Five-Fold Ministry Within A Network of Messianic Jewish Congregations

"Strengthened with all power according to His glorious might for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience joyfully, giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints of light, for He has rescued us from this domain of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love" (Colossians 1:11-13).

The theme of the Tikkun Conference this year was joy (simcha). Conference speakers seemed to hit it from every angle. Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit. Speaker David McQueen reminded us that Joy (and peace) is not ultimately found in the absence of something (like a difficult job or a life tragedy), but in the presence of Someone (The Lord). Practicing His presence is important.

Speaker Chad Holland wrapped things up by reminding us that joy comes as a result of obedience. My professor used to say, "Salvation doesn't bring happiness, obedience does." Chad went on to say that the joy we're seeking is actually "His joy" (Nehemiah 8:10). We're not to seek it selfishly or we won't find it. Rather, as we are on the path of obedience selflessly serving our Father, joy can overtake us.

This is a good place to inject something that was implied at the conference, but not explicit: joy comes by having the right attitude. Speaker Eitan Shishkoff touched on this. Our attitudes are so much the stuff and the material of which life is made. The way we respond to events and people and situations really color the way we view the world. Having a joyful attitude is something that comes by faith. Joy is not dependent on circumstances, but transcends them.

When the scripture says that the "joy of the Lord is my strength" (Nehemiah 8:10), that doesn't mean that when I wait for joy and it happens to come upon me on a certain day then I'll be strong. It means that we must appropriate joy.

There are times when my body and my emotions and my circumstances do not dictate joy; do not equal joy; do not produce joy. Those are the times when I must go back to the fountain of joy, which is the cross and behold my Messiah there who was crucified and raised in victory over the very things that are tempting me and stealing my joy.

Friends, it is important to be enjoying your life even while you're in the process of getting to something that will be fulfilling whether it's vocational ministry or not. It's important to be enjoying the process of coming to something that you will later appreciate. It's important that you be enjoying your life!

Leader, Shoresh David Messianic Congregation

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Gallery of Pictures from the 2014 Tikkun America Conference:
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Gallery of Pictures from the 2014 Tikkun America Conference:
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