Monday Ministerial Musings By Rev. Mark William Ennis Blog Number 8 March 25, 2019 Donald, Israel and The Golan Heights

Monday Ministerial Musings

By Rev. Mark William Ennis

Blog Number 8

March 25, 2019

Donald, Israel and The Golan Heights

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Just a few days ago, Donald Trump announced his belief that it is time for the United States to recognize Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights. This piece of land was seized from the nation of Syria following the 1967 six-day war. Israel’s occupation of this land is still condemned by much of the international community, including the United Nations and has been the source of much friction between the Israel and its Arab neighbors. Donald justified his suggestion of Israeli Sovereignty by claiming that it would add to the security of Israel. I wonder if that is true.

I am all for the security of the state of Israel. Yet it seems to me that the best security that Israel can have comes from friendly relationships with neighbors. Expansionism is never a good way to incur the good wishes of neighbors. We can see this expansionistic drive continually on the West Bank where whole communities have been driven out of ancestral homes so that Israeli settlers can seize vacant land. I can’t help but wonder if Israel’s neighbors might be more likely to live in peace if Israel stops expanding.

The land occupied by Israel and Palestine was promised to Abraham and his descendants. These off-spring include the children of Abrahams first son, Ishmael. The promise of this land was not to Isaac’s family, but Abraham’s. I do hope that the sons and daughters of each of these patriarchs will someday learn this, respect this, and share land without encroaching on the other.

Our nation, encouraging Israeli expansion, will not help make Ishmael’s children transform into being good neighbors who seek the peace of Israel.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                             #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#Israel                                                                                    #GolanHeights

#DonaldTrump

 

To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book:

 

https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/

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Lunes Ministerial Musings  por el Reverendo Mark William Ennis  blog número 8  marzo 25, 2019  Donald, Israel y los altos del Golán

Lunes Ministerial Musings
por el Reverendo Mark William Ennis
blog número 8
marzo 25, 2019
Donald, Israel y los altos del Golán

Hace sólo unos días, Donald Trump anunció su creencia de que es hora de que los Estados Unidos reconozcan la anexión de Israel a los altos del Golán. Este pedazo de tierra fue confiscado de la nación de Siria después de la guerra de 1967 6 días. La ocupación israelí de esta tierra sigue siendo condenada por gran parte de la comunidad internacional, incluidas las Naciones Unidas, y ha sido la fuente de mucha fricción entre Israel y sus vecinos árabes.Donald justificó su sugerencia de soberanía israelí afirmando que se añadiría a la seguridad de Israel. Me pregunto si eso es cierto.

Soy todo por la seguridad del estado de Israel. Sin embargo, me parece que la mejor seguridad que Israel puede tener proviene de relaciones amistosas con los vecinos. El expansionismo nunca es una buena manera de incurrir en los buenos deseos de los vecinos. Podemos ver este impulso expansionista continuamente en Cisjordania, donde comunidades enteras han sido expulsadas de hogares ancestrales para que los colonos israelíes puedan apoderarse de tierras vacías. No puedo evitar preguntarme si los vecinos de Israel podrían tener más probabilidades de vivir en paz si Israel deja de expandirse.

La tierra ocupada por Israel y Palestina fue prometida a Abraham y a sus descendientes. Estos muelles incluyen a los hijos de Abrahams, el primer hijo, Ishmael. La promesa de esta tierra no era de la familia de Isaac, sino de Abraham. Espero que los hijos e hijas de cada uno de estos patriarcas aprendan algún día esto, lo respeten y compartan la tierra sin invadir el otro.

Nuestra nación, alentando la expansión israelí, no ayudará a que los hijos de Ismael se transformen en buenos vecinos que busquen la paz de Israel.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                             #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#Israel                                                                                    #GolanHeights

#DonaldTrump

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Our Daily Elder Devotional: Genuine Faith

Our Daily Elder Devotional
We claim no originality for these devotions. One of our elders searches various sources and finds a daily devotion. Consider this a gift from Clinton Avenue Reformed Church: www.clintonave.org.

Today’s devotional comes from “Every Day in His Presence” by Charles F. Stanley.

Genuine Faith

 

Isaiah 41:10 New International Version (NIV)

10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold youwith my righteous right hand.

Many people who think they have faith in God are actually dominated by fears and doubts-overwhelmed by the circumstances of their lives.  Are you?  What is it that makes you anxious today?  Is there something you fear you’ll never er achieve or receive?

 

Understand genuine faith means realizing God wants to provide His very best for you and will not let you miss it as you walk with Him (Hebrews 11:6).

 

Hebrews 11:6 New International Version (NIV)

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

 

True, sometimes what He perceives as best for you is different from what you do.  But take heart, the One who created you ultimately knows what will truly satisfy your soul-even better than you do.

 

So let go of whatever you fear you will never have or accomplish.  He is faithful to provide.  And if God does not give you what your heart presently desires, it is because He has something far better planned for you.

 

Lord, I trust You will provide Your very best for me. You are my delight.  Thank you for fulfilling the deepest desire of my heart, amen.

 

In His presence…He reveals life at its very best.

 

 

Our Daily Elder Devotional: The City of God

Our Daily Elder Devotional
We claim no originality for these devotions. One of our elders searches various sources and finds a daily devotion. Consider this a gift from Clinton Avenue Reformed Church: www.clintonave.org.

