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Worthy Brief - 7/11/2019

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Worthy News Brief - July 11, 2019

Friend, the Father's love is unconditional!

Hebrews 13:1. Let brotherly love continue.

As we continue in our study of the parable of the Prodigal son, let's focus on the central figure in the story -- the father. The father is much like the helpless parent whose unending love is neither understood nor appreciated by either son. He allows his sons to make their own decisions, despite how bad those choices may be. No matter what terrible wrong they may commit, he loves them -- a perfect picture of the love of our Heavenly Father has for his children.

Notwithstanding the father's love, the younger son wants to see him dead, so he can receive his inheritance, while the elder son is self righteously preoccupied with the "good standing" he has "earned". Their father's unconditional love for them is completely beyond their comprehension.

The younger son begins to understand his father's love only after his rebellion bears its bitter fruit, he is desperate, helpless and humbled, and finally returns desiring just to be a servant -- yet upon his return he experiences the love of his father who prepares a kingly feast for him and restores him as a son.

What happens in the heart of the elder son is uncertain. He has been working in the field seeking to earn his father's love and acceptance. So he explodes with self-righteous anger when his father prepares a feast for his undeserving delinquent brother. Since his understanding of love is conditional, he can't believe that his father would reward his brother's behavior -- and he jealously wonders why his Dad has never lavished him this way. No hint of love or joy over his brother's repentance or his father's relief when he returns. Instead he calls him the "son of his father" (Luke 15:20), and is filled with bitterness and accusation. Perhaps it amazed him to begin to realize that his father's love had all the time been unconditional and freely given without measure simply because they are his sons. We can only hope he finally softened under that realization.

Friend, God is not just a "loving" God -- the scripture says that "God IS love" [1 John 4:6]. When we fully realize that His love cannot be earned but is freely given, then we will serve our Father because of His love for us! With so much work to be done, let's be sure we're working in and out of love -- and not because we're trying to earn it!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Arad, Israel

Friend, if our ministry has blessed you, consider supporting our work online and in Israel! Thank you for your prayers and gifts! Together, we are making a difference for the Kingdom!
Around the World
Turkey Warns US Against 'Wrong Steps' in Addressing NATO Ally's Purchase of Russian Missile System
Turkey remained firm in its commitment to purchase the Russian S-400 missile defense system Wednesday, saying the US ought to look out if it went ahead with its threatened sanctions against the sole Middle East NATO member.
International Pressure Increases on Iran as IAEA Verifies Breach of 2015 Nuclear Terms
A closed-door meeting of the UN atomic watchdog agency in Vienna Wednesday determined that Iran had indeed breached the 3.76% uranium enrichment limit of the 2015 nuclear deal, confirming reports from Iran Monday that it had ramped up its enrichment to 4.5%.
UK: Iranian vessels tried to block British vessel in Gulf
Britain said Thursday that three Iranian vessels unsuccessfully tried to impede the passage of a British commercial vessel through the Strait of Hormuz, signaling a further escalation of tensions over a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
EU, Israel, Egypt express unease about Turkey's gas drilling off Cyprus
Turkey said on Wednesday it rejected Greek and European Union assertions that Turkish drilling for gas and oil off Cyprus was illegitimate, and said they showed the EU could not be an impartial mediator on the Cyprus problem.

Israel-Palestinian Conflict
Pompeo assures Christian Zionists that Israel allows conversions to Christianity
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made a point of reminding a conference of Christian Zionists that Israel permits conversions to Christianity, just weeks after his department reported on the difficulties converts face there.

Inside the United States
Support for legal abortion matches its 24-year high: Poll
Sixty percent of Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, the most in ABC News/Washington Post polls since 1995. More also say their state should make it easier, rather than harder, for women to have access to abortion, with a plurality favoring no change in the status quo.
US lawmakers look to legalize pot in ‘historic’ marijuana reform hearing
U.S. lawmakers weighed reforming pot laws in what advocates called a 'historic' hearing Wednesday, with numerous members of Congress saying they wanted to loosen federal laws, even legalize marijuana.

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