Additional pictures after Testimony
4380 cdd Sacrificial Leadership
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 18 Number 150
Today’s Author: Pastor Bill
Scripture: Hebrews 13:7
“Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct” NKJV
Hello, my name is Azar Ajaj, Director of Public Relations for Nazareth Evangelical College in Nazareth, Israel. This is my Cross testimony of how the Lord has taught me sacrificial leadership, which in turn we teach the future leaders of the church.
I was born in Nazareth, the oldest of three brothers. Dad and mom were good to us but we all learned to be nominal Christians. We walked in the traditions of the church and attended sporadically. Dad was a carpenter and mom stayed home and watched over us.
We grew up Arabs who were not Muslim — We are Israelis but not Jews. We are part of the Christian minority in the Holy Land — less than 2 percent of the population.
When I was 14 years old attending a Christian school, I met a teacher who introduced me to the Jesus of the Bible. I learned what the term Born Again meant, that we don’t inherit eternal life by following traditions but rather by deciding on my own to love Jesus. I began to diligently read the Bible. I went to church faithfully. I saw myself as a good person working my way into heaven. On the outside, I was perfect. On the inside, I was a sinner like all others.
Then the Lord spoke to me in a vision. He said, “It’s not about what you do but about you accepting what I’ve done for you on the Cross.” I graduated high school trusting in the Lord.
I attended The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. There, in the context of the Fellowship of Christian Students, I met a diverse group of Christians and Jewish students interested in Jesus. They helped me grow in the Lord and I became a leader in the group. As I was graduating I met my wife, Ibtisam. We married and we now have three boys.
In college, I learned to be a Bridge Builder. Building Bridges between our Christian community, the Jewish community, the Muslim community and non-believers. This training has served me well over the years.
In Israel, we have 40 Evangelical churches and 25 percent of them are being led by graduates from our Bible College. Our graduates are also active as leaders in Bible Societies, Chaplains in Hospitals, Disabled housing facility managers and teachers in Christian schools. Many are lay Christian leaders in all walks of life.
Our sacrificial leadership training is so significant because it shows a biblical model of life which is so contrary to the patriarchal and tribal style of traditional family headship. Sacrificial leadership places the family first where patriarchal leadership abandons the family in favor of ruthless control.
Sacrificial leadership, with the example of what Jesus did for us, leads the way and lives are changed. Sinners are changed and eternal life is the reward.
One fellow came to school to learn about sacrificial leadership and ran into a previous teacher of his who was also a Bible student. He said to his previous teacher, “You might be shocked to see me here after the way I rejected the Christ you taught and treated you so poorly.” This fellow was introduced to faithful Christians who changed his life.
A Muslim man attended to learn what we know. Perhaps he wanted to use our materials against Christians in the future. He accepted the Lord after a short period of time and had to move out of his Muslim village to escape persecution. Our school became his home and the ones who loved him. He found peace among us.
The Lord opened a window for us to minister to Sudanese Christians. A Jewish Rabbi called one day and asked if we could accept two people from Sudan in our school. He said he could not understand a word they were saying. They came to school eager to study and learn. We taught them all about Jesus.
After three years, they graduated. When asked what they wanted to do next, one said, “To return to Sudan and tell them about the love of Jesus.” Two years later he was pastoring a church of 200 in Sudan. An additional 12 Sudanese came for Biblical training and returned to Sudan starting churches.
My favorite Bible verse is Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” NKJV
I especially like the part of my job where I introduce a new generation of Christian Leaders into serving the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Cross means everything to me. Accepting the Cross brings new birth — building a relationship with Jesus — there is no future without belief in the Cross.
This Cross planted today is a symbol of God’s work going on here. Announcing we are here because of what has been done on the Cross. It is a statement for the coming End Times Events that Jesus is coming back and to begin now to “Redeem the Time” by urgently sharing the love of Jesus – right now.
Prayer: Father thank you for the next generation of Christian Leaders. Give them the courage to walk in Sacrificial Leadership. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!