Finances, Fear and the Future
New Mayor for Jerusalem
We are rejoicing with the election of Nir Barkat as the mayor of Jerusalem, and believe this to be an important spiritual victory. Barkat has been a successful businessman, an Israeli army Major, and the leader of a movement for renewing the city of Jerusalem. (Two of our sons volunteered in his campaign.)
During election day, the results seemed to be very close. A large number of ultra Orthodox Jews were recruited to vote for Meir Porush, the opposing candidate. One of my sons called me from the street, and we prayed on the phone for an hour until the poles closed.
The next day he called me again to say that there had been a miracle. The "Gur Chassidim" broke away from the Porush group and swung their support to Barkat. Journalists were astonished. My son said, "Dad, it’s just like we prayed that the kingdom of darkness would be divided according to Luke 11."
Let us pray for the new mayor to bring renewal to the city of Jerusalem, for all its inhabitants - secular Jews, religious Jews, Arabs and Christians - living in the city.
Spiritual Roots of the Current Financial Crisis
Many companies were making huge profits from derivatives and chain linking mortgages. They were not making money from real work, nor providing any real banking services, but just manipulating money on paper. That dishonest work created false profits that eventually collapsed.
Some in the Christian community have made a mistake to think that capitalism in and of itself is enough to bring God's blessing. That is not true. God's kind of capitalism would include standards of integrity, laws against corruption and a primary motivation of generosity.
In addition, some pastors and evangelists have made the mistake of seeing the tithes and offerings primarily as a means to provide a comfortable lifestyle for themselves. That is not true. The goal of Biblical donations is 1) funding congregational activities, 2) world missions and 3) helping the poor and oppressed.
On the other hand, there are many righteous businessmen and women in the world. If they will dedicate their businesses to godly principles, fight greed and corruption, and give according to kingdom priorities, then in this time of world financial difficulty, they can be greatly blessed. As Isaac sowed in the year of drought and reaped 100 fold, and as Joseph prospered during the famine in Egypt, now is the time for righteous businessmen and women to rise and take dominion.
During this crisis, God is also moving His people into position. There is a transfer of wealth, a new alignment. Proverbs 13:22 - The wealth of the wicked is stored up for the righteous.
The two key principles of biblical finances are 1) integrity, and 2) generosity. After a two year battle with the Interior ministry, we have finally succeeded in getting approval for a new set of by laws and criterion, which we believe will raise the standard of financial integrity and generosity in the Body of Messiah here in Israel.
Despite the world economic situation, we believe this year will be the best year we have ever had. We intend to increase our giving and our world missions efforts. Isaiah 60:11 – Your gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day or night, so that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations.
It is our desire to be a source of financial blessing to many.
Obama and Opportunity for World Evangelism
As an Israeli citizen, I am also gravely concerned that the West is vastly underestimating the evil and danger of Islamic Jihad. Our young people serve in battle units in the Israeli army on the front lines of the War on Terror.
I was saddened to think voters did not value the patriotic military background of McCain. The media attacks on Palin were vicious, partly because of her outspoken testimony of faith in Jesus.
The US election may be seen as a judgment of God upon America for sexual immorality and financial corruption; and upon the Church for lack of praying for our government leaders, and for lack of concern for the poor and oppressed.
Yet with the judgments of God, there is also a side of amazing grace. With the judgment there is also an opportunity for real moral change. We should walk in holy fear of the Lord and yet thank Him for His abundant mercy.
We need to pray with confident faith for the Lord to direct Obama and his staff (Proverbs 21:1, I Timothy 2:1-4, Jeremiah 29:7). Let us pray for all those who hold leadership positions in legislature, judicial, military, business, education and media. Let us remember that God still exercises spiritual authority over all the governments of the world (Daniel 4:17, 25, 32; 5:21).
There is an enormous opportunity before us. Obama's bi-racial background opens a door for racial reconciliation. His being Black and yet calling himself a Christian provides an opportunity for evangelism to Blacks in America, Europe and Africa. His "choosing" Christianity despite his dad's Muslim background opens a door for evangelism to Muslims all over the world.
It is not for the government to preach the gospel; that is our job. Obama has not only become the President of the United States; he has become the leader of virtually the entire world. These next 4 to 8 years could become the greatest period of revival and advance of the kingdom of God in history… if we respond in courage and love.
In these end times, the darkness will get darker and the light will get brighter (Isaiah 60:1-3). Persecution will increase, but so will proclamation of the gospel. Let us warn the world of God's judgments and at the same time exercise bold faith for world revival.
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Please PRAY for our ongoing ministry in Israel of indigenous evangelism, planting Messianic congregations, the discipleship training center, prophetic praise and prayer watches in Hebrew, and financial aid for the needy.