Benediction: Numbers 6

 

by Haley Ashworth

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” 
Numbers 6:24-26

When we take time to meditate on these words, this simple passage becomes a source of great blessing and encouragement.

This prayer, given to the high priest Aaron to pronounce over the people of Israel, is recited weekly over the children at my Messianic Jewish congregation.  When I was younger my dad prayed it every night when he tucked me into bed.  In doing these things, we are comforting and blessing the children in our lives, but I’m afraid too many of us miss a key concept: this blessing was meant not only for the children, but for all of the people of Israel.

As adults, we have a tendency to view dependence and rest as weaknesses.  We like to think that we are self-sufficient and able to handle any situation we face.  However, as followers of Christ, we are to become as little children of our God, our Abba father.  In fact, we have been commanded to be such by Jesus Himself: “‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven’” (Matthew 18:3).

Let’s rejoice in the fact that, as a young child wholly depends on her parents, we can relinquish our worries to our heavenly Father and lean on His promises (Jeremiah 29:11), provisions (Ephesians 1:3), purposes (Romans 8:28), and purity (1 John 3:3).

Let us rest in Aaron’s prayer as we pray it over ourselves and our loved ones.  Let us praise God for His unfailing love and the fact that He truly wants to bless us.  Let’s be like little children, gratefully accepting God’s loving care and resting in His holy שלום (shalom, or peace).

Haley Ashworth is a sophomore at Vanderbilt University and is currently serving as a 2012 pureJUSTICE intern.

Women Locally Owned and Operated

From Bangkok brothels to Kansas communities, vulnerable women and children are taken advantage of by traffickers skilled in emotionally and psychologically manipulating their victims. Yes, you read that correctly. Kansas.

No country is immune from sex trafficking, and the United States has a significant trafficking problem that potentially extends into every state and county.

A wide range of estimates exists as to the actual number of sex trafficking victims. According to the International Labor Organization (“ILO”), roughly 1.4 million people are trapped in commercial sexual servitude globally; the United States Department of State reports that between 14,000 and 17,000 individuals are trafficked annually (for commercial sex or forced labor) into the U.S. from other nations.

Most disturbing is the fact that somewhere between 100,000 and 300,000 youths are trafficked and sexually exploited for profit within the United States every year. From Sin City to Cincinnati, American women and children are being victimized in increasing numbers and frequency.

Click here to continue reading Exploited: Sex Trafficking, Porn Culture, and the Call to a Lifestyle of Justice 

Love Story

Somewhere, right now, somebody–perhaps a man struggling with sexual addiction; a mother feeling overwhelmed; a spouse feeling unloved; a teenager wrestling with temptation; a woman caught in the sex industry; a young person feeling violated…

…just needs to hear how much they are loved by God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IO-Cp2kcFjc&rel=0]

Pursuing Purity and Justice

January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and pureJUSTICE is our response to the evil of trafficking.  Watch the video to learn what it’s all about, and utilize our resources to begin your own pursuit of purity and justice.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4zPf_Ddy3Y&list=UUE2k22EsCJb0kitYDD1yi4A&index=2&feature=plcp&rel=0]

RESOURCES