Mishpachah Yeshua Newsletter

A Newsletter To The Family Of Jesus From Restoration Ministries

The Hebraic family is not simply an individual or private matter.
Rather, it is an institution in which the whole community has a stake.
Thus, the Hebrew word “mishpachah,” meaning family, not only refers to parents and children,
but to the whole extended family worldwide in the body of “Yeshua”—our Jesus.

[click here for a printable copy]

 

March 1998 Topic: Mentoring

 

Dear Friends,

Did it ever occur to you that our Father is the God of the “underdog”? If He has revealed His Son to you and you have put your trust in Jesus, then you are what the Bible calls “ordinary folks.” That’s a compliment!!! Throughout the Scriptures we see His concern for the underprivileged, especially widows, orphans, and aliens (see Exo. 22:22; Deu. 24:17; 26:12). James emphatically endorses our Father’s concern for the needy, making it our concern when he writes, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (1:27).

Moses told the Jewish people why the Lord had chosen them: “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples (Deu. 7:6,7). Look at all the miracles the Lord did on their behalf! They were protected from nations larger than themselves as long as they trusted and obeyed Him.

This whole issue of God’s selection and the type of people He chooses has had me pondering. Judging by the feedback we’ve gotten from people who have attended our workshops, we can discern a pattern in their lives based on their approach to what they’ve read or heard from us. The majority are those whose relationship with the Father has caused them to have a simple, straight-forward ap-proach: “I love Him and I want to obey Him no matter what He asks of me.” Other letters and phone calls reveal people who see God as an issue like any other issue they face in life. You almost get the sense that they want to experience His love, but they are unable to recognize that their pride and reasoning are in the way. Rather than repenting and crying out for the Father to help them love, they seek the path of “If I gain more knowledge about Him, He will love me more.”

Isaiah reveals the type of person to whom the Father is endeared: “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word (66:2). Mary’s Magnificat shows that she understood God’s selection of ordinary folks and His resistance to the sophisticated:

“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.

His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.

He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers” (Luke 1:46-55).

Mary clearly grasped the distinction between the humble and proud that the Father Who chose her to bear His Son makes. What a pointed judgment Mary reveals when she says, “He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.” Our God judges our motives. We may fake others out by our actions, but not Him.

 

“Older Americans Swell the Ranks of the Peace Corps”

The above headline in USA Today especially caught our attention in light of Pastoring by Elders and the upcoming Institutes for Biblical Eldership. The reporters stated, “Life experience and work skill are pluses of age.” As I read the article an exciting yet painful realization came to mind: The secular world is appreciating the importance of older people more than the Church does. The article highlighted various retired people who have given up personal comfort in order to make their lives count.

We hope you enjoy one last excerpt from Pastoring by Elders. The Lord encouraged me to close the book with a parallel of how shepherds enable younger people to gain and maintain relational contact and intimacy with the Father.

A Pictorial Reminder of the Shepherding Process

radarAs Mike learned during his ten years as a Navy helicopter pilot, the only place to land at sea is on a ship with a flight deck. Weather conditions for flying were not always ideal. In fact, they were often marginal due to fog or storms.

When Mike approached a ship under marginal conditions, he had to rely on the ship’s radar. A radar operator aboard the ship would guide the helicopter to the ship’s flight deck using what is known as a Ground Controlled Approach (GCA). On the operator’s radar screen were two lines which converged at the flight deck. One line represented the glide slope that the helicopter would need for a safe descent to the flight deck. This was usually set for a 500-feet-per-minute rate of descent. The other, the center line, indicated whether the helicopter was left or right of a line that led to the flight deck, i.e., if the pilot was “on course.”

As the helicopter approached the ship, the radar operator would direct the pilot to maintain 500 feet of altitude until he intercepted the glide slope. When the radar return from the helicopter showed it touching the glide slope on his radar screen, he would radio the pilot, “On glide slope.” The pilot would then reduce power to set up a 500 ft/min. descent on his cockpit instruments. If the radar return, or blip, showed the pilot on both lines, the radar operator would radio, “On course, on glide slope.” If everything went perfectly, those were the words the pilot would hear until he reached the flight deck.

But conditions normally are not perfect. Crosswinds and other factors normally force the pilot to make corrections during his descent. For example, if the blip dropped below the glide slope during the ap-proach, the radar operator would radio the pilot, “Below glide slope.” The pilot would add some power to intercept the glide slope once again, and the operator would report, “On glide slope.” Upon hearing these words, the pilot would then reduce his power again. But, since his previous power setting had resulted in the helicopter going below glide slope, experience taught him to keep a little more power than before but not enough to cause the helicopter to start going above the glide slope.

Flying to the Father

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16,17)

The Hellenist, or Greek, worldview saw life as a series of victories and failures, much like the Olympics. Our Hebraic forefathers viewed life as a pilgrimage requiring occasional course corrections. It is with this understanding that Paul penned the above words to Timothy. Let’s parallel this passage of Scripture with the same process that is required to land aboard a ship using a GCA.

The flight deck represents the Father. A man’s relational growth will require many “approaches” over a period of time to gain intimate experience. The radar controller is one of the shepherds of a faith community. Through life experiences he has come to know the Father and His caring heart. Because of his experience the shepherd knows what the men he is mentoring must do to know Him as well.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching” is represented by the glide slopes. The Scriptures are the unalterable truths given to us by our Lord to lead us into lives that please Him.

“Rebuking” is required when we are heading off glide slope in order to stop us from going further astray and endangering ourselves. An elder, like the radar controller, can see the younger man’s error most clearly. Being rebuked is not always a pleasant experience, yet, “rebuke a wise man and he will love you” (Prov. 9:8b). A man who delights in wisdom will change his behavior or attitude in accordance with the rebuke. Rebuking does not put the person back on the glide slope; it only stops him from the wrong direction. Just as a pilot must take the necessary steps by adding or reducing power, the younger man must change his behavior or attitude.

“Correcting” reflects the words that are crucial when the person is back “on glide slope.” Without correction, younger men will meander all over the place and miss the path of righteousness. As a result, the frustrated younger men will lose confidence in the shepherd’s counsel and give up altogether.

“Training in righteousness” is a repeated process. Each cycle of rebuke and correction that a man seeking wisdom goes through increases his experience and makes him wiser. Knowing the goal of an increasingly intimate relationship with the Father augments his willingness to embrace rebuke and correction. Teaching, re-buking, and correcting are all part of the process of wise instruction: “Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning” (Prov. 9:9).

“That the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” refers to the need for sound training to be passed along to the next spiritual generation. No shepherd should ever forget the importance of developing successors who will carry on and expand the Lord’s faith communities: “It is enough for the student to be like his teacher” (Matt. 10:25).

The equipping process requires intimate knowledge of both our Father and the person being discipled. Just as the radar operator brings the helicopter and the flight deck safely together, so, too, the shepherd brings the Father and His children together. Humility and love garnished with patience will produce the mature spiritual growth in the flock that will prompt a shepherd to say, “It’s been worth it all!”

May God prosper you,

Mike & Sue Dowgiewicz