Monthly Archives: January 2016

How Should We Pray for Israel?

Dr. Mitch Glaser, September 5, 2014 for Ministry Today

The Psalmist encourages us to pray for Israel, but believers may not fully appreciate the reasons why God instructs us to pray specifically for Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6).  Yet, our motivation to pray for the peace of Jerusalem is embedded in the very words of the Psalmist themselves.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you.”

Praying for the peace of Jerusalem is a prayer for physical and spiritual peace – which only comes through the Prince of Peace. Praying for peace reminds us that human beings are incapable of creating peace for themselves and that only God can bring peace to a broken world this side of heaven (Phil 4:6-7) and in the world to come (Isa 2:2-4; 11:6-9).

Praying for the peace of Jerusalem is, in reality, praying for Jesus to return, as peace will only come to the world when He takes His rightful throne in Jerusalem and reigns forever (Matt 23:37ff; Rev. 11:15). Praying for the peace of Jerusalem is a way of asking God to implant His peace in the hearts of both Jews and Gentiles by personally accepting the Prince of Peace as Lord of their lives.

Praying for the peace of Jerusalem also brings blessings to those who pray, especially as God views our prayers as blessing the Jewish people (Gen 12:3). God still has plans for the chosen people. As Paul reminds us, “they are loved on account of the patriarchs” (Rom. 11:28-29).

How should we pray for the peace of Jerusalem?

The following might give you some ideas about how to pray for the peace of Jerusalem more effectively.

  1. Pray for Jewish Israeli and Palestinian leaders to both negotiate a temporary, politically-based peace and to also find peace in their hearts through accepting Jesus.  These are the people we should pray for at this time: Palestinian leaders Mahmoud Abbas (Fatah) and Khaled Meshaal (Hamas); as well our leaders in the US, President Barak Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.

We can pray that God guides these leaders to make decisions that bring peace instead of war and suffering for their citizens.

  1. Pray for the work of God’s people in bringing the message of the Gospel to the almost two hundred thousand Holocaust survivors Holocaust survivors living in Israel. By God’s grace, Chosen People Ministries, the ministry I lead, has been able to enjoy a growing ministry among these precious people.

During the recent conflict with Hamas our staff was able to provide care for many of these survivors, both materially and spiritually. One of them describes the peace of heart he has now experienced through receiving Jesus as Messiah and Lord, 

Something happened in my life when I went to Poland on a Chosen People Ministries Israel trip for Holocaust survivors. I received a Bible, which I read day and night while we were in Poland. Since then, I have dedicated myself to reading Scripture and studying. I was baptized and know fully that Jesus the Jewish Messiah has died and conquered death for me!”

Your prayers can make a difference serving this treasured community, which may die out within a decade!

  1. We should also pray for the quiet reconciliation efforts of Jewish and Arab believers in Israel seeking to encourage one another by developing deeper relationships between the Jewish and Palestinian Church. There are over 140 congregations in Israel, ranging from small house fellowships to established places of worship. Pray that the work of the Prince of Peace will grow among Jewish Israelis and Palestinians and that they are enabled to provide a powerful witness of Messiah’s reconciliation among their neighbors.
  1. Pray as well for God to help the Church in the United States to be better informed about what is happening in Israel and to find ways to glean information for continued prayer outside of the slanted approach of the media.
  1. Praying for the peace of Jerusalem reminds us of our blessed hope! Even though peace is elusive today, it is still our prophetic destiny. As Isaiah the prophet writes, “He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war” (Is 2:4).

The Shalom we are seeking is now available for all people, as this peace transcends the terror of ISIL, the war with Hamas and whatever conflict or suffering this world thrusts upon us.  Jesus said,

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

His peace is all we need today to keep our hearts from being consumed with fear.  His peace is our destiny, as one day the Prince of Peace will arrive from heaven and establish His throne in Jerusalem (Isa 2, 9:6-7 etc.).

Praying for Israel and the Jewish people reminds us of the Shalom the Lord has planned for all humanity.  There is a beautiful Jewish prayer that sheds new light on Psalm 122:6.

May He who makes peace in the heavens make peace descend upon us and all Israel and let us say, Amen!

 

 

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Reaching Jewish People for Messiah

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Shalom and Happy New Year!

