Search This Blog

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Omer Devotional Day 50


May 19 at sundown - Day 50
Today is day 50 of counting the Omer 

Today is day 50 out of Egypt
Today is day 50 of Messiah Resurrected


The Next Step (Acts 2:1-47)

The Ruach Fills the Disciples
1 When the day of Shavuot had come, they were all together in one place.
2 Suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
3 And tongues like fire spreading out appeared to them and settled on each one of them.
4 They were all filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh and began to speak in other tongues as the Ruach enabled them to speak out.
5 Now Jewish people were staying in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 

6 And when this sound came, the crowd gathered. They were bewildered, because each was hearing them speaking in his own language.
7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “All these who are speaking—aren’t they Galileans?
8 How is it that we each hear our own birth language?
9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and those living in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and parts of Libya toward Cyrene, and visitors from Rome
11 (both Jewish people and proselytes), Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring in our own tongues the mighty deeds of God!”
12 And they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to each other, “What does this mean?”
13 Others, poking fun, were saying, “They are full of sweet new wine!”


Peter Speaks to the Shavuot Crowd
14 But Peter, standing with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: “Fellow Judeans and all who are staying in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and pay attention to my words. 
15 These men are not drunk, as you suppose—for it’s only the third hour of the day!
16 But this is what was spoken about through the prophet Joel:
17 ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ says God, ‘that I will pour out My Ruach on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.
18 Even on My slaves, male and female, I will pour out My Ruach in those days, and they shall prophesy.

19 And I will give wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth beneath— blood, and fire, and smoky vapor.
20 The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and glorious Day of Adonai comes.

21 And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of Adonai shall be saved.’
22 “Men of Israel, hear these words! Yeshua ha-Natzrati—a Man authenticated to you by God with mighty deeds and wonders and signs God performed through Him in your midst, as you yourselves know—
23 this Yeshua, given over by God’s predetermined plan and foreknowledge, nailed to the cross by the hand of lawless men, you killed.
24 But God raised Him up, releasing Him from the pains of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held by it.
25 For David says about Him, ‘I saw Adonai always before me, for He is at my right hand so that I might not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced; moreover, my body also will live in hope,
27 because You will not abandon my soul to Sheol or let Your Holy One see decay.
28 You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence.’
29 “Brothers, I can confidently tell you that the patriarch David died and was buried—his tomb is with us to this day.
30 So because he was a prophet and knew God had sworn with an oath to him to seat one of his descendants on his throne,
31 David saw beforehand and spoke of Messiah’s resurrection—that He was not abandoned to Sheol, and His body did not see decay.
32 “This Yeshua God raised up—we all are witnesses!
33 Therefore, being exalted to the right hand of God and receiving from the Father the promise of the Ruach ha-Kodesh, He poured out this—what you now see and hear.
34 For David did not ascend into the heavens; yet he himself says, ‘Adonai said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand,
35 until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’
36 “Therefore let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him—this Yeshua whom you had crucified—both Lord and Messiah!”


Teshuvah—Thousands Immersed
37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the emissaries, “Fellow brethren, what shall we do?”
38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and let each of you be immersed in the name of Messiah Yeshua for the removal of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 39 For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far away—as many as Adonai our God calls to Himself.”

40 With many other words he warned them and kept urging them, saying, “Save yourselves from this twisted generation!”
41 So those who received his message were immersed, and that day about three thousand souls were added.

New Covenant Community Begins
42 They were devoting themselves to the teaching of the emissaries and to fellowship, to breaking bread and to prayers.
43 Fear lay upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were happening through the emissaries.

44 And all who believed were together, having everything in common.
45 They began selling their property and possessions and sharing them with all, as any had need.
46 Day by day they continued with one mind, spending time at the Temple and breaking bread from house to house. They were sharing meals with gladness and sincerity of heart,
47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord was adding to their number those being saved.


Reflect:

By the time the event of Acts 2 had occurred, many things had changed in the lives of the disciples. Yeshua had been executed, resurrected, and had ascended into heaven. The disciples had lost their leader, and were waiting for instructions on what to do next. Instead of allowing depression or confusion to enter into their minds, they banded together. They prayed and waited patiently for what was coming next. It is certain that they didn't expect the way that God had showed up, but after it was over, there was no doubt that this was what they were waiting for... The next step had come, and it would change not only their lives but countless others from that moment on. As we reflect on what this means, it is important to realize that God wants to work the same way through us. He wants to send His Spirit in a new and powerful way so that lives will be changed, hearts healed, and souls coming to know Him. The possibilities are endless.

