The Jewish wise man Maimonides said, "Each and every Jew should strive to become as great as Moses."– (Maimonides, Laws of Teshuva 5:2). Christians are instructed to grow each day to be more like Jesus! (Ephesians chapter 4, verse 15)
Rabbi Noah Weinberg wrote: Here's the real secret of success: Regardless of our mortal limitations, our potential for greatness is unlimited when we have the power of the Almighty behind us.
Do we seek to do mighty things? Do we see our full God-given potential? The Jews have always had a 'God-code.' They trace their faith, their future and their destiny in systematic study of the Torah. They seek their identity, goals and dreams in the promises of God.
The word Torah means 'teaching.' They believe it to be the wisdom of heaven revealed and shared with the world. This God-code has been handed down from Jewish father to son for more than 40 generations. The unbroken link of reading, teaching and instructing has brought success in secular, social, civil and spiritual life from generation to generation.
The Israelites were given a covenant and they embraced it despite the problems, the challenges, the setbacks and the enemies.
While Abraham (then called "Abram") was living in Ur of the Chaldeans, God appeared to him in a vision instructing him to leave home and move to the land of Canaan. At age 75, Abraham followed this vision. During his journey, God appeared to him several times, revealing His divine purpose for Abraham and his future heirs.
God told Abraham that:
- he would become a "great nation" (Gen. 12:2)
- he would be a "father of many nations" (17:4)
- nations and kings would come out of him (see 17:6)
- in his seed all nations of the earth would be blessed (see 22:18).
I believe a study by Christians of the continued prosperity and success of Israel and the Jewish people will be a great guide for us to succeed in the face of the persecution now aimed so vehemently at us.
Richard Booker is an author who's significant work is published through The Sounds of the Trumpet, Institute of Hebraic Christian studies. He called for Christians to return to our Roots. He wrote: "We are living at a time when the Lord is calling both Jews and Christians back to their biblical roots.
"The biblical root of Christianity grew from an everlasting covenant God made with Abraham. Christians become part of that covenant through faith in Jesus (Yeshua). The more we can learn about our Hebraic / Jewish roots, the more blessed we will be in our Christian lives."
Maybe in this hour we must learn to understand a famous Jewish word – 'chutzpah!'Yiddish dictionary: "Chutzpah (pronounced huuts-pah) is a Yiddish word that is used by Jews and non-Jews alike to describe someone who is particularly audacious or has a lot of "guts."
I like what Dr Brad Young wrote about chutzpah: "The word chutzpah is difficult to define in a single word. It means headstrong persistence, brazen impudence, unyielding tenacity, bold determination or what in current English terms might be referred to as raw nerve."
Do we Christians have chutzpah where our faith is concerned? Do we stand with Paul saying 'I am not ashamed of the Gospel?"
Dr Brad Young in his book 'Jesus, the Jewish Theologian' wrote: 'Jesus viewed the Kingdom of heaven as an active force in the world, a force energized by God's power.'
Jesus responded when he saw people making faith-filled choices.
He 'saw' their faith and healed the paralytic (Mark chapter 2 verse 5).
He again observed their faith in Luke chapter 5 verse 20 and said to them 'my friends, your sins have been forgiven."
Right now the world needs to 'see' our faith. We are not meant to live quietly and unobtrusively as Christians. Some good old-fashioned chutzpah will put our faith on display.
We do not need to be doing spectacular things. People observe when we say thanks. They notice when we give someone our spot at the supermarket checkout.
How much chutzpah do you have? In many places Christians seem to be the secret agents in society. Instead we are called to be the city on the hill, observed by everyone.
Jesus said, "From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force." (Matthew chapter 11verse12)
"Take it by force' means 'they seize it for themselves.' Dr Brad Young points out a deeper understanding of what Jesus said. He argued that the translation 'the kingdom of heaven suffers violence' the phrase should say 'the kingdom of heaven breaks forth.'
In the King James Bible the Hebrew word 'biazo' is translated 'suffers violence.' But the NIV translates the same word as 'forcefully advancing.' The reason for the difference is simple. The KJV is a passive translation but the NIV is active.
Dr Young said: "Moreover, the Hebrew background of this saying of Jesus actually denotes an action of breaking out with strong force."
My question to the Church today is this – Are we being lulled into something other than an active faith? In fact, have we been trapped into passivity and even surrendered to the fallen world standards in which we live?
In an absorbing study Young said of Christians who respond to the Lord – 'they actively pursue the divine purposes in life with all their strength."
ARE WE LIVING IN THE DAYS OF NOAH OR THE DAYS OF ELIJAH?
Rejoice in the power and the anointing provided for you as overcomers in the world today. Be aware of the events taking place around you and at all times be ready to make a stand for the Gospel.
In these amazing days we should all be those who 'pray without ceasing.' And rejoice for the day of the Lord, is at hand.
Ron Ross is a Middle East consultant for United Christian Broadcasters (Vision FM). Previously he was radio news editor for Bridges for Peace in Jerusalem, Israel.
His career started at WINTV (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ron Ross' previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/ron-ross.html