Today’s devotional is from Billy Graham’s “Hope for Each Day”

 

The City of God

 

Revelation 22:5New International Version (NIV)

There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

Many years ago I was visiting the dining room of the United States Senate.  As I was speaking to various people, one of the senators said: “Billy, we’re having a discussion about pessimism and optimism.  Are you a pessimist or an optimist?”  I smiled and said, “I’m an optimist.”  He asked, “Why?”  I replied, “I’ve read the last page of the Bible.”

 

The Bible speaks about a heavenly city whose builder and maker is God, where those who have been redeemed will be superior to angels.  It speaks of “a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1).  It says, “There shall be no night there:  They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light.  And they shall reign forever and ever.”

 

No doubt you have had your share of joys and disappointments.  Don’t live in the past, but “be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming near” (James 5:8, NIV).

Our Daily Elder Devotional: God’s Saving Grace…and more from the book of Romans

Our Daily Elder Devotional
We claim no originality for these devotions. One of our elders searches various sources and finds a daily devotion. Consider this a gift from Clinton Avenue Reformed Church: www.clintonave.org.

Today’s devotional comes from my heart to you.

God’s Saving Grace…and more from the book of Romans

 

The book of Romans reveals one of the purposes of the gospels.

 

Romans 1:17 New International Version (NIV)

17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,[a] just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”[b]

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 1:17 Or is from faith to faith
  2. Romans 1:17 Hab. 2:4

Romans revels that God is angry with mankind for denying God’s existence.

Romans 2:7-8 New International Version (NIV)

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.

 

Romans tells us that no one is righteous before a Holy God.

Romans 3:20 New International Version (NIV)

20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

 

It tells us how we can get our righteousness through faith.

Romans 3:21-22 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Righteousness of God Through Faith

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction

 

It shows us how we are justified.

Romans 3:24 New International Version (NIV)

24 and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

 

What about propitiation and the sacrifice of atonement?

 

Romans 3:25 New International Version (NIV)

25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[a]through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 3:25 The Greek for sacrifice of atonement refers to the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant (see Lev. 16:15,16).

 

It shows the benefits of being saved.

 

Romans 5:1-5 New International Version (NIV)

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 5:1 Many manuscripts let us
  2. Romans 5:2 Or let us
  3. Romans 5:3 Or let us

Our Daily Elder Devotional: The Need for the Bible

Our Daily Elder Devotional
We claim no originality for these devotions. One of our elders searches various sources and finds a daily devotion. Consider this a gift from Clinton Avenue Reformed Church: www.clintonave.org.

Today’s devotional comes from my heart to you.

The Need for the Bible

 

Psalm 119:9-16Amplified Bible (AMP)

Beth.

9
How can a young person keep his way pure?
By keeping watch [on himself] according to Your word [conforming his life to Your precepts].
10
With all my heart I have sought You, [inquiring of You and longing for You];
Do not let me wander from Your commandments [neither through ignorance nor by willful disobedience].
11
Your word I have treasured and stored in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.
12
Blessed and reverently praised are You, O Lord;
Teach me Your statutes.
13
With my lips I have told of
All the ordinances of Your mouth.
14
I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,
As much as in all riches.
15
I will meditate on Your precepts
And [thoughtfully] regard Your ways [the path of life established by Your precepts].
16
I will delight in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word.

Today’s world is vastly different than in the past.  People reject the idea of rules like the Ten Commandments.  They do not want to hear about sin because the idea of good and evil is a subjective decision for the individual.  Just because you decide that you are not restricted by gravity will not result in your ability to fly.

 

This psalm tells of the important need for the Bible in our lives.  We need to recognize God as being number one in our lives and in order to accomplish that we need to read and to understand the Bible’s guidance (verses 9-10).  By committing certain passages to our mind and heart (verse 11) we draw ever closer to God.  It is the message in the words that is so important (verses 15-16).

 

As the late Dr. Robert A. Cook used to say:  “Walk with the King today, and be a blessing!”

 

Our Daily Elder Devotional: Perfect Grace

Our Daily Elder Devotional
We claim no originality for these devotions. One of our elders searches various sources and finds a daily devotion. Consider this a gift from Clinton Avenue Reformed Church: www.clintonave.org.

Today’s devotional comes from Our Daily Bread.

Perfect Grace

Jesus’ teaching about absolute ideals and absolute grace seems contradictory.

 

Jesus never lowered God’s perfect ideal. In his response to the rich young ruler, he said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).  He told an expert in the law who inquired as to the greatest commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).  No one has completely fulfilled these commands.

 

Yet the same Jesus is tenderly offered absolute grace. He forgave an adulterous, the thief on the cross, a disciple who denied ever knowing him, and the man named Saul, who had made his mark persecuting Christians. Grace is absolute an all-encompassing, extending even to those who nail Jesus to the cross: “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” were among the last words He spoke on earth (Luke 23:34).

 

For years I felt so unworthy when considering Jesus is absolute ideals that I missed any notion of his grace. Once I understood this dual message, however, I went back and found that the message of grace goes through Jesus life and teachings.

 

Grace is for the desperate, the needy, the broken, those who cannot make it on their own. Grace is for all of us.                  Philip Yancey

 

Father, Your all-encompassing Grace washes over us and astonishes us. May we live today as people who enjoy Your complete forgiveness and a restored relationship with You.

 

Jesus fulfilled the perfect requirements of the law so that we may enjoy the perfect piece of his grace.

 

Matthew 5:43-48New International Version (NIV)

Love for Enemies

43 You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 5:43 Lev. 19:18

 

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