Prayer: Lord, I want to experience Your Holy Spirit like the disciples did. Help me to be patient and wait for You when I don’t know what to do. In Yeshua’s name, amen.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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, May 18, 2018

Omer Devotional Day 49


May 18 at sundown - Day 49
Today is day 49 of counting the Omer 

Today is day 49 out of Egypt
Today is day 49 of Messiah Resurrected


One People, One Direction (Psalm 133:1-3)

Blessing of Unity
1 A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard—Aaron’s beard—coming down on the collar of his robes.

3 It is like the dew of Hermon, coming down upon the mountains of Zion. For there Adonai commanded the blessing—life forevermore!

Reflect:

Restoration is made up of many different kinds of people; people of different ages and backgrounds. For us to become the kind of congregation God wants us to be we must have unity! Here the psalmist is talking about a different kind of goodness than what we get from pleasure or food. He’s talking about the goodness of God we experience when we are one people headed in one direction. When we crucify our flesh and love one another unconditionally, this goodness becomes plain to see for not only those in our community, but those outside it as well. When they see God’s goodness, they will want it in their lives as well!

Prayer: Lord, help us to be one people who are headed in one direction. Help us to seek unity regardless of any differences we might have. Help us to be unified, and to use that unity as an attractional force to draw people far from You near! In Yeshua’s name, amen!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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, May 17, 2018

Omer Devotional Day 48


May 17 at sundown - Day 48
Today is day 48 of counting the Omer 

Today is day 48 out of Egypt
Today is day 48 of Messiah Resurrected


A Walk to Remember (Colossians 1:9-12)

9 For this reason also, ever since we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We keep asking God that you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding—
10 to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.

11 We pray that you may be strengthened with all the power that comes from His glorious might, for you to have all kinds of patience and steadfastness. With joy
12 we give thanks to the Father, who qualified you to share in the inheritance of the kedoshim in the light.

Reflect:

The church at Colossae was under attack from false teachers who were denying the deity of Yeshua; they were teaching that He was not actually God. Though Paul had never been to Colossae itself, he addressed these issues head-on. The nature of Yeshua the Messiah as Creator and Redeemer was nonnegotiable, so Paul wrote to them in order to bring his wisdom to bear on this difficult and trying situation. It was critical to him that the Colossians know God in His greatness and glory instead of the picture of God that had been painted for them by these false teachers. He asks God to give them everything they need in order to know the truth about Yeshua as a foundation for every facet of their lives. Throughout the book of Colossians, Paul wants them to remember who Yeshua is and how He has called them to live; to live lives that are dead to sin and alive to the promises of God. He wants their walk with Him to be led by and filled with the Holy Spirit so that they can go on to do good works in the name of Yeshua.

God wants the same for us at Restoration. He wants our hearts to be filled with God’s Ruach (His Spirit) and He wants us to allow His Spirit to lead us and guide us in our everyday lives. This will take a focused commitment on our part to spend time with Him in his word and in prayer. As we move forward as a congregation we need to invite Him into our daily lives, the decisions we make, and the actions we take. When we do this, our walk with Him will be filled with the opportunity to do great and mighty things in His name.

Prayer: Lord, we want to know You for who You really are and not just what culture says about You. Fill us with Your Spirit and help us to be able to recoginze the truth about who You are. Come into our daily lives and make Your home in us; lead us and guide us in every decision and action we take. In Yeshua’s name, amen.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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, May 16, 2018

Omer Devotional Day 47



May 16 at sundown - Day 47
Today is day 47 of counting the Omer 

Today is day 47 out of Egypt
Today is day 47 of Messiah Resurrected


Arriving at Mt. Sinai—Three Days to Prepare (Exodus 19:10-11)

10 So, ADONAI said to Moshe, “Go to the people; today and tomorrow separate them for me by having them wash their clothing;
11 and prepare for the third day. For on the third day, ADONAI will come down on Mount Sinai before the eyes of all the people.”


