In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,”Ephesians 1:13
Beloved Brothers and Sisters,
I have been praying for you all. When I consider you all, I am filled with joy because you have come alongside me and I am extremely grateful!
Have any of you watched the movie Before The Wrath? If you haven’t, I recommend you do. One of the guys who comes out in the movie taught our first block of class; Life of the Messiah, his name is Jay. When I heard he was teaching I was excited because I had seen the movie and knew who he was. He stayed with us for two weeks. His teaching through the gospels opened my eyes to view the Scripture in a way I always desired to but never knew how to. The last day he was here, he taught about the Galilean wedding. I wish I can go into detail about it but that would require a lot of writing. I will tell you what lit my face up.
I had already known about the Galilean wedding because of the movie, but in Jay’s teaching he elaborated in things the movie doesn’t talk about. One of those things was that at the time of betrothal the bridegroom gives the bride a gift. The gift can be jewelry, any gift that symbolizes she is married because for a year the bridegroom and bride are not together. He then shared Ephesians 1:13, he shared how in other scriptures Paul knew about the Galilean wedding because he spent time with the apostles. Well when he read Ephesians 1:13, I nearly jumped out of my seat and said “the Holy Spirit is our wedding ring” but I didn’t say anything, instead, my face said it all. It all clicked. This may not make sense if you didn’t know that at the Last Supper Jesus was referencing a Galilean wedding to his apostles who would have understood clearly what Jesus was talking about. Jesus gave you and I a wedding ring which is His Holy Spirit, we are His bride! We have said I do! He will come back for His bride! He is preparing a room for us (John 14:2)! Only our Papà in Heaven knows the time Jesus can come for His bride and I so eagerly wait to be united with my bridegroom!:)
Desires of My Heart
The Lord has placed desires in my heart that I am seeing being fulfilled here. Let me run you through a few of them. I always wanted to learn the Bible in its full context and the background of the text. What I mean by that is knowing the culture at that time, knowing the history of the time, being able to put myself in the character’s shoes, what they could have been thinking, their living situation and not using chapter breaks (which helps with context). All those things, I am learning here, it has blown my mind because I am seeing the scriptures from a simple way. Let me leave this nugget with you for the next time you’re studying the Bible; don’t ask why, ask what is it for:). Another desire I am seeing fulfilled was that I always wanted to memorize scripture but I wouldn’t keep myself accountable. For our group devotionals we have to memorize a scripture once a week and we have each other to keep ourselves accountable. I have challenged myself to memorize the book of 1 John. I have been wanting to memorize this book since summer and I am now getting to it. Another desire is evangelizing. We have been reading two books; Tactics and In the Footsteps of Prophesy. I have been learning a lot through these books in which I can apply when I evangelize.
I have never seen God’s will play out so clearly in my life and Him fulfilling the desires of my heart. As cheesy as this may sound the Lord makes me smile and giddy through all this. Not only is He my source of joy but He is my everything.
I am at 70% in the goal of being able to visit the missions team after CBI Israel and my plane ticket to go back home. The ticket to fly to where the missions team is located is $300 and the plane ticket back home is $900. Please be praying for the Lord’s provision and wisdom if I should still visit the missions team.
In February of next year a group of us are planning on taking a vision tour to Bali and Jakarta Indonesia. If you recall a couple months ago I shared with you all, my heart for Bali. The importance of taking this vision tour is to know if this is a location God is calling me long term and I won’t know until I go check out the place.
In the first pic, behind us is a model of Jerusalem from the old days. The second pic, is of a septuagint Leviticus scroll which is part of the Dead Sea Scrolls that were found in Qumran in 1947. I was also able to see a replica of the Isaiah Scroll (the real copy is sealed and protected elsewhere). It was so neat to be able to see all that was found in Qumran. It’s crazy to consider that even with such evidence people still deny the Word or deny there is a God.
Biblical Dinner: I learned what it meant to be the guest of honor and all that it would entail. I learned the customs of those times and how some still practice it. This has opened my eyes to view the scripture in a detailed way. Now when I go back and read about when Jesus went to Matthew’s house or when he went to the Pharisees house or the Last Supper, I will have in mind what that would entail.
- Praise God I am in the Holy Land and I am learning so much
- Praise God He is fulfilling the desires of my heart
- Praise God for taking care of me
- Pray for the vision tour to Bali and Jakarta
- Pray that in moments when I miss my church, my leadership, family & friends that the Lord would fill me
- Pray for open doors to share the gospel with the Jews