We are one year closer to the return of Jesus! And in light of current events I bet you just want to get up and shout along with me…“even so, come Lord Jesus!

We begin 2016 with our eyes turned to the Lord, hearts filled with faith and a myriad of concerns for our country, the nation of Israel and for the legacy we leave to our children and grandchildren.

We will face challenges this year, which include the unraveling of our most cherished values, ISIS, and the clear and present global danger presented by Islamic extremists who seek the destruction of all we hold dear. These are times of great desperation for the Jewish people, as antisemitism is growing globally and the rise of personal terrorism attacks in Israel is becoming a “new normal” for Israelis.

We begin the New Year in something of a kosher pickle! But, the Good News never changes and Jesus is still the SOLUTION to life’s deepest and most difficult problems and we need to constantly learn how to trust Him!

So, more than ever—the work of bringing the Gospel to the Jewish people needs to continue—in full force.

A Vision for 2016
One of our staff members asked me to write a letter sharing my vision for Chosen People Ministries for the coming year, and I am more than happy to do this. I hope it will help you pray and know how to invest your giving to Your Mission to the Jewish People this year.

Let me give you a quick overview of our plans for 2016, and you will see how important people are to all that we believe God wants us to do!

Continuing What We Are Doing
My greatest hope for the New Year is that by God’s grace we can continue the good work we have been doing in 2015! We have dedicated and well trained missionaries who are serving the Lord in more than a dozen cities in the U.S. and in 15 other countries around the globe! My hope and prayers for our team is that the Lord will bless their everyday efforts in evangelism and discipleship and that their families will remain safe (especially those in Israel and France) and wholesome.

My hope is that the families of Chosen People Ministries’ staff will be blessed and protected and that the children of our staff members would grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus.

With this in mind, let me share with you some of my additional hopes and goals for 2016!

Israel
We will continue to reach Israelis wherever they travel after their service in the army: India, New Zealand, South America and even New York City! These young people are very open to the Lord. We now have a permanent work in New Zealand and actually own a backpacker facility that is constantly filled with 40-plus Israelis with whom we are able to talk to about the Lord.

We have built a great team in Tel Aviv now as well so we can follow up on those we meet around the globe when they get home to return to “normal life” and go to college, get jobs and start their post-military lives.

We will expand our ministries among Holocaust survivors living in the Holy Land as well through visiting them, taking them on trips and providing food staples through our distribution centers around Israel. We cannot speak about Jesus when we are providing food, etc., however, we do build relationships with people in this way, and it is wonderful to see how they initiate the discussion about faith.

By God’s grace we recently baptized five of these elderly Israelis.

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We will begin a new ministry in two larger urban suburbs in the greater Tel Aviv area that are currently without a witness for the Lord. So far, we have placed three full-time young couples in these areas to reach younger Israeli families, whom I believe will be the building block for the future church in Israel.

The names of the “urban suburbs” are Ramat Gan and Givatayim. We are trying to rent a storefront on the main commercial street as a center for our activities but so far, we have not found an Israeli landlord that will rent to us! But, we know that God will provide.

The Charles Feinberg Program
We have had a blessed few years training new missionaries to the Jewish people through our fully accredited seminary program that is a partnership between Chosen People Ministries and Talbot School of Theology (part of Biola University). We rejoice with our 14 graduates and continue to recruit those who are led by God to serve in Jewish missions.

As you might know, we purchased and renovated a former Jewish funeral home in Orthodox Brooklyn and have been using the center to house the seminary, as well as our new congregations planted in the heart of this community of almost a million Jewish people.

By God’s grace, we have no debt on the building and therefore the funds donated to the Feinberg Center go towards running the Center and to the ministries housed in the Center!

We hope to recruit a dozen new students (twice the usual number) for the Feinberg seminary program this year and to expand this wonderful ministry by developing online courses as well.

Online Ministries – The Daniel Project
We have created an online evangelism team at our New York City headquarters that we call the Daniel Group! We chose this name based upon the prophecy of Daniel 12:4,
But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.

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We believe we are in the end times and…let’s face it…the web has transformed the way we learn and has made knowledge available to everyday people as never before. This includes the Gospel! We are able to tell people about Jesus—in ways our forefathers never dreamed of. The web has transformed Jewish evangelism work in the same way that air travel transformed missionary work in general.