Reflect:

It is interesting that God would have the children of Israel cleanse themselves and their clothing before meeting with God on the day of Shavuot. We often talk about “getting into God’s presence,” but have you ever considered that God wants to be in your presence? The issue is that we are full of sin and if we were to go into the presence of God with our sin we would die, because being in the presence of God is terrifying. But, if we follow the instructions and cleanse ourselves of our sin, then being in God’s presence can be an amazing experience. For us, as a messianic synagogue, that means we ask God to forgive us of our sin in the name of Yeshua, He forgives us, and then we can be in His presence and He can be in ours. It’s the design of God because he wants to share His presence with us!

Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your tangible presence and Your Holy Spirit. Please forgive me of my sin and wash me clean. I want to experience Your presence in new, fresh, and exciting ways and I want to lead others into Your presence as well. Amen.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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, May 15, 2018

Omer Devotional Day 46



May 15 at sundown - Day 46
Today is day 46 of counting the Omer 

Today is day 46 out of Egypt
Today is day 46 of Messiah Resurrected


The ABC’s of Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)

9 “Therefore, pray in this way: ‘Our Father in heaven, sanctified be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

Reflect:

Prayer is always a good way to start your day. Here Yeshua is teaching us that effective prayer doesn't have to be long-winded or complicated. He lays out a few ABC’s of prayer to help us communicate with God:
  1. 1)  Remember that God is holy. He’s the creator of the universe and worthy of our worship.
  2. 2)  God’s plans are better than our plans. Too often in life, we want to take control of the
    situations we find ourselves in instead of asking God what to do. Making a concious effort to pause and allow God to speak to us about what we are going through literally brings heaven to earth!
  3. 3)  Asking for provision for today is better than worrying about tomorrow. We can rely on God’s faithfulness to meet our daily needs. Worrying about anything more drains our ability to trust God’s constancy in our lives.
  4. 4)  Forgiveness is a key element in communication with God. Asking for forgiveness for our sins and then granting it to others who have offended us is key to having a pure conscience before Adonai. When we admit our sins, God will forgive us. When we forgive others, we imitate God and become more like Yeshua.
  5. 5)  Temptation is a reality for all of us. God doesn’t lead us into temptation, but we ourselves often choose to toy with the idea of sinful behavior. Satan will try to use these opportunities to derail God’s plan for our lives. Asking God for His strength in these moments is crucial to the wellness of our souls.
Let’s commit to using these principles to enrich our daily prayer lives!

Prayer: Lord Yeshua, teach us to pray. Help our prayers be effective and heartfelt. Show us that You hear our prayers by answering from heaven with miracles. Help us to turn our lives over to You and keep us from temptation. Amen.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Omer Devotional Day 45



May 14 at sundown - Day 45
Today is day 45 of counting the Omer 

Today is day 45 out of Egypt
Today is day 45 of Messiah Resurrected


Abraham: the Friend of God (Genesis 12:1-3)

Abram Obeys the Calling
1 Then Adonai said to Abram, “Get going out from your land, and from your relatives, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you.
2 My heart’s desire is to make you into a great nation, to bless you, to make your name great so that you may be a blessing.

3 My desire is to bless those who bless you, but whoever curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.

Reflect:

Abraham was the person who God chose to be the patriarch of the Jewish people. On the outside, this choice seems puzzling. Historical sources name his father Terah as an idol-maker. He wasn’t rich, powerful, or elite. When God spoke to him, he was an 80-year-old man married to his half-sister with no kids! He had no legacy to speak of, and certainly brought nothing to the “table.”
This is precisely why God chose Abraham. God wanted to make His glory and power known to the entire world and to do it, He chose to use the least likely person! We see that Abraham had an open and willing heart towards the promises that God made to him. Our faith ought to be the same. God wants to take the same promises He made to Abraham and weave them into the fiber of our lives. God wants to show us the same faithfulness, the same protection, and the depth of friendship that He shared with Abraham. When we invite Yeshua into our hearts, the relationship we can have with God is one that is based not just on His sovereign ability to protect and provide for us but also on the deep friendship He invites us to participate in.

