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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Omer Devotional Day 22


April 21 at sundown - Day 22
Today is day 22 of counting the Omer 

Today is day 22 out of Egypt
Today is day 22 of Messiah Resurrected


Punk’d, Part 2 (Matthew 8:23-34)

Master of the Storm
23 As He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him.
24 Suddenly a great storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was being covered by the waves. But Yeshua kept on sleeping.
25 So they came and woke Him up, saying, “Master, save us! We’re perishing!”

 
26 He said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became totally calm.
27 The men were amazed, saying, “What kind of person is this? Even the winds and the sea obey Him!”

Freedom from Demons
28 When He came to the other side, into the region of the Gadarenes, two demon- plagued men coming from the graveyard met Him. They were so violent that no one could pass by that way. 
29 And they screamed, “What’s between You and us, Ben- Elohim? Have You come here to torment us, before the appointed time?”
30 Now a large herd of pigs was feeding some distance away from them.
31 The demons kept begging Him, “If You drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”

 
32 And He told them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the cliff into the sea and drowned.
33 The herdsmen ran away, went into the town, and told everything, including what had happened to the demon-plagued men.
34 The whole town came out to meet Yeshua. And when they saw him, they begged Him to leave their region.


Reflect:

It is a common misconception these days to view a life of faith as one of passivity; we often just take what life gives us and believe that if we will just be stronger, be better or do better that our circumstances will be changed. Friends, this is both a lie from the pit of hell and a misunderstanding of what Yeshua came to do. He came to set us free from sickness and disease, and He does it by the authority that the Father gave Him! This freedom He offers us can’t be obtained by anything we do but instead comes from the utter simplicity of just believing that Yeshua can do it. The centurion believed this, and his servant was set free because of his
great faith in Yeshua’s power. As Yeshua moved forward to set those in demonic captivity free, we can see that the great tempest that struck the boat they were on was no normal storm; instead it was yet another focused attack by the prince of power of the air (Satan, the god of this world) to disrupt Yeshua’s ministry. Again here we see the devil get punk’d by Yeshua’s absolute authority over all things demonic. After He rebuked the tempest, they sailed to the Gaderenes (a territory of gentile pagans). Upon being confronted by two demon-plagued men, Yeshua cast the evil spirits out of them and sent the pigs running into the sea. This not only set those men free, but also destroyed the pagan economy of that place; their pigs were what they sacrificed to their non-gods. Yeshua’s entire ministry in this place was a display of God’s absolute power over spiritual darkness. Friends, we must understand this concept as our congregation moves forward. As we seek to impact the kingdom, our adversary will oppose us as he did Yeshua. Our hope for deliverance is not in what we are able to do in our own power; it is in our faith in our God who has absolutely defeated darkness!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we rejoice in knowing that you have utterly defeated spiritual darkness and oppression. Help us to pray with this understanding and to have the boldness in prayer to challenge areas where the devil has set up strongholds. Please use Restoration as a place where people are set free! In Yeshua’s name, amen.

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At Restoration, we have made it a priority to seek God first in prayer. During this season of counting of the Omer, we have decided to do this collectively as a congregation in the days leading up to Shavuot. Together, we want to trust in His power to impact our lives, our congregation, our city, and our world. The last 10 days we will encourage a corporate time of fasting and prayer, which starts the evening of May 9 and ends the evening of May 19. The conclusion of this season of prayer will culminate in a congregational picnic on the 50th day, the day of Shavuot - Sunday, May 20 at noon.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Omer Devotional Day 21


April 20 at sundown - Day 21
Today is day 21 of counting the Omer
Today is day 21 out of Egypt
Today is day 21 of Messiah Resurrected


Punk’d, Part 1 (Luke 4:1-10)

Temptation in the Wilderness
1 Yeshua, now filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh, returned from the Jordan. He was led by the Ruach in the wilderness
2 for forty days, being tested by the devil. Now He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He was hungry.