We are living in wonderful days of opportunity.

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Chosen People Ministries now has two major evangelistic websites and I hope you will visit each of them. We have Isaiah 53 and I Found Shalom.

The Isaiah 53 site focuses on offering the evangelistic book Isaiah 53 Explained that is now in eleven languages! I Found Shalom has approximately 40 video testimonies (and growing) of Jewish believers in Jesus of every age and walk of life.

We also have translated the Isaiah 53 site into Hebrew, Russian, Spanish and now French.  These languages cover more than 90% of the Jewish population in today’s world.

We will soon create sites to match some of the other book translations—including our latest…Farsi. This will become the key strategy to reach the hundreds of thousands of Iranian Jews scattered throughout Israel, the United States, England, etc. with the Gospel.

We have learned how to use Facebook advertising to find the sites Jewish people search and have had more than 1,000 Jewish people order the Isaiah 53 book and the booklet we offer on the I Found Shalom site!  I have not seen anything like this in my 40-plus years of Jewish ministry.

We will expand these online evangelistic efforts beginning with a special outreach in southern Florida, the home of the third largest Jewish population in the United States, during the months of January and February!

We also plan to expand these online ministries to Russia, the United Kingdom and Australia this year. Our follow-up teams are busy calling the interested and visiting those who want a more intensive witness. However, what we have found is that most of the Jewish people responding to our websites are hearing the Gospel for the first time! So, we are prayerfully and patiently reaching out to these folks and we are further developing ongoing evangelistic e-blasts that we are sending to these seekers each month.

Can you tell I am excited? Because the web allows for some anonymity and enables a Jewish person to move at their own speed in seeking the Lord, it is almost as if the web was built for Jewish evangelism!

All About People
The most important tool God uses to reach Jewish people is people! The Good News is most powerful when preached person-to-person and heart-to-heart. Jewish seekers—like Gentile seekers—respond to the love, warmth and transformed lives of individuals, as people all need people.

Please continue to pray for all of these efforts, that the Lord will bless the work and that Jewish people everywhere will hear the Gospel and come to know their Messiah!

May I ask you to give generously this month so that we can recruit, train and deploy the dedicated, Messiah-focused people we need to do His work among the Jewish people?

Thank you for joining me by investing your prayers, support, love and encouragement in the staff of Chosen People Ministries!

Your brother in the Messiah,

Mitch

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God’s Faithfulness in 2015

Dear friend,
Shalom and Happy New Year! I hope 2016 will bring you even greater joy and blessings than 2015! This is my prayer for you, your family, your business, your friendships, your congregation and for your ministry. As believers in Jesus we long for His return and realize that the going will get tougher rather than easier in the days ahead. Yet, we can have His joy and experience the abundant life He promised, even in the midst of a broken and fallen world. As Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn. 10:10).

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This expectation is not unrealistic but comes through the Holy Spirit who indwells, empowers and makes Jesus real to us every moment of our lives! We preach a message that not only provides forgiveness of sin, but also leads to a beautifully transformed life. He promised that we would enjoy a supernatural peace in our souls that would not come and go with our circumstances, but remain constant because of His abiding presence in our hearts!

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful (Jn. 14:27).

We can face tomorrow with confidence because of His presence, power and promises to walk with us through this life and to be our guiding light when surrounded by darkness. Hallelujah…He lives and reigns…and one day will return as the rightful King over a world that is no longer tainted by our sin and the sin of our forefathers!

I hope you have a smile on your face!

We are not “pie in the sky” people or unrealistic—we simply know Jesus—and to know Him is life everlasting!

A Cup of Coffee…or Tea?
I really wish I could sit down with you and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and tell you about the exciting things that happened during 2015 through the efforts of Your Mission to the Jewish People! May I list a few and help broaden that smile?

1601PZLW_Mitch_12-2Our online outreach campaigns brought us into contact with more than 2,000 Jewish people who are interested in Jesus.

Almost 10 million people (yes…that is million) viewed the evangelistic testimony videos we produced in cooperation with our partners in the Land of Israel.

The Isaiah 53 Explained book is now available in French, Farsi, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Hebrew, and English, along with a number of other languages! We are reaching out to Jewish people living in the countries where these languages are spoken! In addition, 500-plus Hebrew-speaking Israelis have responded and requested the book and we are following up on as many of these seekers as possible.

