Revelation 3:14,20

 Daily Readings  Comments Off on Revelation 3:14,20
Aug 132018
 
“[To the Church in Laodicea] “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

BREAKING: Israel and Gaza moving towards full-blown war. Hamas breaks cease-fire. 150+ rockets fired at Israel overnight. 17 Israeli civilians injured. IDF retaliating. Palestinians in Gaza suffering under Hamas tyranny. Here’s the latest. #PleasePray

 Bible Prophecy, Christian World View, Israel  Comments Off on BREAKING: Israel and Gaza moving towards full-blown war. Hamas breaks cease-fire. 150+ rockets fired at Israel overnight. 17 Israeli civilians injured. IDF retaliating. Palestinians in Gaza suffering under Hamas tyranny. Here’s the latest. #PleasePray
Aug 082018
 

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(Jerusalem, Israel) — Pray it doesn’t happen. Pray that civilians on both sides of the border are spared the horror. But all signs suggest a major new war is about to erupt between Israel and Hamas and other terrorists in Gaza.

It has been exactly four years since the last full-scale war between Israel and the terrorists of the Gaza Strip. In August of 2014 (the month my family and I moved to Israel), some 4,594 rockets and mortar rounds were fired at civilians in the Jewish State by Hamas and its allies. The Israeli military retaliated fiercely, bombarding the Strip with hundreds of strikes on terrorist facilities. IDF ground forces made numerous incursions into the Strip. In the end, Israeli chose not to launch a complete invasion and occupation of the Strip, but many on both sides of the border suffered and great damage was caused during the conflict.

Since then, a shaky truce has persisted. The Egyptian government of President el-Sisi deserves credit for actively working behind the scenes to persuade Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror groups to stand down. 

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Yet in 2018, there has been a dramatic escalation:

So far, Israeli officials have chosen not to mobilize reservists and launch a full-scale ground and air operation against Gaza. But Hamas and their terror allies are clearly trying to provoke such a war. 

Why? That’s anyone’s guess. These evil leaders are determined to rob, kill and destroy. They have trapped — enslaved, really — the people of Gaza in a brutish environment. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The Palestinians people of Gaza have priceless beachfront property along the Mediterranean. They have smart, industrious people. They have natural gas reserves right off the coast that foreign petroleum companies are willing to help them develop if there only was peace. Israel, it should be noted, has not occupied the Strip since August 2005. Thus, for the last thirteen years the people of Gaza could have been building a free and thriving and prosperous society. Instead, they find themselves suffering under a wicked tyranny that is engaging in hundreds of war crimes (i.e., shooting at innocent civilians in Israel from schools, hospitals, playgrounds and other civilian centers in Gaza.) Hamas can’t provide enough food or cooking fuel. They only provide a few hours of electricity every day. That means even people with air conditioners suffer in blazing desert heat most days without being use them. 

Israel has a right to defend her people. But these terror attacks and this humanitarian disaster cannot go on.

The world needs to focus like a laser on pressuring Hamas to stop attacking Israel, surrender their weapons, and let the Palestinian Authority reassert control and begin to rebuild with Egypt’s help, and the help of wealthy Gulf countries.

The people of Gaza need help. They are people created in the image of a God — a God who loves them. They deserve so much better. Let us pray for quiet and calm on the border, to be sure. Let us pray war that war will be averted. But let’s not stop there. Let’s pray for more — for the complete political, economic and spiritual liberation of the Palestinians of Gaza. It cannot come too soon.

In region divided by terror & politics, Evangelical leaders call for global prayer for peace and “supernatural unity” between Israeli and Palestinian Christians. (Here’s the Christian Post’s coverage of the 2018 Epicenter Prayer Summit.)

 Bible Prophecy, Christian World View, Israel  Comments Off on In region divided by terror & politics, Evangelical leaders call for global prayer for peace and “supernatural unity” between Israeli and Palestinian Christians. (Here’s the Christian Post’s coverage of the 2018 Epicenter Prayer Summit.)
Aug 062018
 

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>> To listen to or watch any of the messages from the Summit, please click here.

(Jerusalem, Israel) — The Christian Post just published an excellent story on the 2018 Epicenter Prayer Summit, and I commend it to your attention.

