The Path of True Blessedness

“Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to Him” (Psalm 128:1). The Bible often speaks about the “fear of the Lord.” That seems odd to us because we often present God as love and loving, someone we want to draw near to, not a being to be feared.

The Bible presents God as awesome, One Who truly inspires awe. As such, the reverence that arises can manifest itself as fear presented with such grandeur. But the psalmist described those who fear the Lord, not as those who feel the emotion of fear, rather they demonstrate their reverence for God by walking in His ways, i.e., obeying Him.

The structure of the verse identifies those who fear God as those walking in His ways. In other words, our obedience to God (i.e., walking in His ways) fulfills the biblical injunction to fear God. It also describes those who fear the Lord, those who walk in His ways as blessed.

The book of Deuteronomy commanded the Israelites, “Fear the Lord your God, serve Him only and take your oaths in His name” (6:13). The structure of this verse, like the above quoted psalm, indicates that we fear God by serving Him. Obedience is how we demonstrate that we fear Him.

Within the language of the Old Testament, “fear of God” was synonymous with “love of God.” The two are often parallel to each other, so if our obedience demonstrates our fear of God, within the context of the Old Testament, our obedience also shows our love of God.

Deuteronomy commanded the children of Israel: “Love the Lord your God and keep His requirements, His decrees, His laws and His commands always” (11:1). We demonstrate our love for God by keeping His commands. We show that we fear God by walking in His ways. The one who does that, the psalmist said is blessed.


Father, today may I walk in Your ways, may I keep Your commandments in everything I do and say. Amen.

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What’s Your Source?

“‘Be appalled at this, you heavens, and shudder with great horror,’ declares the Lord. ‘My people have committed two sins: they have forsaken Me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water’” (Jeremiah 2:12-13). God spoke to the people of Judah through the prophet Jeremiah using an image that they would understand.

Within the land of Israel, water was a necessity of life in heat of the eastern Mediterranean. Rains provided water, but only roughly from November to April. The rest of the year people relied upon springs, rivers, wells, and cisterns. Springs, rivers, and wells provided water coming from the earth, running water, purer water—living water. Cisterns offered merely a pit cut into the rock into which water was diverted. Cisterns simply held water. The inside of a cistern had to be plastered in order to retain the water, so it didn’t seep out. Water that ran into a cistern usually had sediment in it, so as the water collected in the cistern the sediment settled to the bottom of the cistern. Water in cisterns could go bad or be poisoned. The plaster in the cisterns could crack and the cistern was not good anymore. Spring water, living water continued to give life wherever it flowed.

Traveling through the land of Israel, even in its deserts, one can see the effect of water. Wherever living water flows, there is life and vegetation. Where there is not water, the dryness of the desert encroaches. This was the reality of the person living in the time of Jeremiah.

Jeremiah knew a thing or two about cisterns because his hometown, Anatoth, did not have a natural source of water. Water had to be brought to the village and gathered in cisterns. His village sat on the edge of the dry wilderness to the northeast of Jerusalem, so the prophet understood the metaphor he used.

He compared Judah’s disobedience by pursuing other gods, rejecting the God of Israel to those preferring cistern water, broken cisterns at that, to living, life-giving water. By choosing other gods, Judah forsook God, the source of living water.

Do we see God as the source of life and life-giving water in our lives? Are we like the people of Judah rejecting spring water, for a poor substitute, which, in fact, is no substitute at all? In our attempts to “go our own way,” do we fail to connect with the source of life in our lives? The thing about substitutes is that they fail us in the end. The people of Judah poignantly understood Jeremiah’s metaphor; they caught his meaning—you have rejected life-giving water, for something that cannot hold water. Do we do the same?


Father, today, I choose to follow, obey, and pursue You, the source of life and life-giving water in my life. Bring life into the dry places of my life, for Your glory. Amen.

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The Law of Christ

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). How do we obey Jesus and fulfil what He commanded us? According to Paul, we bear one another’s burdens. It’s that simple.

Some today have taken to calling themselves “Christ followers” or “disciples.” Jesus said in John’s Gospel, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (13:35). The evidence of our discipleship or following Jesus, according to Him, depends solely upon how we love one another, how we bear one another’s burdens.

