May 2017 – Blessed to be a Blessing

Dear friends, “…in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” –a covenant that has never been revoked! Genesis 12:3 God’s message to do good to the nations of the world is threaded throughout His Word. He also has a method and a means to accomplish it, using His most powerful weapon, ‘the blessing.’ […]

Dear friends,

“…in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” –a covenant that has never been revoked! Genesis 12:3

God’s message to do good to the nations of the world is threaded throughout His Word. He also has a method and a means to accomplish it, using His most powerful weapon, ‘the blessing.’

Moses receives the law from GodHis method began with a promise to a man. He gave him a family, which grew into a nation. God blessed the man Abraham and through him, his offspring, Isaac and then Jacob. Through Jacob’s sons emerged a nation designed to bring ‘light and life’ into the nations like the rivers flowing out of the Garden of Eden.

Nothing has changed– however the ‘river’ (blessing) stopped flowing.

The Jewish people made a couple of critical presumptions that limited the process. They embraced the task without receiving the equipment to succeed. Instead of being agents of redemption, they adopted the cultures of their neighbors and things quickly grew worse.

Through Moses came the Law and its requirements. However, God told them that their hearts needed circumcision, not merely their foreskins, in order to function according to its precepts.

God's law in our heart

The Law came through Moses, and what God required was to circumcise their hearts.

Instead of asking how complete obedience to the Law is even remotely possible, they said prematurely, “We will do it.” I admire their resolve, but not their presumption.

Zeal without knowledge is dangerous.

It seems to me that God has a way of setting an impossible task ahead of us with the expectation that our conversation will begin at that point. My personal experience has taught me that the task is not the problem.

Instead, it is proceeding without Divine training or assistance. Let me illustrate.

Hopeless man sitting by himself

Where you find yourself when you do not depend on God

When I began my woodworking business as a believer, I was hired repeatedly for jobs that were beyond my experience. Because my work put food on the table, I cannot recall turning down a job due to what was lacking in my resume. Instead, I threw myself upon God. I literally believed that God could anoint me as He did Bezaleel in Moses’ day (Exodus 31:3). When my heart was right, He never failed and I never failed to be amazed. As time wore on however, I began to rely on my experience rather than God’s anointing.

Inevitably, in the absence of His Presence and enabling, frustration became my companion. Whether it is carpentry or child rearing, there is no natural talent or experience that can qualify me for the task ahead, if it is to bring about eternal benefits for the ones I hope to serve.

In effect, the “blessing” is missing.

The blessing of Abraham

When God entered human history as a man named Yeshua, His method was no different. We see it in the beatitudes. After a beautiful description of this phenomenal blessed life, He closes by saying “Be perfect, just like my Father in Heaven.” Instead of screeching brakes and a shout of ‘watssupwiththat?,’ I picture the folks in His audience getting up and heading to their homes or local buffet, and talking about what a nice message they just heard.

I have come to the conclusion that the “blessing of Abraham” is the Gospel in its entirety. More than that, it is the New Covenant power and desire given us to perform—to do God’s will. I have also recognized that I am responsible to spread that message as a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But, we cannot stop at Jacob. It is through his descendants that the Messiah Jesus comes.

He is the New Covenant and through Him that power and will are released.

An agent of blessing

When I travel, as I did to India this past fall, I go with that in mind.

I am an agent of blessing.

With me come the skills and knowledge I have acquired, to be released in a way that will bring attention to Jesus. It comes through relationship building as we encourage, comfort, train, teach, and equip in any way we can, as God directs. It is spiritual in nature, but it is revealed through our words and deeds.

Journey to India

Our India journey began in Bangalore to encourage one of our new partners, and then to Dharwad, home of Caring Hands, to train young pastors to work with the tools we purchased. Our goal was to help them earn a living and train other men in their churches to do the same and thus support family and ministry.

Arun with his wife

Arun and Shoba Massey

As always, we use Biblical principles to build relationships. This provides an example by which they can teach their people, along with their newly acquired tools and skills.

Caring Hands is a ministry to the children of devadasis, or temple prostitutes.

Traveling with my friend of over 50 years, this was my second visit there. I told him we had done enough damage growing up together, that it was time we left a new mark, the mark of redemption.

We were appalled to discover this form of Hinduism is still functioning as the norm.

The goddess Yellama demands worship through the sexual deviation attended by her servants, the devadasis. When the Masseys came to Dharwad they were horrified by the damage this mindset had done to the children.

