Aggressive Fruit of the Spirit
by Asher Intrater, , Revive Israel

Many people in the world are aggressive; aggressive for power, glory, wealth ... in short selfishness. Yet the teaching of Yeshua seems to point to an opposite character. In His first recorded message, the Sermon on the Mount, Yeshua said, "The meek will inherit the earth and Blessed are the merciful and the pure in heart" (Matthew 5:3-8).

This is an opposite aggressiveness. The opposite of aggressiveness is not passivity, but a focused effort to go in exactly the reverse direction from the lusts and selfishness of human society. It is to swim against the stream. It is sacrificial love (John 3:16); victory over the world (I John 2:13); crucifixion of the flesh (Galatians 5:24). We could call this aggressive "fruit of the spirit" (Galatians 5:22).

Love is a fruit of the spirit. Yeshua told us even to "Love our enemies" (Matthew 5:44). Joy is a fruit of the spirit. Yeshua told us to rejoice when we are persecuted for righteousness sake (Matthew 5:11-12). We are to have peace in the storm (Mark 4:39) and patience in suffering (Romans 12:12).

Not only are we to be generous, but to be "overflowing in generosity from the depths of poverty" (II Corinthians 8:2). We are called not only to be faithful, but to be faithful when others are unfaithful (II Timothy 2:13, 15); not only to have self-restraint, but to "put to death the works of the flesh by means of the spirit" (Romans 8:13).

Is it possible to think in terms of "aggressive humility" or "aggressive generosity"? Can we make it our goal to live by the teaching of the Beatitudes and the Fruit of Spirit? This is what it means to be "created in the image of God" (Genesis 1:26) and to be "conformed to the image of Christ" (Romans 8:29).

This article was previously published on June 1st 2017 here on the Revive Israel website and on June 8th 2017 here on Kehila News Israel

Aggressive Fruit of the Spirit
by Motti Cohen, , Revive Israel

A bar mitzvah ceremony is a traditional Jewish coming of age ceremony climaxing in the 13 year old boy reading verses from a Torah scroll. This is a testimony of how one Bar Mitzvah changed the life of one particular Israeli.

A very effective way to spread the gospel is by hosting events at the congregation that are open to everyone. At Tiferet Yeshua congregation (and in Israel in general) many of us are the only believers in our families. These special gatherings give us a rare opportunity to proclaim the gospel to people who've probably heard it before, but have never visited a congregational worship service. So, during the week leading up to the Bar Mitzvah, we prayed that God would open the hearts of all the relatives attending the event.

At least ten unbelievers were present on a recent Shabbat to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah. After the two young men who celebrated their Bar Mitzvah read from the Torah, and after the sermon was over, the parents of "D", one of the Bar Mitzvah boys, came to me. Apparently, God answered our prayers, and D's father, who had seen the love that the congregation has for his family, said that he wants to learn about the meaning of being baptized in the name of Yeshua, and he's willing to take this step of faith. His wife had been praying for him for 15 years. God has answered, and her husband has given his life to the Lord!

Aggressive Fruit of the Spirit
by Motti Cohen, , Revive Israel

A school in Jerusalem has a special program for soldiers being inducted into the Israeli army, and God has given us (at Beit Netanel) much favor with their leaders. This last month one officer, who had been with us before, asked if he could bring 30 more young soldiers specifically to hear me teach about Yeshua!

So, as usual, Gilad and I prepared a large meal because in our culture, when people sit to eat, it breaks the ice and they are more open to hear what one has to say. I was surprised to find how hungry these young people were to learn about Yeshua. I told them about how the Son of God put on flesh and how He came to take away our sins and give us His righteousness. They asked so many questions!

One of them asked, "What can we do to make Messiah come?"

I said, "First of all you need to ask God to show you the truth. If you read the Tanakh [Hebrew scriptures], the first mention of the Messiah is in Genesis 3:15, 'And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.' What does it mean the 'seed of the woman'? There is no other woman where this is mentioned because the Messiah must not be born of man. Look at what is written in Isaiah :14, '... Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.'"

They were amazed and said, "What? This is in our Tanakh?"

This conversation lasted more than three hours after lunch. They were so happy and several want to come again and bring their families. Before they left, they presented me with an award for my service to the soldiers which said, "In appreciation for the enlightening atmosphere and fascinating conversation." Praise God!

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