To bear someone’s burden requires us to walk alongside them. To be a part of their life. To operate out of love, so that a person will even feel comfortable sharing what weighs him or her down. It’s not a relationship that can be formed in our Sunday services or even in our small groups. It only materializes when I place myself in another’s life and demonstrate genuine love and concern.

The law of Christ flies in the face of our me-first, fast paced, hectic, and busy culture. But if we are not going to actively, daily seek to fulfill His command to love one another (John 15:17), then can we truly call ourselves “Christ followers” or His disciples? Do we take time in our day truly to see the people around us, their pain, their struggles? Are we moved with compassion for those we see?

Bearing one another’s burdens is not only to get people to think and believe like us; and, it’s not something we reserve for those we feel comfortable with. Jesus challenged the man who asked Him, “Who is my neighbor” (Luke 10:29) with “Go be the neighbor” (Luke 10:37). The testimony of being Jesus’ disciple is not helping those who are like you (see Matt. 5:46-47); rather, loving everyone and seeking to bear their burdens (Matt. 5:43-45). How badly do we want to be disciples of the Lord? Then, we must do what He commanded; we must love one another. This is the mark of discipleship.


Father help me to see those around me today as You do. May my heart be moved with compassion to bear their burdens for Your glory. Amen.

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Mikhail’s Story of Salvation

Through your faithful support and our partners in the south, we are able to distribute food supplies for families who have just immigrated to the country and are finding it difficult to adjust to life in Israel.

Mikhail and his family immigrated to Israel almost a year ago. And, like every family who just moves to a new country, there are difficulties with learning a new language and culture. Mikhail has been trying to provide his family with the most basic needs of food and supplies.

As a result of not being able to provide his family’s needs, he began drinking, and his family began to fall apart. Life seemed like it was going in the wrong direction.
Our partners in the south heard about Mikhail’s situation and immediately paid he and his family a visit. Bringing some food and other things his family needed.

Mikhail was amazed by how our partners cared for his situation and wanted to know more about the love he felt from them. Through the love and prayers of our follow-up workers, Mikhail received Jesus as his Lord and Savior, time went by, and Mikhail testifies to how the Lord has changed his heart and has allowed him to become a godly husband and father through his walk with Jesus.

Today his family attends a congregation in the city he lives in and continues to receive monthly support from CBN Israel.

Thank you for your generosity and faithful support of our ministry here in Israel. May your life be filled with the love of God.

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What Motivates You?

“Two things I ask of You, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown You and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God” (Prov. 30:7-9). These words of Agur (see Prov. 30:1) display a heart motivated by a desire to please God, as well as someone who recognizes how life’s circumstances impact, or have the potential to impact, our relationship with God.

Agur sought to live his life pleasing to the Lord, keeping away from lies and falsehood. He asked merely that God provide the needs of his daily sustenance. He recognized the inherent problem with riches, as well as the potential threat poverty had upon his character. He ultimately was motivated by a desire to live his life, even in the common and ordinary, in a way to please God and bring honor to His name.

What motivates you? Do you recognize the potential for the cares and pleasures of life (Luke 8:14), as well as your actions to impact your relationship with God?

Our pursuits have the potential to push God to the edges of our lives. Having too much, can lead us to a level of self-reliance that we ask, “Who is the Lord?” Too little, can cause us to behave in an unscrupulous manner, which in turn will profane the name of the Lord. Can we live in a balance? Not too much, and not too little; rather, looking to the Lord as the source of our daily bread. Does the honor of His name and of our need for Him, motivate us in the choices we make and the things we pursue?

Agur understood that God provided the source of his life, and he did not want anything in his life to detract him or separate him from that reality and realization. In our fast-paced, self-centered world that pursues personal fulfillment, that offers a very different, and peaceful perspective.


Father, keep lies and false words far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but provide me with my daily bread, lest, having too much, I renounce, saying, “Who is the Lord?” Or, being impoverished, I steal and profane the name of my God. Amen.

