Forty years ago, while in a church service in California, I had an experience I can only explain was like being born-again…again! The guest speaker that morning, Dr Roy Blizzard, began to scratch Hebrew letters on a chalkboard to begin his sermon from Genesis chapter two. Suddenly, he interrupted himself, turned around, pointed at the congregation and said, “You ought to go with me to Israel!” Just as suddenly, he turned back around to finish scratching on the chalk-board. However, when he spoke, what I now call those “fateful” words, the Spirit of God fell on me. I can only explain it as, simultaneously a rush came upon me, and something arose within me…like I have never experienced before or since! What I now know is, at that moment, God supernaturally gave me a Jewish heart (Ez36:26,27)!
Theologically, at that time, I did not know—'a Jewish heart’---existed, so obviously, I could not have prayed for it(Mat7:7,8). On the contrary, this was a sovereign move of God, a unique experience—especially created for a 22-year old young man, desperately searching for his purpose. In the providence of God, from that moment forward, I found myself instantly loving Israel and the Jews! As I would later find out, this glorious moment established the calling of God on my life to preach the gospel!
Moving forward four decades, I recently met a couple named Tony and Laura Invergo who are missionaries with a ministry called Bridges For Peace. BFP is a global ministry especially called of God to re-build bridges between the church and the Jew. I was excited about this providential meeting, because through them, I could now connect more deeply with the calling on my life that began that fateful Sunday morning.
God began to providentially deal with me again. Because my parents have roots in Chicago, from my childhood, I have always felt a special connection. In the last several years, when the murders began to increase among Chicago youth, I committed our congregation to prayer. That connection exponentially increased when my first cousin lost ‘two’ of her teenage sons in a span of ‘two’ years, to the senseless murder.
As I began to become closer to the Invergos’, by attending their Jewish events, meeting Rabbis’ etc., I heard myself say something I thought was absolutely crazy the moment it came out of my mouth! In effect, I remember telling the Invergos’: because the Jews walked with Dr King in the 60’s, and because God blesses those who bless Israel (Gen12:3), I believe if the pastors and churches in Chicago, especially the Black pastors, would bless Israel, God would move on the city to reduce, if not eliminate the murders!
After making this statement, I thought: “What did I just say?! Who will believe that—even if it’s true?!?!” I tried to forget it, but Laura kept reminding me of what I said. I ignored her for as long as I could, but then realized that the Israel blessing, “I will bless them that bless thee” can apply in many ways! I began thinking, God has called us to be creative in doing good for others(Ps34:14*; Tit2:7; Tit3:8;Heb10:24). If we (Chicagoland Christians) would join together and bless Israel, i.e.bless the Jew, because God’s word cannot fail(Gen12:3), God can in fact once again raise-up the great city of Chicago!
Because Chicago has been a gateway to America from its inception, Satan has tried to destroy it! The gun violence and murders are his latest attempt to destroy God’s purpose for Chicago! I refuse to stand-by and watch it happen! The police can only do so much because they cannot change the human heart! On the contrary, Chicago needs the power of God to resolve its murder problem! In fact, what better way to move the hand of God to save the great city of Chicago…than to bless Israel and the Jew!
“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
“Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.
“I say then, have they(Jew) stumbled that they(Jew) should fall? God forbid: but rather through their (Jew)fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them(Jew) to jealousy.
Now if the fall of them(Jew) be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them(Jew) the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their (Jew) fulness?
This Sunday May 19, 2019 from 3-4:00pm we will celebrate Israel’s 71st birthday (May 14, 1948). Join us at our annual ‘Israel Walk’ located at 2900 block of West Touhy Avenue (between N. Francisco Avenue and N Sacramento Avenue). After the celebration, we go to a local Jewish restaurant and have a meal. See attached flier.
*The word for “do” in “do good” is the Hebrew word asah. Asah is one of the Hebrew words used for “made” (create) in Genesis one (Gen1:7,16,25,31). In other words, we are to ‘create’ good for others.