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Responding to God's Good Gifts

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Shalom and blessings to you in Yeshua our Messiah.

As we come to celebrate the Feast of Shavuot, also known as Pentecost in the New Testament, on Sunday 20th of May this year, I am so grateful to God for his good gifts to us through faith in Yeshua our Messiah.

At this Appointed Time we give thanks to God for two most amazing gifts in particular: the gifts of his Word and of his Spirit.

The Gift of His Word

And according to Jewish tradition, the feast of Shavuot, which occurs 50 days after Passover, marks the time of the giving of the Torah by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. In Judaism, this festival is also known as Z'man Matan Toratenu – the Season of the Giving of Torah.

Accordingly, as believers in Yeshua, I think this is a wonderful time for us to remember not just the giving of the Law of Moses, but the gift of all of God's Word to this world. Where would we be without God's personal revelation to us in his Word as the Psalmist says; "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." (Psalm 119:105, ESV)

And Rabbi Sha'ul (the Apostle Paul) instructing the young Timothy said: "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16–17, ESV)

So at this season, let us give praise to the Lord for the gift of His Word!

The Gift of the Holy Spirit

Praise God too for the gift of his Holy Spirit. Yeshua's last instructions to his disciples were to stay in Jerusalem until they received the gift that the Father had promised and that he too had spoken about (cf. Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4). He also encouraged them with these words: "For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit." (Acts 1:5, NIV84)

The disciples obeyed Yeshua and went back to wait in Jerusalem. Not many days later came the Feast of Shavuot, and they were all together in the upper room (cf. Acts 1:13).

It was God's appointed time to send them the gift that he had promised. The Holy Spirit fell on each one of the disciples, filling and empowering them to be his witnesses (cf. Luke 24: 48, Acts 1:8).

Because it was the feast of Shavuot, devout Jews from all over the known world were in Jerusalem to fulfill God's instructions in the Torah (cf. Deut. 16:16).

It was this multitude of Jews who heard the Apostle Peter's first Spirit-filled and anointed sermon. His message was so powerful that day that 3,000 Jewish people, convicted by the Holy Spirit, cried out in unison: "... Brothers, what shall we do?" And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit..." (Acts 2:37–39, ESV)

What a powerful start to the first messianic movement; 3,000 Jewish people were born again. What a difference from when the Law was given on Mount Sinai. On that day, 3,000 Jewish people died because of the golden calf rebellion (cf. Exod. 32:28).

The gift of the Holy Spirit empowered the early believers as they began to witness for the Messiah starting in Jerusalem, then on to Judea, to Samaria and eventually to the ends of the earth (cf. Acts 1:8). And today, we are still busy with the task that Yeshua has given us; to be his witnesses starting in Jerusalem and proclaiming the Good News to all nations. The job is far from being finished and we continually need the presence, comfort and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives to accomplish our Master's Great Commission.

Reaching out to the Unreached

At this time of Pentecost, let us remember to give thanks to God for his wonderful gifts to us: his Word and his Spirit. Can I also ask you to please spare a thought and a prayer for the Jewish people who still represent an unreached people group that need to hear and understand the Gospel.

The first believers were Jewish, but as the message was preached to all nations, Gentiles were added to this predominately Jewish movement until Jewish believers were a small minority as we have today.

This was all part of God's plan of course, and we praise God for his mercy and grace to all people through faith in Jesus. We, however, at Celebrate Messiah, are doing our very best to increase the percentage of Jewish believers in the Body of Messiah today through our evangelistic efforts. Your prayers and partnership are essential! We can't do it without the power of the Holy Spirit and your prayerful support.

God has Given Good Gifts – Now it is Our Turn

While I know that God gifts to us are freely given, I cannot help but want to respond to him for his goodness to us and ask the question; "Lord you have given us so many good gifts, what can I now do for you?"

I believe from my reading of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts that God's answer to us would be, "I've given you good gifts and done everything needed for your salvation, now it's your turn, go and be my witnesses." (cf. Luke 24:45-49).

God has accomplished all things pertaining to our salvation through the death, burial and resurrection of the Messiah. He has given us his Word and has empowered by his Spirit and now he gives us our "marching" orders – now it's our turn!

The feast of Shavuot was a harvest festival thanking God for the firstfruits of the wheat harvest (cf Exod 34:22) as the Word of God says:

"Then you will keep the Feast of Shavuot to Adonai your God with a measure of a freewill offering from your hand, which you are to give according to how Adonai your God blesses you." (Deuteronomy 16:10, TLV)

Dear friend, would you please prayerfully consider giving a thanksgiving offering to the Lord at this time to help us continue "Bringing the Message to the Original Messengers."

Your blessing and support of the mission of Celebrate Messiah at this time will be greatly appreciated as we continue the harvest amongst God's ancient covenant people.

Giving to Jewish Ministry in Your Will

When you remember Celebrate Messiah in your will, you become a partner in our life-changing work amongst God's Chosen People worldwide as we await the Messiah's return. If you would like to speak to a Christian solicitor about including Celebrate Messiah in your will, please call our office on 03 9563 5544 for more information.

Tax deductible benevolent fund

Making a donation to Tikkun Olam will provide a generous festival food hamper to needy people. This fund is tax deductible. We can
arrange regular monthly support with your bank. So, please consider making a donation towards helping in a practical and spiritual way those needy Jewish folks in our local community. An online donation can be made by clicking here
Please specify that your donation is for Tikkun Olam so you'll receive a tax-deductible receipt.

 

"Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!" (2 Corinthians 9:15, ESV)

 Yours together in the harvest,

Lawrence Signature

Lawrence Hirsch

Executive Director of Celebrate Messiah

 
 

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