20% is secular, and the rest mostly fall between.
• Messianic Jews are the one religious group that is most likely to have difficulties registering places of worship. There are attempts by ultra-Orthodox Jews to put in place anti-conversion laws, and there has been some persecution of Messianic Jews.
• There has however been a considerable interest in the gospel by Jews. The numbers of Messianic Jews are estimated to be 12,000 in Israel, and over 100,000 world-wide (of 4.5 million Jewish people). Some continue to be Jewish, while others become integrated within gentile Christian churches.
• Currently there are legal restrictions for Messianic Jews to immigrate to Israel, as the law states that the national identity and religious identity of Israelis is the same. Secular Jews are allowed to become citizens, but Messianic Jews cannot
• Pray for the spirit to breathe new life into the nation of Israel. Ezekiel 37.
• In order for this to happen, the Jews need to see that what was done in the name of Christianity has not been what God wants. Pray that this will be seen by the Jews of Israel and the world, and that the will have an accurate witness of the love of Christ.
• Pray for a spiritual unity for all Christians. Ethnic tension can be high, even within the church of Christ, with some Jewish believers having big issues with Arab Christians and vice-versa. Pray that the Lord will bestow the blessing of peace upon the believers of this nation. (Ps 133)
• Pray that there be a boldness of witness for all Christians, especially Messianic Jews. While there is (mostly) tolerance, there is occasional violence, especially from the ultra-Orthodox and the Haredi, and evangelising is increasingly opposed and difficult.
• Pray that there be a understanding that becoming Christian does not mean that you are turning your back on your people.
• Pray also for Arab believers, especially Muslim-Background believers. Many are coming to Christ, but there is also a high emigration rate to the West.
• Pray for the work of missionaries, both Messianic and Protestant Christianity. Many have entered as tent-makers, and when their religious work comes to light, it can be difficult to get their Visas renewed.
• Many groups, especially Holocaust survivors and the Haredi, are living significantly below the poverty line. There is outreach to bless them and to reach them with the news of the gospel. Pray that this be effective, and that those who have suffered much and those who are extremely zealous for the faith of their fathers, would have their hearts softened to the gospel
• Many Jewish people worldwide are walking away from the faith of their fathers, and either moving towards secularism or other religions. There is much spiritual seeking from the Jewish youth. Pray that in this searching, God would speak out to them and bring the lost sheep of Israel back to Him.
• Pray for the work of Messianic groups worldwide, such as Jews for Jesus and Celebrate Messiah
• Pray that in the celebration of Passover, there be an awareness that Jesus is their Passover Lamb, slain for them.

What can you do?
• Pray!
• Reach out to Jewish people around you. Celebrate Messiah have had success with workers of the Dead Sea skin care company at Chadestone. There are lots of Jews around, especially at unis, and in the Caulfield, Malvern, and Elsternwick areas.
• Learn about the Old Testament! If you are speaking to Jews, they need to know that Jesus is the continuation and fulfilment of the faith of Abraham. If you haven’t got a clue about the Old Testament, you won’t be prepared to speak to them about this. Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22 are great places to start, and to refer any Jewish people to.
• Write to your politicians, here and in your home country, saying that you support Israel, and that you oppose attempts to force it to go back to its pre-1967 borders.

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