Or "How Ministry Can Get in the Way of Love"
©March 14, 2010 Asher Intrater
In Luke chapter ten, Yeshua gives a little trilogy on love. From verse 25 to 28, He explains to a rabbi that the central principle of the Law of Moses is not religious ritual but love. First to love God and secondly to love one's neighbor.
The rabbi asked a question about how to receive eternal life. Yeshua did not tell the rabbi to believe that He (Yeshua) was the Messiah. Rather, He asked him to explain what was written in the Law. It was the rabbi who gave the answer (this answer is similar to the position credited to the school of Rabbi Hillel of the first century).
Luke 10:27 – The teacher of the Law replied, "And you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength and all your mind, and you will love your neighbor as yourself."
Yeshua affirmed that the rabbi answered correctly as to the meaning of the Torah, and that the dual "love" commandment would lead to eternal life. Ah, but then comes the application. It's easy to see the Pharisees of Yeshua's day as hypocrites. But the same problems face us. Yeshua wasn't just talking about them; He was talking about us.
These two basic laws – loving God and loving our neighbor, are so simple. How is it that we so easily mess it up? Yeshua gives two examples: One mistake about loving God and one mistake about loving our neighbor. The examples apply to everyone; and particularly to people serving in "ministry," especially ministry "leaders."
The first example – the Good Samaritan, shows how a leader in ministry can miss the principle of loving his neighbor. The ministry leaders (priest and Levite) are so focused on their ministry and the importance of their priestly calling, that for the sake of their "service to God," they can't waste time and effort to help this "low priority" person who is hurting and in need.
The second example – that of Martha, shows how a person with much ministry responsibility can miss the principle of loving God. Martha is one of Yeshua's closest disciples, and one of the most responsible and hard-working. She became so involved in her responsibilities that she missed the opportunity to love the Lord. She also became offended at her sister. Her serving replaced her loving (Revelation 2:4).
Let's learn from Martha and the Samaritan so that we can keep loving God and loving our neighbor as our first priorities.
Haiti and the Book of Revelation
All of us were grieved about the disastrous earthquake that hit Haiti last month. Many people prayed, gave financially, and even traveled to serve there in rescue missions. Haiti was a nation known for widespread witchcraft, voodoo, and Satan worship.
Recently there are reports of revival in Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake. Here is a video link of testimony of a three day prayer and fasting meeting attended by close to a million people, including the nation's top political leaders.
Apparently, because of the disaster, many people are repenting and turning to God for true spirituality. There is some correlation between the great measure of the disaster and the measure of the revival following. Many people in the United States will testify that they cannot recall a time of so much prayer and repentance as there was in the months immediately following the 9-11 terrorist attack.
While I'm sure God would rather have us turn to Him out of thanksgiving for His abundant blessings, there is something about human nature that most people tend to turn to God in times of trouble more than they do in times of prosperity.
This sheds some light on the great plagues we read about in end-times prophecy. For over twenty years I have been teaching that the disasters in the book of Revelation are punishment from God guided by His grace to cause us to repent and find salvation. However, the scale of events we see in Haiti has caused me to reconsider just how massive that influence may be.
God desires a world wide revival and a great harvest of evangelism. If the earthquake in Haiti could cause a million people to turn to God in prayer and fasting, what will the earth-shaking disasters recorded in the book of Revelation be likely to produce? If we take "measure by measure," it is not hard to imagine hundreds of millions of people turning their hearts to God.
What becomes clear in the light of recent events in Haiti is the logic of God's last-ditch efforts at all costs to turn people to Himself in the closing weeks and months before the great Day of Judgment.