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A Great Testimony, Visit with Alina

As part of our food distribution program, our team in the south meet many Holocaust survivors, and other elderly people who don’t have the ability to provide themselves with the basic need of food. 

Our partners working in the south of Israel went to visit Alina, a dear 80-year-old woman, which resulted in a powerful testimony of a divine appointment.  

Alina had undergone several surgeries throughout the years and was so debilitated that she was unable to lift more than a kilogram. Our team visited her in her apartment with food and other essentials, which touched her deeply to know people cared that much. The team spent some time with her in fellowship and getting to know her further. 

She told us how she had immigrated to Israel from the Ukraine nearly 20 years ago and that it was a dream come true for her as a Jewish woman to return to the Land of her forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 

The presence of the Lord was tangible at that point that Alina couldn’t help but be touched by the Holy Spirit. She then opened up and shared how during one of her many surgeries she died clinically. She remembers that she left her body and could see her own body from above, she then remembers how she suddenly saw the world from on high, saying how she felt an incredible light all around her and a feeling of complete peace, but then in an instant she was brought back and she found herself back in her body in the recovery room after the surgery. 

This precious lady has now come into newness of life in Jesus, full of strength and hunger to know her Savior more intimately. We gifted her with an audio Bible and she is thoroughly enjoying it! 

It is truly a moment out of time, when God comes and meets one person, in their own home, not because of who they are, but because of who He is – a faithful and loving God.

We want to thank you deeply for the faithful and on-going support you provide us with. You are a great part of the biggest changes in people’s lives all over the Land of Israel. 

May you be filled with the presence and the blessings of our Father. 

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Daily Bread

When the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness, God provided for their daily sustenance by giving them manna: “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day” (Exodus 16:4). They could only gather enough for each day, except on the sixth day they gathered a double portion for that day and the Sabbath (Exodus 16:5). God told Moses that the reason they could only collect enough for the day was “I will test them and see whether they will follow My instructions” (Exodus 16:4).

Before they entered the Promised Land, Moses called them to remember the journey that had brought them there: “Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deut. 8:2-3).

The hardships of the wilderness tested Israel’s commitment and obedience to God, but God still provided daily for their needs and sustenance. But they only received the provisions for that day. He taught them to trust Him.

We live in a world that values the “self-made” person. Our rugged, self-absorbed individualism flies in the face of biblical spirituality. God’s actions in the Bible repeatedly remind His people of their need and dependence upon Him. He is the giver and sustainer of life. He provides our daily bread.

If we let it, our world, with its busyness, anxiety, and worry about tomorrow, pushes God to the edges of our lives. We seek to be self-reliant planning for tomorrow because tomorrow depends upon us—or so we think. The message of the manna screams to us: God is the source of your daily provision; He takes care of you. Our responsibility: follow His instructions.

Do we only turn to God when we need something from Him? Do we see Him as the One who delivers us when we’re in a bind? Or, do we recognize Him as the source of our daily bread? Do we daily remind ourselves that He provides the things we need for our daily sustenance, and we are daily to seek to obey His instructions? Have we learned the lessons of the hardships of the wilderness?


Father, thank You for providing our daily bread. God, You are the source of our life; today, may we endeavor in all things to obey Your instructions. Amen.

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What the Lord Requires of You

As you read the Bible, have you ever felt overwhelmed with everything that’s in it? Do you ever wonder, how can I possibly live this way? If you have, don’t feel bad; you’re not alone. The biblical authors themselves recognized the need to boil things down into their essence. There may be 613 commandments in the Law of Moses, but what really does God want from me?

The prophet Micah sought to summarize what God desires from us: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (6:8). That’s the summary. Now go and do it!

But even that statement is striking, “go and do it.” Micah’s summary did not offer propositions for us to believe, or durations of spiritual activities (i.e., pray for a half-hour, read your Bible for an hour). His instructions focus primarily on how we treat others and then our submission to God. In other words, he focuses upon how we act.

Biblical faith takes the form of active obedience. It is not a series of logical propositions we agree with, or ritual activity that appeases God. It’s obedience to Him, which is usually manifested in how we care for and treat those around us. That is the essence of biblical faith. That is what God desires of us.

When Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment, He responded citing Deuteronomy 6:5, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength,” and added the second is like it, “Love your neighbor who is like yourself” (Matt. 22:37-39; Mark 12:28-31; Luke 10:25-28). His summary of what God wants from us, like Micah, centers on how we treat others and submit to God.

We often make things too complicated. We try to achieve some special spiritual revelation (often attributing that to our heightened spirituality). While the Bible contains a lot of instruction, it expresses the earnest desire to help us clearly understand what God desires. We see this in the words of Micah and Jesus: love God and love others. Do you want to please God? Then, simply, do this!


Father, in everything I say and do, may I be consumed with love for you and those around me. Amen.

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Give Life

“The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence” (Prov. 10:11). Do the things you say, the things you communicate, act as a source of life to people? If not, then we may need to check our hearts. The Bible makes clear that what comes out from our mouth (or in writing too) proceeds from our heart. Jesus said, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matt. 12:34).

The psalmist requests: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable before You, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). He recognized the connection between what he meditated upon in his heart and the words the proceeded from his mouth. He desired that both will find favor in the eyes of God.

In modern English we metaphorically use the word “heart” to refer to our emotions and feelings; within the world of the Bible, the “heart” represents the “mind” and our cognitive reason. So, for both Jesus and the psalmist, our words reflect what we think about, and from those thoughts come words acceptable or dishonoring to God.

In each of these instances—Proverbs, Jesus, and Psalms—the words referred to pertain to what we say to others, how we speak to people. Our words to others betray the condition of our heart, what we meditate on, and whether or not we truly please God.

Our age of social media has invited everyone to digitally express themselves. Everyone now has a platform to comment about the events of the day and to “give people a piece of their mind.” What do your words say about your heart? Too often people will justify words that dishonor God by appealing to their attempts to defend God. “A source of life is the mouth of the righteous.” Do our words identify us as righteous? Do our words offer a source of life to those around us?

We live at a time when words have been weaponized, even by those claiming to follow God. The Bible is clear: your words tell the tale of your heart. Those who are righteous, their words give life. Give life with your words today.


Father, let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable before You, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Amen.

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Longing for God

In Psalm 42, the psalmist describes his yearning for God: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God” (v. 1). He imagines a deer thirsty from the heat seeking out the refreshing water of the stream, and he says that he thirsts after God in the same manner. What brought about this yearning in his heart?

We realize upon reading the psalm that the psalmist is not in a great place in his life; in fact, he is being led off into captivity. He comments that his tears have been his sustenance night and day. Those around him look at his circumstances and question, “Where is your God?” (v. 3). In the midst of his present circumstances, he recalls those times of great joy and celebration as he joined the festive crowds traveling to Jerusalem and the Temple (v. 4). His memory of these festive times stands in stark contrast to his current situation where he finds himself in an uproar and downcast. Yet, in the midst of his circumstances he encourages himself to hope in God convinced that he will see the Lord’s salvation (v. 5).

He then proceeds to describe how he feels washed over by his circumstances (v. 7). He feels forgotten by God and oppressed by his enemies (v. 9). Towards the end of the psalm, those around him still mockingly question him, “Where if your God?” (v. 10). His circumstances have not changed.

The striking feature of the psalmist in this psalm is that regardless of his circumstances he never loses sight of who God is—the One who commands His covenant loyalty towards the psalmist, the living God (v. 2), the God of my life (v. 8)—and because he knows who God is, he never despairs that God will eventually right his circumstances (v. 11). In other words, his circumstances never dictate his reality or perception of God. He recognizes that God answers those who cry out to Him. He responds to those who long for him as the thirsty deer does the streams of water.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your circumstances? Have you ever felt forgotten by God? Does life and even those around you scream, “Where is your God?” Don’t allow your circumstances to dictate what you know about God. The God of the Bible is the living God. His ear is not deaf to our cries, nor is his arm short to save us. Do we have the confidence to say like the psalmist, “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God” (v. 11)?


Father, my soul thirsts for You as a thirsty deer longs for water. Regardless of my circumstances, You are my rock and my salvation. Amen.

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