My first journey to the Promised Land in 2007 altered my course. When Byron said, “Let’s go to Israel,” I was dumbfounded. All kinds of thoughts were swimming in my head. “Why should I go to Israel? Is it safe? Is it necessary? WOW! That’s where Jesus walked…”
Obviously, the end result was a 15-hour plane ride and an amazing trek in a blue van with Byron, Moshe, Justin, and myself. Any doubts of traveling to Israel disappeared instantly as we stood looking over the Holy City, Jerusalem. I could not help but think about Matthew 23:37 where Jesus said, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem,… how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” I was hooked. The Bible sprang to life in a way that commentaries, videos, and imaginations were not able to produce.
My journey to Israel caused God’s Love Letter to me, the Word of God, to take on new meaning. My personal readings of the Scriptures were and have never since been the same. My preaching had new direction and passion. My life was changed. Since that first time in Israel, I have been blessed to go back to the Promised Land on many other occasions. Each and every time, whether going to previously visited sites or not, I have left with fresh fire from and renewed purpose in the things of God.
As you may know, the Lord has recently brought me to a new place in ministry. I no longer Pastor a church but have the privilege daily to challenge churches across the world to stand with Israel and strive to understand more of the Hebraic roots that so enrich our Christian Faith. Because of that first trip, a journey I believe EVERY pastor MUST make, I know that believers today play a vital role in the physical and spiritual restoration of Israel.
Thousands of years ago, God called Abram to leave his home to travel to a new home that would be called Israel. On that tiny sliver of land in the Middle East, God began to reveal Himself to the world. Still today, that tiny sliver of land is the stage upon which God is showing the world that His plan of redemption and grace is free to all who will trust upon His only begotten Son, our Messiah. Talk about a change in direction! Baruch HaShem…Bless the Name !