07 December 2017

Of Sheep, Stones and Solomon’s Porch

“It was the Feast of Hanukah (Dedication) in Jerusalem, and it was winter.  And Yeshua walked into the Temple, into Solomon’s Porch….”  John 10:22

There were questions.  They were frustrated.  Somewhere inside it’s possible they already knew, but certainly on the outside, it appeared that they didn’t want to know!  It really wasn’t how they had thought it would be and He just didn’t fit the mould.  The religious leaders of Yeshua’s day were struggling, “Just spell it out in black and white!  Are you the Messiah, the Anointed One from God we’re waiting for?”

“I’ve told you and you don’t believe.  I’ve shown you miracles, signs and wonders, all done in My Father’s name - they prove who I am... but you don’t want to know.”  Yeshua’s declaration was hard for them to hear, to the point where they began picking up stones to throw at Him.  But despite the volatile circumstances, this intense exchange shared by John, gives us a precious glimpse into the Father’s heart for us.   

“You don’t believe because you’re not one of my sheep.   My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.  And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”  John 10:26-29

Not everyone may agree that being likened to a sheep is a positive thing.  They’re not usually known for their intelligence.  They can get lost.  Sometimes when they fall over they can’t get themselves back up, and they require maintenance.  Hmm, maybe we are more like sheep than we’d care to admit sometimes…oh, except for that intelligence bit!  But for all their potential poor qualities, Yeshua was only focussing on one aspect of sheep that Middle Eastern shepherds knew well:  Sheep listen.  And when they recognise the right sound, the voice of their very own shepherd, they follow him.
  •  “They hear me.”  That must mean God speaks to us! 
  •   “I know them.”  A beautiful picture of intimacy we can have with the One we worship!
  •   “They follow me.”  We’re going somewhere, we’re not going alone, and He actually     wants us to be with Him!
  •   “I give them eternal life.”  Forever, with the Life Giver - what a promise!
  •   “They shall never perish.”  Mistakes aren’t fatal and certainly not final if we keep     following Him!
  •   “No one can snatch one of my sheep from me.”  Protection, commitment, safety,     ownership, responsibility…. He just keeps giving!

That would have been enough, but just to make sure we really understand, Yeshua repeats that last bit, from His Father’s perspective.  “My Father, who is greater than all, you know, the One who made the heavens and the earth?  Yes, that one, you know, the King of the Universe?  Just to let you know, He’s hanging onto you too, with His own hand, that no one can snatch you from either!”

At a time when the Israelite nation was focusing on their dedication to God, Yeshua focused on God’s dedication to His sheep, to us, opening a window into the heart of the Father and inviting us to listen and follow.

Hanukah, the Feast of Dedication this year starts at sundown on Tuesday 12th December and concludes 8 days later at sundown on Wednesday 20th December. Many people across the globe will be lighting candles each evening to focus on their dedication to God, to remind themselves of God’s miracle working power. Let’s take the opportunity to join them and focus on our Good Shepherd, to listen for His voice, to follow Him, and to remember how safely we are held in the Father’s very own hand!

23 November 2017

Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian Youth Welcome The King

Exuberant and passionate worship to King Jesus in Hebrew, Arabic and English filled the converted sports hall in Abu Gosh, on the outskirts of Jerusalem. This was a special day for youth and young people within the 3-day 'Welcome the King of Glory' (WTKOG) conference. 

WTKOG was an amazing event that took place in Israel during this year's Feast of Tabernacles. Hundreds of Pacific Islanders and other 'first nation' indigenous people groups traveled from the 'ends of the earth' to Jerusalem to worship and thank the King of Kings in his Holy City, for bringing the Gospel to their nation and to pray for His glory to return to Jerusalem. (You can read more about the Welcome The King of Glory event HERE )

Integrated into this event, was a special celebration for youth and young adults run by ELAV. Jewish and Arab Israeli young people were joined by Palestinian teenagers from the West Bank area and a group of Christian youth from Jordan. During the day, four different local youth and young adult teams led worship and intercession for salvation in Israel and the nations, and for boldness in sharing their faith.  In the evening, a mixed Jewish and Arab worship team (together with young worshipers from other nations) led the conference in Hebrew and Arabic worship. "It was such a powerful picture of inter-generational and inter-cultural worship and welcoming of the King here in Jerusalem." shared one of the worship leaders, "You could really say that King of Glory (Yeshua) was at the centre that night, as opposed to any specific worship team or speaker. And there was a real strong corporate cry for His glory to fill the earth."

Your People My People was in Israel, helping the organisers at this event.  We were so blessed to see these young people from such different backgrounds, worshiping the King together in each others' languages. We recorded the above video clip LIVE during the event. The worship begins with a powerful declaration song: "Open wide you gates that the King of Glory may come in!" and continues with songs about the Spirit and the Bride saying, "Come, Come Jesus," and, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is - there is freedom!" Finally they sing together, "Kadosh - Holy, Holy is the Lord God of Hosts."  Their energy and passion is self-evident! We pray that the fire of the Holy Spirit will invade more and more of their lives - breaking down walls and transforming culture. We bless this generation to be nation-changers and instruments of God's Kingdom here on earth!

Praying over the Jordanian youth 

09 November 2017

We won't stop... until you return!

Children as young as 6 years old are leading 'Prayer and Worship Watches' every week in the heart of Jerusalem. This kids 'Watch' has grown to two full teams of 6-12 year olds who lead all the worship, proclaim scripture and pray. Your People My People had the privilege last year, to join them for one of their 'Watches' and we were amazed at the ability and sincerity of these kids to really worship and pray for their generation. 

Operating out of Succat Hallel House of Prayer in Jerusalem, Dor Haba (meaning Next Generation in Hebrew) is a ministry to young worshippers and prayer warriors from all over Israel - both Jewish and Arab followers of Jesus. Every week, Dor Haba facilitates 'Prayer and Worship' watches run by young intercessors. 

Dor Haba also facilitates and mentors two more 'Prayer and Worship Watches' for 13-15 year olds who lead 2 hours of worship and intercession each week. 

Tal, Director of Dor Haba, shared about a recent spontaneous cry that came out of these teenagers last week. "At this watch, they're learning and interceding about different topics, like abortion in Israel and the persecution of believers in the Middle East. This week, these guys did not want to stop and they continued for another extra hour, after we "closed" in prayer several times (So 3 hours total!)."

"The 14-year old worship leader began singing spontaneously, "We won't stop...until You return" and the others joined in. I couldn't help but laugh at their persistence. Every week I am so touched by their passion to worship Him at such a young age."

"This is where they want to be and what they want to do after school. It's simply a God-thing. One of their 8th grade teachers who came and saw their worship time told me yesterday, "They love coming here! It's all they talk about at school that day. They never want to miss it, no matter what""

Several older teenagers have also started individual devotional watches on their own initiative.

Pray for these kids, so passionate to see God move among their generation and in their nation. 

And Lord, we won't stop...until you return! 

CLICK HERE to watch

CLICK HERE to watch