Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blessed On The Narrow Road

“‘So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’” (Matthew 6:31-33)

New York is Ground Zero again – this time for the economic crisis that is shaking the nation and the world. We feel the tremors in our Russian Jewish corner of the city, in the little center that belongs to Jesus. It did not really surprise us. Somehow, He had already trained us in the narrow way of relying on Him through various preview trials. We have found Him faithful and gracious.

We have not yet completed His disaster relief training, and we still do not have every answer, but we know enough to believe He will keep open the doors of the center in the time of immigrants’ greatest need and greatest willingness to consider Him. Today, the wide road would take us out of difficult Russian Jewish Brooklyn, out of expensive New York City, out into pleasant small city surroundings, and out of God’s will. Oh, Lord, keep us on Your narrow road!

In some of our immigrant Bible studies at the center, we have been exploring His kingdom and His righteousness. These are not extraneous to our troubled time, but absolutely essential to our hope of deliverance. Sadly, as a nation and as individuals, we have rejected or neglected His kingdom and His righteousness, and we have lost the meaning of God Bless America.

“‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’” (Matthew 5:3-10)

God is removing the obstacles to our blessedness. Dagon and Mammon are crashing and the pieces are flying. Painful! Merciful. Let us be the first people on our knees and faces before Him, the first to believe, the first to repent, the first to seek His kingdom and His righteousness, the first to invest, the first to be blessed, the first to share our hope with others.

For our immigrants, America was supposed to be a safe haven. In Messiah, it still can be. Do pray for them in their distress, that they will be drawn through our narrow door, up the narrow stairs and into our lighted place, to Jesus and the Bible, prayer, fellowship and service. Thank you also for remembering our workers before Him, that we will have constant strength, joy and financial provision.

“‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’” (Matthew 6:10-12)

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