Devotional: ‘Shabbat Shalom’
Published 11:28 am Friday, December 29, 2023
Happy New Year to each of you! Since Genesis 12, when God called Abraham to follow Him to the land of promise, the location of Israel has been in the spotlight of the world. God promised that this land would be given to Abraham’s descendants through his son Isaac, and then his grandson Jacob. The promise continues to the Jewish people today. The promised Messiah was born In Israel, and prophecy tells us that the Lord will return to Israel at the end of this age. God also made a promise that those who bless Israel will be blessed, and those who curse Israel will be cursed. The land of Israel is a special place, rich in history, especially for the believer in Jesus Christ. Because of the undeserved, but continued blessing from God, this nation also has many enemies. Join me in prayer for the peace of Jerusalem, as many Jewish people do not yet believe in their Messiah, Jesus Christ. God has many special promises yet in store for this great nation. Keep your eyes open as the prophetic timeline of events keep ticking.
I have enjoyed several visits to the land of Israel. Today, during the Friday evening and Saturday sabbath, you may hear someone say, “Shabbat Shalom.” Shabbat means sabbath, or rest. And Shalom means peace. Rest and peace are essential for our physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Rest is often easier to achieve than peace. Peace on earth was good news, bringing great joy to the shepherds in the time of Christ and is available for us today as well. The peace that Jesus offers us is not necessarily an absence of conflict, but a much deeper rest of soul and spirit. In Luke chapter 2, in Bethlehem, when the angels announced the birth of Jesus, the Shepherds worshipped and sang of this coming peace among men.
As we approach the ending of the year 2023, it would be very good to take a “Shabbat Shalom”, a time of true rest and peace. Take a rest from physical strain, from the pressure of performance, and from the worries of tomorrow. Invite Jesus to restore peace to your soul, receiving forgiveness of sin, and a filling of the Holy Spirit. Cast your cares on the Lord, He will give you guidance, he will carry your burden. The Shabbat Shalom is also a great time to reflect over the past year, grateful for God’s provision, perhaps God will also reveal needed changes as we prepare for 2024. Only God knows if this year will be your last year on this earth. Jesus desires you to be ready to meet Him. Forgiveness and grace are the greatest gifts given to mankind, have you opened your treasure yet?
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Marv Fisher is the pastor at Calvary Chapel Farmville. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.