Blessed to Be a BlessingOctober 8, 2018 - 12:00 am
“For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.” —Romans 15:26–27
Aliyah is Hebrew for “ascent” or “to go up.” In biblical times, it was used to describe the pilgrimage all Jews made three times a year to Jerusalem for holy festivals. Today, it refers to immigration to Israel. This is one of 12 devotions exploring aliyah and the fulfillment today of biblical prophecy that God would bring back His children to their ancient homeland, Israel. For more teachings on prophecy, download our complimentary study here.
Jews and Christians share a unique bond, for the Christian faith has its roots in Judaism. And while we have our differences, we share a common heritage. For this reason, the Apostle Paul wrote about the obligation Christians have to support their Jewish brothers and sisters.
At the time of Paul’s writing, the land of Israel had experienced drought and famine, so Paul was visiting the churches abroad to collect a love offering to support those in need in Jerusalem. And the early Christians responded with great generosity.
From the very beginning, Christians have had a tradition of helping their Jewish brethren. That tradition continues today at The Fellowship, through programs such as On Wings of Eagles, which provides the means for needy Jewish people in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere to immigrate to their ancient homeland, Israel. Through this initiative, hundreds of thousands of Jews have been air lifted out of poverty and persecution and brought safely to Israel to start a new life. They owe their new life, their new opportunities, to the generosity of Christians who have funded the program.
Like the Christians of Paul’s day, Christians today are recognizing that just as they share in the spiritual blessings of the Jews, so, too, they are sharing their material blessings with the Jews. In return, Jews are reaching out to Christians in gratitude. It really is true that actions speak louder than words.
We have literally hundreds of stories from thankful Jews whose lives have been blessed and turned around because of Christian care and compassion. Stanislav, who came to Israel from the Ukraine with his father after his mother died, is one of them.
A year after settling in Israel, his father died as well, and at age 17, Stanislav was in a new homeland without the loving support of parents. Thankfully, Stanislav found the help and support he needed at The Fellowship’s newly renovated school for immigrant boys — an institution founded by donations through our On Wings of Eagles.
“This school has simply saved my life. It has been an absolute pleasure living here since the renovations were completed,” Stanislav said. “If it weren’t for The Fellowship, I don’t think I would be able to go on. I’m grateful to you and I bless you from the bottom of my heart.”
So my friends, as we count our blessings, remember that God has given you a spiritual heritage that is shared by Jews and Christians alike. God has given all of us material blessings so we can be a blessing to others.
In particular, consider how you might bless your Jewish brothers and sisters around the world. I can assure you that your love and generosity is greatly appreciated — and needed!