Thanksgiving for His Gift of Salvation
There’s always much to give thanks for in Messiah. We have every blessing in the heavenly places in Yeshua (Eph 1:3); and so, praise flows freely for believers in Him. For those who pray for us, I’m thankful that the Lord blesses your prayers and provides the fruit in the lives of so many. I just now returned from our evening Yom Kippur service and outreach. As many of you may know, the Day of Atonement is also a New Covenant observance (see Acts 27:9) which represents the once a year restoration of Israel as God’s servant nation and is the backdrop of our once and for all sacrifice of Messiah (Heb 9-10).
Many Jewish people come to these “High Holiday services” (Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur) who never go to any services at other times during the year (just like so-called Christians who only go to Christmas and Easter services). This evening (and last week at Rosh HaShana) was no exception. Following the wonderful worship portion led by Cantor David Taylor, I taught regarding the true atonement for our sins which is only in the Messiah’s sacrificial death.In the matter of Yeshua, I mentioned the special Yom Kippur sacrifices of the two goats (Lev 16:8); the Scapegoat was sent carrying the sins of Israel far away into the wilderness, while the other goat was a blood sacrifice to atone and cleanse for sins. Rabbinical tradition states that the priests would tie a scarlet thread to the horns of the Scapegoat. If the sacrifice was accepted by God, the thread would turn white, evidencing God’s acceptance of the sacrifice for atonement in accordance with Isaiah 1:18, “Though your sins be as scarlet they shall be white as snow.” Amazingly, the Talmud also records, “For forty years before the destruction of the Temple the thread of scarlet never turned white but it remained red.” (Rosh HaShana 31b). “Do the math, people,” I said.
It seem there are some people who need the hard facts, objective information and empirical evidence to yield their lives to the tender beckoning of the Lord. I say that because that’s just what several people did tonight! PTL! Thank you for praying; let us rejoice together in the grace of God. Pray for them and us as we follow up with these new believers in Messiah.I rejoiced as I saw some maturing believers in front who had made just that same faith decision at Yom Kippur services over the years. And then Sherry walked up to me and Miriam; we hadn’t seen her for a few years since she lived somewhat far away; she too was led to faith by Miriam, and she brought her 23 year old son. I gently asked her, “Are you still walking closely with Messiah?” “Yes, I am,” she said with a big smile, “and so is my son!” How we rejoiced in God’s goodness in Messiah. These are answers to your prayers as we join together in this ‘to the Jew first’ ministry for the Lord.I’ve also received ‘thank you’ notes from several folks which makes me thankful for the grace of God:
From Ken: Greetings, Sam! You spoke at Nassau Community College’s IVCF group when I was there in 1981, and a Jewish young lady present came to trust in Messiah. Thought you might like to hear that many years later, I ran into her again. She explained that although her family had considered her dead from that point on, she was pressing on in faith. Thank you for your ministry. It is worth it all!
Now isn’t that the truth, Ken! I remember praying with that young lady, but others there followed up with her. From time to time, I’d wonder about her, wondering if she was following Messiah. What joy to hear that God’s grace is sufficient to secure who He has saved!
Sharon wrote: “You immersed two bodies at the same time 23 years ago… pregnant with my Michael I took the plunge of profession in a pool… you were the plunger and I mean that in a good way. .” Her son Michael is now serving the Lord in Jewish ministry, for which I give humble thanks to our great God.
Steve wrote: “And to think that if your salvation had not happened, there is always the chance that my entire family may not have come to know our Messiah. Praise God for your re-birth and continuing ministry.” I still praise God for his Holocaust-surviving parents and his brother, Rob, of whom I was privileged to be the ‘midwife’ as the Lord new-birthed this family in Messiah. Both Steve and Rob are also serving the Lord in Jewish ministry. How our cup runneth over!
Alex wrote: “Sam, let me start by saying thank you. Your words, your teachings are and have been an inspiration to my new life. As a 64 year old baby to the faith … What brought me to my knees, was knowing I was not in charge anymore that God was in charge and that when I gave myself to Yeshua to be my Master and Teacher, my whole world changed. To say thank you seems so inadequate for all you do but from the bottom of my heart.” I know just how you feel, Alex. Words always fail us when we think of His great love and grace that we will share together forever in Yeshua.
These testimonies are ours to rejoice in together: your prayers have been and continue to be instrumentally used by God to make a difference in our lives, mine and Miriam’s, and through our lives into the lives of so many others that now give praise to Yeshua as their Lord and Savior.
As we now endeavor to continue to reach out (Yeshua willing!) through congregation planting, evangelistic ministry on streets and campuses through one on one conversations, holiday outreaches, and now additionally, through webinars and conferences, we are thankful for you, our prayer partners, that “stay by the stuff” and will equally share in the blessings that follow the victories. Above all and along with you, we are eternally thankful for Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord. May His name be blessed forever!