Our missionaries in Israel baptized a couple dozen Jewish people including a number of newly saved Holocaust survivors.

We have increased our staff in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas and in other places with large Jewish populations…praise the Lord!

We have seen more than a hundred Jewish people accept Jesus as their Savior—which in Jewish missions (remember we are a remnant—Romans 11:5) is quite a banner year!

We ministered to a few hundred children through the Chosen People Ministries’ camping programs, provided food packages for thousands of elderly and needy Israelis, and opened a new center in New Zealand to reach “wandering Israelis” (who are traveling after their time in the army).

We have touched the lives of multiple thousands of Jewish people as Chosen People Ministries continues to minister in 16 countries and dozens of cities around the world! 

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A Tough Year for the Jewish People
I rejoice in all of the good things God has done through our staff and our partnership through your love, prayers, financial support and engagement with our ministry!However, it was a rough year for the Jewish people.

The world, including our own country, continues to grow more and more anti-Israel. The Middle East and the West are becoming more antisemitic and violent. Anti-Jewish attacks are on the increase this year…perhaps more than any time since the Holocaust.

The new strategy of “personal terrorism” by radicalized Palestinians in Israel has taken the lives of many innocent Israelis and seriously injured hundreds.

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The Church in North America and the West seems to be growing cold to Israel and the Jewish people, both theologically and in their hearts.

I hope we will see the beginning of a new movement in 2016 among Christians who love the Jewish Messiah and care about the people of Israel!

We need to stand up and protest the violence. We should demand that our elected officials pressure those encouraging personal terrorism by their silence to put an end to the attacks. You can sign our latest petition by going to chosenpeople.com/petition.

Reaching Jewish People for Jesus in 2016
Most of all, we need to intensify our efforts to reach Jewish people for Jesus in 2016! I believe, along with so many Christians, that the Lord is coming soon. Followers of Jesus need to keep singing this tune…louder and more powerfully as the signs of the times point to a crescendo that might come sooner rather than later. As Jesus so poignantly asked the Jewish leaders, “Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?” (Mt. 16:2-3).

We need to discern the signs of the times in which we live. They point to the return of the Lord Jesus, especially if we look at Israel and the prophecies fulfilled before our very eyes!

Will you commit to pray for the Jewish people in 2016? Pray for their safety during these perilous times, but most of all, pray that they would come to know their Jewish Messiah, Jesus!

Now is the time to preach the Good News to God’s chosen people and, as you know, we need your support to reach Jewish people for the Lord! We are an independent faith mission and do not receive any denominational support. We are supported by Jesus-loving believers, local churches, Christian businesses and foundations—all who share our burden for the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Would you begin the New Year with a generous gift to Your Mission to the Jewish People? Your support sustains our online evangelistic efforts, the work in Israel and Brooklyn and enables us to provide for those behind-the-scenes administrative workers, without whom we could not keep our missionaries on the field.

I still recall the letter I received almost 19 years ago when I was given the privilege of leading our 122-year-old mission to the Jewish people.

I believe this gentleman was older as his handwriting was a bit shaky. He wrote, “Mitch, I love Chosen People Ministries and believe in your ministry, but how am I supposed to know what to give if you do not tell me what you need?”

I found his comment helpful and so I do not mean to tell you what you should give, as I view this as a sacred transaction between you and the Lord. I want you to hear from God about giving or not giving and the amount you give as well. All I can tell you is that it costs about $400,000 each month to provide the support staff, missionary project funding and help for those missionaries unable to raise their support—including many overseas serving in some of the toughest spots to minister! It would cost more than this but our faithful missionaries continue to raise their support.1601PZLW_SB15-EVANG-Subway_9534

I am so grateful for our missionaries and for those who support them—especially monthly! So, please pray about giving and you might even want to begin the year by also pledging to give a certain amount each month or quarter—and we have provided a way for you to do this through our Watchman for Jerusalem program. Please see the details on our website, and be sure to watch the video found at chosenpeople.com/watchmen which tells you more about the program and especially discusses the security of online giving.

On behalf of the Chosen People Ministries global family—Happy New Year and thank you for your partnership in the Gospel!

May the Lord fill you with His joy in 2016! And may the Lord come soon and find us faithful when He does.

Your brother,

Mitch

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