of Repentance, Covenant Approach to Pastoring
On Tuesday 28, the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, together with Swiss Jewish organizations sponsored an event in front of the United Nations and Red Cross headquarters in Geneva.
The rally protested the Red Cross's double standard in their negotiation with Hamas for visitation rights for Gilad Shalit. For more than four years Gilad has been in isolated captivity and has never had a single visit; while three Hamas leaders, wanted by the Israeli police for promoting terrorism, receive shelter in the Red Cross's office in Jerusalem. There they set up shop, conduct business and receive international visitors.
In the crowd were members from the Shalit family, Christians from all around the world, Jews from Geneva who came with palm branches (lulavs), Israeli tourists, and a large group of local messianic Jews. International media and Israeli channel 10 covered the event. Yoel Shalit (Gilad's brother) spoke with his throat choked with tears. He was followed by Caleb Meyers, legal counsel for the Jerusalem Institute of Justice. Christian leaders brought prayers, as well as the Chabad rabbi of Geneva.
The love for Israel and God was in the atmosphere. I saw a prophetic image of Zechariah 14:16….only not yet in Jerusalem, but in Geneva. It was a historic moment when Rebekah N. from Gateways Beyond sang Hatikvah in Hebrew. As much as I know this was the first time the Israeli anthem was sung in front of the UN in Geneva.
As Rebecca sang, the Spirit of God descended over the crowd and the atmosphere was filled with a sense of holiness.
One of my heroes of the faith is David Vanderpool and his family. They run an incredible ministry called Mobile Medical Disaster Relief. They have served in Africa, and more recently in helping the disaster victims after the Haiti earthquake.
They have been nominated for the People Magazine Reader Hero Award. If they win this award, $10,000 will be given to help disaster victims. In addition, it would give glory to the Lord. I want to encourage all of you to take a moment now and vote for their nomination by clicking here. For more information about the Vanderpool's and MMDR please visit their website here.
Fruits of Repentance
There are nine fruits of the Spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22 – "love, joy, peace, patience, generosity, good-heartedness, faithfulness, humility, and self control." They are the result of a person responding in faith and obedience to the influence of the Holy Spirit in his or her life.
There is also fruit from faith in the death and resurrection of Yeshua. This fruit would include being born again, freedom from guilt, experiencing God's love, the assurance of eternal life, witnessing of the gospel, etc. Yeshua said, "He who abides in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit" – John 15:5.
In addition, there is fruit from repentance. I call these the "Seven Fruits of Repentance" from II Corinthians 7. "It aroused in you diligence, asking forgiveness, enthusiasm, godly fear, vehement desire, zeal, readiness to do justice. In all ways you have been proved to be without fault in this matter" – II Corinthians 7:11.
The gospel message calls us to three levels of reaction: to repent, to believe in Yeshua, and to receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). There is fruit to each one of those levels. They are similar yet different in nature.
The fruits of repentance all involve an active response of the soul of man. It is an intense and energetic change of mind. It demands all of our purpose and intention as a human being. The fruits of repentance form a balance to the fruits of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit reflect more of the love of God, while the fruit of repentance reflect more of the holiness of God. Let us have both.
Approach to Pastoring
There were many attacks on the pastors in Israel this past year. Some fell and others were hurt and weakened. Recently I was asked how to keep the pastors strong. Here are three aspects of a covenantal approach to pastoring, that I believe are helpful.
Teamwork – There is just too much to be done by one person, no matter how gifted he may be. We have to develop a method of ministering together in a team with other leaders. That means restraining yourself and making room for someone else's gifts and calling.
Training – We need not only to work in a team with other leaders; we need to train future leaders among those who are younger than us, or younger in the Lord. This requires not only holding back to make room, but also investing with patience and perseverance in those who have potential. We may not see the fruit right away, but later on as we begin to tire, there will be others ready to step forward.
Teachability – This is another word for humility. It is the willingness to be corrected by others, to admit our mistakes. Many spiritual leaders think they have to show those around them that they are always right. That attitude will lead to painful mistakes, to needless damage, and to burn out. Flexibility often works better than stubbornness.
The difficulty with working in a team, in training others and in being teachable is that this takes a lot of time and energy. It takes three or four times as long to get anything done. That's true. However in the long run, we will have a reproducing group of friends who can share and multiply the work.
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