I was touched by a sermon today as the preacher posed a question, “Do we ask God to do what is manageable or ask Him what is He calling us to do?”
Choosing what is manageable, can actually seriously hinder our calling as the ten spies discovered in Numbers chapter 13.
On that note, God revealed an audacious call on his heart. He invites us to partner with him, “…so all Israel shall be saved.”
Paul partnered with God in this consistently and prioritized ministry to reach Jews first despite his Gentile calling.
I’m not the same person I was from about four months ago. A stirring to reach Jews with the gospel is now burning in my heart after God’s leading.
I sense I am to pass this on to you, my reader.
First to Jew then to the Gentile
Paul said to the Roman church, in Romans chapter 1 and verse 14, “I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks…”
His revelation made him feel indebted to share to all.
However, he makes God’s divine protocol for ministry clear in verse 16. He shared that, “he is not ashamed of the gospel because it the power of salvation for all who believe” and that it was to be given, “first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”
In fact, throughout the book of Acts, Paul’s mission default was to always enter the Jewish Synagogue first, where Jews gathered to hear Scripture, and expound its fulfilment in Christ.
For example, in Acts chapter 13, verse 37 he quoted Psalm 16 saying, “He will not let his holy one see decay.” He applies this to Jesus who rose from the grave in victory over sin and death for us! Paul unlocked these kingdom mysteries for us.
Why Jews first?
God had some clear and practical objectives in mind in doing it this way.
1. The inspired scriptures were given to Jewish people and in the Jewish cultural context. Hence, they are uniquely positioned for the greatest insights. For example, the Jews celebrate Passover. Jesus is the true Passover lamb.
2. Israel was redeemed at Passover in Exodus chapter 12 as a first born. Jesus is the first born from among the dead, and Jewish believers are the firstborn, elder son, with double inheritance. They are to be the first sign of the father’s strength.
3. And that is why ultimately, God covenanted that through Abram in Genesis chapter 12, a Hebrew, that all nations would be blessed. Hence, they were chosen and uniquely equipped not just for their sake alone, but for the whole world to be blessed.
We may ask, ‘did God’s plan fail?’ Jesus came to the Jews, and many rejected him?
No, God’s plan continues, it is written in Romans chapter 11 and verse 15, “For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?”
Less head aches in the world please!
Every day we are bombarded with bad news by media; it can be like a headache.
Interestingly, great revivals of the past brought headache free times. Police stations became quieter, gaols were emptied, hospitals lacked sick, monies were given for God’s use rather than the devil’s, and families were united with a powerful testimony to God’s love, to name few.
Jonah was reluctant to obey God and preach to the Ninevites as he was commanded. He instead took a ship in the opposite direction. God sent a storm so bad it threatened to break the ship apart. The sailors all pleaded with their gods for help and discovered by lot that Jonah was the reason for the storm and every one’s headache!
Jonah was nowhere to be found, laying asleep below deck as everyone screamed out for help. He eventually was summoned and asked who he was. He responded by sharing to all his identity, as a Jew, as a worshiper of the God who made the seas and everything else. He knew he needed to cooperate with God and the storm will abate.
Presently, the Omicron variant is wreaking havoc, our health systems threatening to break up, maybe your business and livelihood too? We may be asking why are we encountering so many ongoing problems and headaches at a global scale, especially these past few years?
Friends, Jonah was a type. Today, Israel must be summoned and aroused from spiritual slumber from below deck, unseen, to be born of water and spirit, to declare her true identity to all, and preach, just as Jonah did.
Storms will cease as we all dive into areas of unrest and preach and obey Christ’s commission (See Matthew chapter 28, verses 18 - 20); societal headaches will disappear.
Let’s not do a runner like Jonah.
Friends of Israel
Jesus described himself as the friend of sinners. Teachers of the law despised him for reaching out to the irreligious in Luke chapter 15.
Jesus responded by admonishing them, explaining he did this out of knowing God’s goodness and love for the lost. He spoke about shepherds who search for their lost sheep, a woman who sought after her lost treasure, and a loving father who gave all for his lost sons to be restored.
God is a good father and sees hearts and past our sin and dirt. He longs for all Israel to turn and be saved.
Will you and your church be a part of this call to bless and reach Jewish people for Christ?
God put on my heart to release ten short video messages for Israel in 2022. He said 2022 is to be a ‘year of witness.’
So, please join me and pass this video on to your Jewish friend today-
Be a friend of Israel with me.
Mark Rusic was born in Melbourne and has a bachelor in Mechanical engineering. He became a missionary to many suffering hardship and poverty on Madura Island in Indonesia, for about 4 years, from 1990. He has worked as a pastor-life coach over the past 17 years in Hope International Ministries. Mark is also an artist and author and has also written two books which are a collection of his own paintings, photography and poetry. These include ‘Iconic Melbourne of Australia’ and ‘Iconic Animals of Australia with a voice to release your giant potential within.’ He has been counted among some of Australia’s best-selling authors since 2014 and is a public speaker in various community groups, organisations and churches. He has a special grace to help people find and release why they were born. See iconiccolours.com for more information about Mark’s services.