Here is the article in full

Influential Christian leaders Ronnie Floyd and Anne Graham Lotz were among some 800 believers who attended a conference in Jerusalem and offered prayers for “supernatural unity.”

“We prayed boldly that peace may reign in Jerusalem and in the most volatile region in the world. And we prayed for supernatural unity that overcomes the most entrenched barriers and divisions,” Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas, told The Christian Post on Thursday.

The Epicenter Prayer Summit in Jerusalem was led by The Joshua Fund on July 11 and 12. Joshua Fund founder Joel C. Rosenberg revealed on his blog that participants included those from the U.S., Israel, the Palestinian Authority and other nations. The event came in the midst of high tension in the region, with hundreds of rockets being fired at Israel from Gaza.

Floyd, who is also the former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Lotz, author and daughter of the late evangelist Billy Graham, both spoke at the event, as did pastors and leaders of local Jewish, Israeli Arab and Palestinian Arab ministries.

“The heartbeat of the conference was to come together in unity, seeing walls coming down between all true believers in Jesus through the power of prayer. All of this is so we can be used in a powerful way to communicate the Gospel to all peoples,” Floyd explained.

The pastor reflected that everywhere around the world, people “allow language, race, culture, ancestry, nationality and anything that might make us different from someone else to divide us.”

“Sadly, this is painfully visible in the region of the world where Jesus was born. Yet that’s exactly why Jesus came, to bring down the barriers between people and between us and God. Bringing people together around the Word of God and the person of Jesus Christ is the key to overcoming divisions between people from diverse backgrounds,” he stated.

“The testimonies from Jewish and Palestinian believers in Jesus Christ were particularly powerful and encouraging to each of us. The Gospel is more powerful than any barrier we can build.”

Tensions on the Gaza border with Israel flared up in May, when dozens of Palestinians were killed during violent protests over the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, a decision that has divided many in the region.

Floyd revealed that the differences on the issue “were certainly understood,” but explained that the conference “was not meant to address political issues.”

“It was meant to remind ourselves that the Gospel transcends these issues and brings us together as one. The vision was to stay focused on the Gospel and its advancement across the Middle East and beyond, knowing prayer and awakening are the key,” he added.

Rosenberg, who is a best-selling author, said in opening remarks at the prayer summit that believers need to examine just what it means to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

“How do make sure not to simply pray for one group who live here to the exclusion of the others? How can we encourage one another to pray for Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians, and for all who live in the Epicenter?” he posed.

“This is exactly what this Summit is for — learning to pray for all the souls of this extraordinary city and region, from Scripture, with real faces before us, and with purpose and great power.”

Lotz, who leads Angel Ministries, spoke from Daniel 9, calling on people to pray in a way that moves Heaven and changes nations, families and individuals.

“If prayer is hard for you, it’s because prayer is hard, OK? One of the things that helps me is if I can find a model prayer in Scripture after which I can pattern my prayers….Daniel was a man who prayed so powerfully and so effectively that God answered his prayer and a nation was changed,” she said.

Lotz also spoke of the importance of trusting in the faithfulness of God.

“God is faithful. What testimony can you give of the faithfulness of God in your life? I can tell you, just as God has been faithful to Joel Rosenberg, and just as God has been faithful to Ronnie Floyd, and just as God has been faithful to Billy Graham, and me; just as God has been faithful to your grandmother or your pastor, God will be faithful to you,” she continued.

“You know how I know that? Because God is faithful. He can’t be less than Himself, can He?”

Floyd told CP that he believes that progress was made on important topics.

“For those of us visiting from America, it moved us to see and hear firsthand about the challenges our Middle Eastern brothers and sisters face. This was personally challenging and an important reminder of the cost of following Jesus. We have to stand in unity and solidarity with believers around the world, especially in places where they face persecution for their faith,” the pastor said.

“I believe for those located in the Middle East it was also refreshing and encouraging to know Christians in the West are praying with and for them. Time will bear the testimony of this fruit.”

As for the prospects of peace in Israel, given the continued turmoil in the region, Floyd noted that peace begins with prayer.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” he said, citing Psalm 122 in the Bible.

“This is what we did throughout the conference. While we always support efforts to establish peace in Israel and Palestine, our confidence is not in any man-brokered deal. We place our confidence in the Prince of Peace and His soon return, who will establish unending peace not only in Jerusalem but in the whole earth.”