Celebrating the Birth of a Jewish Carpenter: The Father’s Masterpiece

Yesterday we discovered the purpose bestowed upon the Jewish Carpenter.  Our Savior, Jesus Christ, was born for His Father’s purpose, and became a Master Carpenter.  But, I bet Joseph himself was a very skilled, master carpenter as well!  He taught his Son the finer details of the trade, as well as the importance of excellence in even the tiniest details.  It simply makes sense that God the Father would choose the perfect earthly father to teach His Son the earthly lessons that would carry over into the very purpose the Father had for His Son!

Think about this: at Christmas time, we picture Baby Jesus in a manger.  Again, though some would argue the manger was really of stone rather than wood, let’s not get bogged down in dispute.  (We’ll get to that stone part tomorrow!)  The fact that our God in heaven came down to earth in human form as a baby, and was laid in a manger is significant.  A manger is a feeding trough.  Isn’t it interesting that the Bread of Life (John 6:35) was born in Bethlehem (“House of Bread”), in a feeding trough, perhaps made of wood?  (Who said God is not into details!?!)

Let’s go a step further in understanding the Father’s Masterpiece.   In Psalm 1, Psalm 92, Isaiah 61 and elsewhere, Scripture likens people to trees.  Wood represents our humanity.  In fact, Zechariah 3:2-4 and Amos 4:11 describe sinful man as a wooden stick snatched from fire by our God of mercy.  Just like wood, we are frail, corruptible and unable to last forever. We rot, yet the Jewish Carpenter turns rough planks into useful tools and beautiful vessels.  Perhaps He chops off unnecessary pieces, sands down the rough patches and planes us to fit His blueprint.  He is, after all, a Master Craftsman.  That’s what the Father prepared Him to be!

Interestingly, Isaiah,Jeremiah and Romans all describe the relationship between a potter and the clay.  Clay does not tell the potter how it will be molded, shaped or used!  Likewise, I don’t think this knotty plank will demand of the Carpenter how it will be used! The Father’s Masterpiece is fashioned in the hands of the One who became a Master Carpenter just like His father!

As we gaze upon the manger this Christmas season, may we be reminded that we are in the hands of the Great Carpenter…the One whose purpose is to design us to be the masterpiece God the Father intended us to be from the beginning of creation!

Come back tomorrow as we celebrate the birth of a Jewish Carpenter with a different twist!

From “Death to Israel” to Salvation: An Iranian Muslim’s Salvation Story

When God told Abraham He would bless all the people on earth through him and his descendants (Genesis 12:3), He meant ALL people!

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in “who is against who,” and on what side we will stand, we forget that when God created man, He created all of us in His image (Genesis 1:27, Colossians 3:10).  We are all His special creation, He desires that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9), and indeed, He blesses ALL people through Abraham and his descendants.

Furthermore, take a look at Zechariah’s prophecy regarding those who will ultimately join themselves to the Lord:

Many nations will join themselves to the Lord in that day and will become My people.
~Zechariah 2:11
(Read the entire chapter!)

God’s Word tells me He is intent on drawing all people to Himself!  He is able, and our prayers should echo His sentiment!

To cement the point, here is a fascinating testimony of an Iranian Muslim who met the Jewish Messiah.  Heaven will be filled with those from people groups we often view as enemies on earth.  So, rather than praying only for those who are “just like us,” let’s step outside our comfort zone and pray for those who are not like us!  Enjoy!

Feast of Tabernacles: A Time of Joyful Fellowship

“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell [tabernacle] in your midst, declares the Lord. And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people. And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you.”
~Zechariah 2:10-11

Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) is the most joyous feast of the year, and one that focuses on fellowship with family and friends, as well as fellowship with God.

One for Israel, a Jewish evangelical ministry, describes details of the feast and how it is celebrated.  Enjoy their informative article, The Meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Aaron Shust Sings “Zion” at Feast of Tabernacles

Zion

On that day I will gather you together
    and bring you home again.
I will give you a good name, a name of distinction,
    among all the nations of the earth,
as I restore your fortunes before their very eyes.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!”
~Zechariah 3:20 (NLT)

Hey gang, as noted yesterday, Aaron Shust performed his new song, Zion, at the Feast of Tabernacles currently ongoing in Jerusalem.

I heard Aaron Shust debut the song at a special gathering in Washington DC in May, and I find it difficult not to play the song over and over.  In it, Shust recounts Scripture upon Scripture referencing God’s promises to bring the Jews back home to their own land.  Those promises continue to be fulfilled as Jews from all over the world return to their homeland.  You can read Aaron’s account of how the song came about here.

On Tuesday night…Youth Night at the Feast of Tabernacles…Shust performed the beautifully moving song live.  The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem is live streaming and recording the sessions, so you can hear the recorded performance, beginning at the 49:00 mark, by clicking here and choosing the September 25 session.

Meanwhile, if you prefer the professionally recorded version with lyrics, here it is:

 

Want to be truly blessed?  I encourage you to look up the verses referenced in the video.  Also, be warned: you will be singing “Adonai Elohenu, Adonai Echad, Shema Israel!” over and over!  (I bet you can’t listen to it just once!)

Enjoy!