 3 The devil said to Him, “If You are Ben-Elohim, tell this stone to become bread.”
4 Yeshua answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’”

5 And leading Him up, the devil showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in an instant. 
6 And the devil said to Him, “I’ll give to You all this authority along with its glory, because it has been handed over to me and I can give it to anyone I wish.
7 Therefore, if you will worship before me, all this shall be Yours.”

 
8 But answering, Yeshua told him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship Adonai your God, and Him only shall you serve.’”
 
9 Then he brought Yeshua to Jerusalem and placed Him on the highest point of the Temple. He said to Him, “If You are Ben-Elohim, throw Yourself down from here.
10 For it is written,
‘He will command His angels concerning you,
to guard you,’

 11 and ‘upon their hands they will lift you up,so that you may not strike your foot against a stone.’”
 12 But answering, Yeshua said to him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put Adonai your God to the test.’”
13 And when the devil had completed every test, he departed from Him until another occasion.


Reflect:

The devil is real. Many may find this statement controversial while still others might believe that the idea of an angelic bad guy that wages war against God and humanity is a fairy tale. Nothing could be further from the truth; Satan is as real as God is. Mythology wants to paint him as a spiritual equal to Yeshua, but this is a flat out lie! We see here in this chapter that Yeshua has a prophetic calling that once fulfilled would bring redemption and healing to mankind. In Satan’s attempt to undermine that calling, he took a physically weakened Yeshua to Jericho, up on the Mount of Temptation. The spiritual warfare being waged there wasn’t just an attempt to derail Yeshua; it was a desperate attempt to keep you and I eternally enslaved to the power of sin and death. The scriptures are clear who won that battle—Yeshua! The Urban Dictionary defines the word “punk’d” as: A way to describe someone ripping you off, tricking you, teasing you. Friends, this is exactly what Yeshua did; He punk’d the devil! Our Lord took the very scripture that Satan was trying to distort and used its true meaning to utterly defeat him. The Father had given Yeshua authority over all forms of darkness, and with that authority Yeshua embarked on an earthly ministry that would bring many adopted sons and daughters to God.

Prayer: We want to walk in Your power and authority over darkness, Lord. Help us to have the faith we need to move forward in that authority, and the understanding to know that You have already conquered Satan. We want to see families set free and lives changed here at Restoration during this time of prayer and fasting! Amen.

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At Restoration, we have made it a priority to seek God first in prayer. During this season of counting of the Omer, we have decided to do this collectively as a congregation in the days leading up to Shavuot. Together, we want to trust in His power to impact our lives, our congregation, our city, and our world. The last 10 days we will encourage a corporate time of fasting and prayer, which starts the evening of May 9 and ends the evening of May 19. The conclusion of this season of prayer will culminate in a congregational picnic on the 50th day, the day of Shavuot - Sunday, May 20 at noon.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Omer Devotional Day 20



April 19 at sundown - Day 20
Today is day 20 of counting the Omer 

Today is day 20 out of Egypt
Today is day 20 of Messiah Resurrected


The Crowning Jewel of Creation (Genesis 2:1-2)

1 So the heavens and the earth were completed along with their entire array.
2 God completed—on the seventh day—His work that He made, and He ceased—on the seventh day—from all His work that He made.
3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, for on it He ceased from all His work that God created for the purpose of preparing.


Reflect:

In synagogues everywhere around the world and here at Restoration, the Shabbat is the most important day of the week. In the book of Leviticus (chapter 23) we see that Shabbat is the first holiday listed because it happens every week! God created Shabbat as the crowning jewel on the creation dialogue at the beginning of the book of Beresheet (Genesis). There are six days of intense activity, with all of creation being born. Right along with this intensity is God’s command to be “fruitful and multiply.” This sounds a lot like our everyday lives, doesn’t it? As we identify our passions, they begin to drive us to pursue them... We become too compelled to act! We must remember that in God’s plan for creation we weren’t meant to just churn in non-stop activity. God ordained the Shabbat and blessed it as a day when mankind is called to rest and remember their Creator, but it also has addtional meaning. Adonai didn’t create the Shabbat just for man to remember Him; He also intended for us to know that God remembers us as well!