Girls rescued from temple prostitution

Young rescued girls with happy faces

By the grace of God they were gradually able to convince these mothers to release the children to their care. Since the ministry began, 400 children have grown up in their home learning what love is through example and Biblical instruction. The love of Jesus permeates the demeanor of the 40 girls we came to know.

Arun requested that we build a large table with benches, some shoe storage units, and repair a favorite chair of Shobha’s. As we trained the pastors, some of the girls would eagerly watch with the hope that they could help.

Together we accomplished more than expected, including a couple of birdhouses the girls had wanted for years.

The ‘blessing’ is the key. It is the essence of our purchased lives. It is Jesus working through us in naturally supernatural ways. It is contagious and fulfilling. We must be blessed though, in order to be a blessing.

working with missionaries

Training men to make a table with their new tools

The blessing is first a lifesaver and then a life giver. It has everything to do with Jesus, the Messiah, and little to do with us. His only requirement is our willingness to follow—an impossible task apart from a circumcised heart.

There is another aspect of the ‘blessing’ that has become personal to me. Although God’s people, the Jews, failed to bring this spiritual blessing into the Gentile world, His word has not changed. God said that this ‘blessing’ would spread into all the families of the earth. Recently I have recognized my part in this. I have entered the Story as one who has been blessed to be a blessing.

This new revelation has gradually changed my entire perspective and I hope it will yours as well. When I go into the nations, I head there through my front door. I head for the nations, but do not neglect my neighbor. He/she can live across the street or across the seas. He can work in the lumberyard or deliver my mail.

My call and vocation is to be a blessing.

With each opportunity comes a new approach, a Spirit-led one, not of my own devices.

Although my people, the Jews, have done well to spread a visible blessing to the world in the realm of science, technology, medicine etc., they have often neglected the reality that God has gifted them to fulfill His promise, whether or not they give Him credit.

The enemy has blinded this vision so well for so long, that I believe it is time for a revolutionary shift. I am not alone.

Through Comfort My People we have come alongside six ministries who are living to bless their people. Their purpose is to bring the message, which for so long has been overlooked, but has now taken root in the Land again. However, instead of it proceeding out of Zion like a blazing torch, it is barely a flicker.

That is changing as their members grow in both number and training. My call is to make room for them and share the message of Yeshua wherever His people are.

Journey to Goa on the Arabian Coast

For that purpose we left Dharwad and headed for Arambol, Goa on the Arabian Coast. It is where thousands of soldiers go after they finish their military obligation. Unlike the Himalayas, where they go to find the meaning of life, in Goa they go to forget life, as they know it. In both places I went to “head them off at the pass.”

We began our stay on the side of a steep cliff, but soon looked for a better location. We walked along the beach and in the distance we saw a strange sign that read ‘Hotel Paso.’ This became our new home, but the story gets stranger.

When I was in Israel, I was told to look for “HaBayitHaYedudi” (The House of the Jews). Next to Hotel Paso was HaBayitHaYedudi!

The House of the Jews is a place of refuge for “strung out” Israelis. Beside HaBayitHaYedudi was a place called Dylan’s Café, named after Bob Dylan. They not only serve good coffee, but also the Good News in an atmosphere where conversation comes easily.

In this bizarre area, God provided several fruitful moments to unpack Truth with Jewish sojourners and Gentiles. I am confident that when those former soldiers get ’lit up,’ they are bound to be a blessing to the nations where they will travel.

Goa presented many challenges, but I believe it is the start of what will lead to further ministry opportunities with the goal of returning the Jews to their roots and calling—that is to be a Light (blessing) to the Nations.

I invite you to consider your part in this aspect of fulfilling God’s plan for world redemption. I know there is room for you. Simply ask Him what that is.

Israel Advocacy Tour

If you would like to join me this October on an advocacy tour to Israel please let me know. I believe it will deeply impact all who come and ignite a new passion to serve our Messiah. The Lord has given us favor to keep the cost down and the quality up; however, space is limited, so I need to know very soon.

We are also collecting goods and supplies to send our first ANM container to Israel. Let us know if you want to be a part of this opportunity to be a blessing.

Please continue to pray for my people that many hearts become softened from the pain of unbelief and that their long-awaited Messiah, Yeshua, be welcomed home.

Shalom Mishpocha (family),

Paul

P.S. Please pray for me as I return to Israel next week.


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