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Worthy News Brief - March 6, 2014

%%First Name%%, understand the obligation of love!

Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

Here's another interesting Hebrew word parallel. The Hebrew word for "love" or "affection", "chiba", is formed by the same root letters as the word, "chova", "obligation", "debt", or "duty". In Hebrew, the only difference between these two words is a few vowel points. But you say, "Isn't love the very opposite of obligation !?" Well, yes and no. The Hebrew language has a wonderful way of relating concepts which seem incompatible.

The common romantic view of love in films and novels draws heavily on strong feelings of affection or passion. Even our love for God can flow from those kinds of feelings. (The apostle Peter was filled with them shortly before he denied the Lord three times.) But love based on obligation is another matter, and it's significant that the Jewish marriage contract, the "Ketubah", contains a list of “obligations” that a husband is required to fulfill for his wife. He might be passionately "in love" with her when he signs this contract, yet the wisdom of experience says this passion may wither with time, so the marriage ceremony formally "obligates" him to his spouse. By accepting these “obligations”, he agrees that love is nurtured by commitment.

One Rabbi commented: “Love which flows from obligation endures, but when obligation follows love, both are doomed.”

Our bridal relationship to Yeshua (Jesus) also reflects this reality. His "obligation" to us flowed from an irrevocable decision of His will and commitment to love us...which cost Him His human life. We might speculate on the Lord's feelings for us, but we don't have to wonder at all about His obligation, or the absolute security we have in His love for us. Our love for Him can be the same. Feelings of love are wonderful. But they also come and go. And there'll be times when we wonder, “Where's that lovin' feeling? Is God really there?” And that's when the sure foundation of commitment will arise in the heart of every true lover.

%%First Name%%, God's great love for us is expressed in His commitment; to cover our debt of sin; guide us through this earthly life, and be our eternal Heavenly Husband. Cleansed by His blood and filled with His Spirit we can love Him and one another with the same commitment. The feelings will follow.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Negev Desert, Israel

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Worthy News Features
Sri Lanka: Pastor and Wife Attacked for Defending Right to Worship
Eleven monks from the nationalist Buddhist Strength Force lobby led a violent mob of 250 villagers who physically assaulted the family of the pastor of Holy Family Church in Asgiriya, Sri Lanka, on Feb. 16, according to Christian Today Australia.
Kenya: Gang Raids Bamburi Church, Injures Three
Three people were injured after a mob of about 10 assailants attacked worshipers at a church in Bamburi, Mombasa last week, according to All Africa Global Media.

Today's Breaking News
Around the World
Iran's Guard says it has multiple warhead missiles - AP
Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard on Wednesday said it had acquired missiles with multiple warheads, the latest armaments advance to be claimed by the Islamic Republic.

Nato reassures Poland, Baltic states on Russia threat - EU Observer
Nato head Anders Fogh Rasmussen has shown sympathy for Polish and Baltic states' fears of Russia's aggressive posture in Ukraine and beyond.

Hit us with sanctions? We'll seize West's assets, Russia warns - CNBC
A proposed law would allow Moscow to seize Western companies' and individuals' property and accounts in the event sanctions were imposed on Russia over the Ukraine crisis.

Maronite Catholic: First married man ordained in the U.S. by Pope Francis - Examiner
Maronite Catholic married man was allowed to be ordained into the priesthood for the first time in 100 years in the Unites States by Pope Francis. Wissam Akiki, 41, was a deacon at St Raymond's in downtown St. Louis, Missouri.

Pope Francis: Church could support civil unions - CNN
Pope Francis reaffirmed the Catholic Church's opposition to gay marriage on Wednesday, but suggested in a newspaper interview that it could support some types of civil unions.

U.S., allies slowly put squeeze on Russia - Washington Post
The United States and its European allies incrementally tightened the noose of their disapproval around Russia on Wednesday, agreeing to send more money to Ukraine, dispatching international observers and more U.S. aircraft to the region, and edging closer to direct sanctions against Moscow.

Ukraine looks for 'sign of hope' from Russia over Crimea - CNN
The tense, high-stakes standoff between Ukraine and Russia continued Tuesday, with both sides insisting they don't want war but publicly offering little evidence of their willingness to budge.


Israel-Palestinian Conflict
Obama Budget Slashes Israeli Missile Defense Programs - Washington Free Beacon
Joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense programs would be reduced by nearly $200 million under President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2015 budget proposal, prompting concern from lawmakers who have fought to keep the critical defense programs fully funded.

Iran rejects Israel's 'baseless' claims that it sent weapons ship to Gaza - Jerusalem Post
An official source in the Iranian armed forces told Iranian Tasnim news agency on Wednesday that the IDF accusation that arms found on a ship came from Tehran is "baseless and false."

Messianic Petition Challenges 'Christ at the Checkpoint' - Israel Today
With the third biannual Christ at the Checkpoint conference just a week away, a majority of Israeli Messianic Jews continue to find the event too politically-charged and too undergirded by anti-Semitic themes to be taken seriously as a platform for reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians, and between Jewish and Arab believers.

PA Complains to UN Over Temple Mount - Arutz Sheva
The Palestinian Authority (PA) complained to the United Nations on Wednesday over Israel's actions at the Temple Mount.

US: We were ready to act against Iranian arms shipment but Israel volunteered - Jerusalem Post
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed on Wednesday that "the Israeli government interdicted a shipment of illicit Iranian arms," adding that the US was ready to act before Israel made its move.

Israel Navy intercepts Gaza-bound Iranian rocket ship near Port Sudan - Jerusalem Post
The Israel Navy intercepted an Iranian arms smuggling ship carrying dozens of long-range rockets to Gaza near Port Sudan early on Wednesday.


Inside the United States
Obama's budget eyes $1 trillion hike in tax revenue - USA Today
The budget President Obama unveiled Tuesday would raise more than $1 trillion over 10 years through changes in the tax code by closing loopholes, raising some taxes and cracking down on enforcement.

CIA investigates whether officers spied on Senate - Washington Times
The CIA is investigating whether its officers improperly monitored members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which oversees the intelligence agency, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

Judge rejects financial support requests by New Jersey teen suing parents - Fox News
A New Jersey honor student suing her parents in a potentially precedent-setting lawsuit had her motions for financial support, including high school tuition payment, denied Tuesday by a judge who said it would set a bad precedent by setting limits on parenting.

Administration offers 2-year ObamaCare extension for canceled health plans - Fox News
The Obama administration announced Wednesday that it will let people keep health insurance plans that would otherwise be out of compliance with ObamaCare for another two years, in a delay Republicans portrayed as an election-year ploy.

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