I recently saw this principle on display while on a medical outreach trip with Jewish Voice Ministries International (JVMI) in Wiloso, Ethiopia among the Beta Israel (Jews currently located between the Amahara and Tigray regions of Ethiopia). These people live in abject poverty; they have little to eat, their water supply is putrid, and they suffer persecution from their neighbors. The Messianic believers in this area are even more persecuted than their Jewish brothers because of their commitment to following Yeshua. On top of all this, their government ignores them. It would be easy to think that God had forgotten these people, leaving them in a kind of permanent exile. On our last Shabbat in Wiloso as we rested, it occurred to me that God had remembered these “forgotten people.” He had used the team I was with to show them that He never forgets His creation! May we remember that He will never forget us, either!

Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your Shabbat. We want to take the time to remember all You’ve done for us. Thank You for Your faithfulness to us and others as well. Amen. 

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At Restoration, we have made it a priority to seek God first in prayer. During this season of counting of the Omer, we have decided to do this collectively as a congregation in the days leading up to Shavuot. Together, we want to trust in His power to impact our lives, our congregation, our city, and our world. The last 10 days we will encourage a corporate time of fasting and prayer, which starts the evening of May 9 and ends the evening of May 19. The conclusion of this season of prayer will culminate in a congregational picnic on the 50th day, the day of Shavuot - Sunday, May 20 at noon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Omer Devotional Day 19



April 18 at sundown - Day 19
Today is day 19 of counting the Omer 

Today is day 19 out of Egypt
Today is day 19 of Messiah Resurrected


A prayer for Israel (Psalm 48:1-15)

Consider Zion’s Towers
1 A song, a psalm of the sons of Korah.
2 Great is Adonai, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God—His holy mountain.
3 A beautiful height—the joy of the whole earth—is Mount Zion, on the northern side of the city of the great King.
4 God, in her palaces, is known as a stronghold.
5 For behold, the kings assembled, they advanced together.
6 They saw, then they were astounded, they fled in terror.
7 Trembling seized them there, pain like a woman in labor.
8 With an east wind You broke the ships of Tarshish.
9 As we have heard, so have we seen, in the city of Adonai-Tzva’ot, in the city of our God. God will establish her forever. Selah
10 We have meditated on Your lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of Your Temple.
11 Like Your Name, O God, so is Your praise to the ends of the earth. Your right hand is full of righteousness.
12 Mount Zion is glad, the daughters of Judah rejoice, because of Your judgments.
13 Walk about Zion, go around her. Count her towers.
14 Consider her ramparts, go through her palaces, so you may describe it to the next generation.
15 For this God is our God, forever and ever! He will guide us to the end.


Instead of a reflection, let’s just offer up this prayer for Israel:

Heavenly Father, we thank You that Yeshua is coming back. Remember Israel and release Your salvation in her. Open blind eyes so that they may see the Messiah. Pour out your Spirit on her people and bless the body of Messiah in Israel with Your presence and protection. Amen. 

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At Restoration, we have made it a priority to seek God first in prayer. During this season of counting of the Omer, we have decided to do this collectively as a congregation in the days leading up to Shavuot. Together, we want to trust in His power to impact our lives, our congregation, our city, and our world. The last 10 days we will encourage a corporate time of fasting and prayer, which starts the evening of May 9 and ends the evening of May 19. The conclusion of this season of prayer will culminate in a congregational picnic on the 50th day, the day of Shavuot - Sunday, May 20 at noon.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Omer Devotional Day 18


