Soon after we landed in Israel, our tour guide said, “Welcome home.” Israel is the birthplace of our faith and of our Savior. When we returned to Tallahassee, many people said, “Welcome home.” As the old saying goes, “There’s no place like home.”
The many sites in Israel inspire me; the people of Israel fascinate me; and the lostness of Israel burdens me. It’s estimated that less than 1% of Israel’s population knows Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. There’s an urgent difference between religion and a relationship. You and I often read and struggle to keep the 10 Commandments. If you’re an Orthodox Jewish man or woman, you’re trying to obey 613 commandments. Our salvation isn’t based on good works. It’s founded on the cross and resurrection. God’s grace is still amazing!
Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 5:8 – “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 10:9-10 – “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
Romans 10:13 – “For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”
Our group was wonderful! People were always on time, helpful to one another, and flexible when changes needed to be made. The Lord blessed our group. No one fell on the uneven walking surfaces; no one became sick while away; no one felt unsafe; and no one went hungry. The weather was fantastic. One day was extremely hot. As a result of God’s favor, we didn’t experience any rain.
We visited many places over eight days: Valley of Elah, Joppa, Mediterranean Sea, Caesarea by the Sea, Mount Carmel, Megiddo, Mount Precipice, Church of the Annunciation, villages of Nazareth and Cana, Jezreel Valley, Sea of Galilee, 2,000-year-old Galilean boat, Mount of Beatitudes, Caesarea Philippi, Magdala, Primacy of Peter, Capernaum, The Gospel Trail, Tiberias, Bet She’an, Jordan River, Qumran, Dead Sea, Masada, Ein Gedi, Jericho, Mount of Temptation, Old Jericho Road, the Valley of the Shadow of Death, Jerusalem, Western Wall, Southern Steps, Israel Museum, Bethlehem, Shepherds’ Field, Church of the Nativity, Temple Mount, St. Anne’s Church, Pool of Bethesda, Western Wall Tunnel, Mount Zion, Caiaphas’ house, Upper Room, King David’s Tomb, Old City, Mount of Olives, Palm Sunday Trail, Garden of Gethsemane, Kidron Valley, Pool of Siloam, Via Dolorosa, Antonia Fortress, and the Garden Tomb.
We held worship gathering in eight locations: Caesarea by the Sea, Sea of Galilee, Caesarea Philippi, Jordan River, Ein Gedi, Southern Steps, Upper Room, and the Garden Tomb.
If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to go to read our blog posts and watch the videos of our trip.
Tuesday, May 9 is our next Power Lunch. The luncheon starts at 11:00 am in the Fellowship Hall on the South Campus. The church provides the meat and drinks, and attendees bring salads, vegetables, and desserts. We plan to share stories and show pictures of the Israel journey. I’ll share details about a future trip to Israel, too. You can call the Church Office (850-893-0893) and make a reservation for the luncheon. I hope to see you there.
Thank you again for praying and following our Holy Land journey!
Making Disciples in Israel,