Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:9-21)

To our dear friends in Israel, I have a very heavy heart today. The Joshua Fund team is grieving with you over the deaths of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. We had been hoping and praying along with you that we could all rejoice together, that there would be a sweet reunion. Yet we are faced with a bitter reality. Our hearts are broken for you as a nation. This tragic news weighs even heavier in light of the brewing conflict that fills the news across the globe. We are praying for you, and we are very aware that your own precious sons and daughters are called to stand against Israel's enemies. It is this prospect of future war hanging over Israel that motivates us these days. We are diligently preparing and pre-positioning relief supplies, so that we can bless all Israelis together, should the L-rd allow another attack. He longs for Israel to return to Him wholeheartedly. He is passionate to restore His people, for His ruach [Spirit] to bring them to life. We stand by ready to do everything we can to help you in your time of need, trusting that He will do what is necessary to return the children of Israel to their land and to His heart. Those of us who know Yeshua must rise to show His love in the face of this evil. We are called to reflect the character of the True and Living God, the One who values every life he has created. We still long for all in the region -- Jews and Gentiles -- to ask, "Why do the people who love Yeshua, love me?" Never has this been more critical than today, and the L-rd is able to make His love even more evident against the backdrop of hatred that surrounds you. Israel will always be in her prayers. So will her neighbors. And her enemies. We pray especially that the Spirit of the True God would fall upon Sheikh Nasrallah and the leaders of Hezbollah and bring them to saving, transforming faith in Jesus Christ, for it is only through the Prince of Peace that the problems of the Middle East will ever truly be solved. "Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep." (Psalm 121:4) Amen.

[Top photo: Eldad Regev on the left, Ehud Goldwasser on the right]