April 17 at sundown - Day 18
Today is day 18 of counting the Omer 

Today is day 18 out of Egypt
Today is day 18 of Messiah Resurrected


Return to Sender (James 4:1-10)

Resist Pride and Evil
1 Where do quarrels and conflicts among you come from? Don’t they come from this, namely your passions that battle within your body parts?
2 You crave and have not. You murder and you envy, yet you cannot get it. You fight and you wage war. You do not have because you do not ask.
3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives so you may spend it on your passions.
4 You adulteresses! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
5 Or do you think that in vain the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit which He made to dwell in us”?
6 But He gives greater grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
7 Therefore submit to God. But resist the devil and he will flee from you.
8 Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded!
9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into gloom.
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of Adonai, and He shall lift you up.

Reflect:

God will never turn His back on you, but the same isn’t true for us. Our pride and self-sufficiency lead us away from what we were created to do. Here, James explains that human nature is capable of all manner of evil in its quest to satisfy its urges, and that we must flee from those passions and lusts that are capable of convincing us that we don’t need to live God’s way.

Instead of God turning His back on us, the opposite is true. We turn our backs on Him. If you have been doing this, this time of fasting and prayer is a great opportunity to turn away from those things that bring us death and turn to the One who can give us life.

Prayer: Lord, I want to stop turning my back on You. I want to use this time of prayer and fasting to surrender myself to You, especially in the areas where I feel self-sufficient so that I can be who you birthed me to be. Let Restoration be a place where people can turn back to Yeshua so that they can know and grow in who You are. In Yeshua’s name, amen. 

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At Restoration, we have made it a priority to seek God first in prayer. During this season of counting of the Omer, we have decided to do this collectively as a congregation in the days leading up to Shavuot. Together, we want to trust in His power to impact our lives, our congregation, our city, and our world. The last 10 days we will encourage a corporate time of fasting and prayer, which starts the evening of May 9 and ends the evening of May 19. The conclusion of this season of prayer will culminate in a congregational picnic on the 50th day, the day of Shavuot - Sunday, May 20 at noon.

South Africa Clinic 2018


Restoration is sending a team to South Africa to volunteer at a Jewish Voice Ministries International medical clinic to serve the Lemba and their neighbors. The Lemba are a Jewish tribe in several countries in southern Africa. We will serve as Yeshua's hands and feet, offering hope to these impoverished Jewish communities in South Africa by being a part of a free medical and dental clinic.

In addition to traditional medical care, our team will offer prayer to those who ask for it. Many of the people to whom we will minister have never before seen a doctor or ever heard the Good News of their Messiah. During our medical outreaches, patients and family – Jews and their Gentile neighbors alike – receive care and prayer from our dedicated team of medical partners, and we will witness many miraculous healings.

We are raising $15,000 for our team to go and serve in a variety of capacities during this medical clinic. Each clinic, of Jewish Voice, serves an average of 11,000 people in 5 days! You can help by praying for us and giving to ensure our team will get there!

Use this link to give with "South Africa 2018" in the drop-down menu!

Covenant Membership Series in May


The Restoration Covenant Membership Series is an opportunity to come and see what membership is all about. Throughout this three-part series you will learn more about the theology that serves as the foundation of our synagogue. We will be expanding on the nature of covenant membership, the responsibilities, and the benefits that come from individuals uniting as members of one body. Finally, we will discuss what it means to participate in the community as a covenant member, and how you can connect with others who are committed to journeying together here at Restoration. 

At the end of the series, you will have the opportunity to decide if membership is right for you. Those who choose to join as covenant members will complete a spiritual gifts inventory assessment and have an interview with an Elder to better understand what gifts you have and how we can support you in becoming a fully devoted follower of Yeshua. You are not obligated to become a member and, ultimately, we hope that this series will be informative for all who attend and we encourage everyone who is interested to come.

Our upcoming sessions are on May 12, May 19, and May 26, 2018. They will be held in the Restoration Office from 1:00pm-3:00pm.