Prayer: Lord, help us to know that when we accept Yeshua we enter into the same kind of friendship You shared with Abraham. We want the promises that are in the scriptures woven into our lives. Let these promises be the source of the deep friendship You desire to have with us. In Yeshua’s name, amen.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Omer Devotional Day 44


May 13 at sundown - Day 44
Today is day 44 of counting the Omer 

Today is day 44 out of Egypt
Today is day 44 of Messiah Resurrected


Models of Intimacy and Devotion (Ephesians 5:21-33)

Orderly Relationships: Marriage
21 Also submit yourselves to one another out of reverence for Messiah—
22 wives to your own husbands as to the Lord.
23 For the husband is head of the wife, as Messiah also is head of His community—Himself the Savior of the body.
24 But as Messiah’s community is submitted to Messiah, so also the wives to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives just as Messiah also loved His community and gave Himself up for her
26 to make her holy, having cleansed her by immersion in the word.
27 Messiah did this so that He might present to Himself His glorious community—not having stain or wrinkle or any such thing, but in order that she might be holy and blameless.
28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it—just as Messiah also does His community,
30 because we are members of His body.
31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
32 This mystery is great—but I am talking about Messiah and His community.
33 In any case, let each of you love his own wife as himself, and let the wife respect her husband.


Reflect:

Our culture has tried to redefine the relevance and meaning of marriage for quite some time. Today our culture has adopted same-sex marriages, open marriages, or has declared marriage as an outdated institution that was created “to control people.” None of this is true! God instituted marriage between a man and a woman because it reflects the kind of union He wants to have with us! He wants us to experience intimacy and devotion with Him that nurtures our souls and leads us to a deep, lasting, satisfying love that sustains us. Our marriages are to be this way also, reflecting a sacred unity and deep love that is unique to only our spouses. God wants to be at the center of our individual lives and at the center of our marriages. When He is, the selfless love of Yeshua becomes what marriages are based on and how they grow and flourish!

Prayer: Lord, help us to understand all You want our marriages to be; models of the love, intimacy, and care that You desire to have with us. Strengthen each marriage at Restoration and help them to thrive! Amen!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Omer Devotional Day 43


May 12 at sundown - Day 43
Today is day 43 of counting the Omer
Today is day 43 out of Egypt
Today is day 43 of Messiah Resurrected


Equilibirium (2 Peter 1:1-10)

Greetings
1 Simon Peter, a slave and emissary of Messiah Yeshua, To those who have received a faith equal to ours through the righteousness of our God and Savior, Messiah Yeshua:
2 May grace and shalom be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Yeshua our Lord. Qualities for Living Forever
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and virtue.
4 Through these things He has given us His precious and magnificent promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, since you have escaped the corruption that evil desires have brought into the world.
5 Now for this very reason, making every effort, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge;
6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, patience; and to patience, godliness;
7 and to godliness, brotherly love; and to brotherly love, love.
8 For if these qualities are in you and increasing, they keep you from becoming idle and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.
9 But anyone who lacks these qualities is blind—nearsighted because he has forgotten his cleansing from past sins.
10 Therefore, brothers and sisters, make all the more effort to make your calling and election certain—for if you keep doing these things, you will never stumble.


Reflect:

Bringing balance to the many competing elements of our lives is challenging. Whether it be taking care of our families, doing our jobs well, or dealing with circumstances outside of our control (illness, not being able to find a job, death of a loved one), we can become physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted. Instead of being able to find stability in our lives, we can often feel like we are destined to live in constant chaos! God has a better way for us to live; He wants to bring all of these opposing forces into a state of balance, a state of equilibrium. He wants to do this by empowering our faith with seven key elements of His nature (virtue, knowledge, patience, self control, godliness, brotherly love, and love). He does this by hardwiring these elements into our character, by making us more and more like Yeshua each day.

He wants us to understand that adopting the virtuous elements of His nature will lead us to a better knowledge of who He is and what He stands for. This in turn will lead us to exercise the self-control that we need to overcome sin. This self control will lead us to be a more patient and restrained people. At this point godliness (a state of obedience to God) will naturally lend itself to brotherly love (love of those who believe in Yeshua). Focusing on this kind of love will train our hearts to extend the final element, God’s unconditional love towards even our enemies. The synergy we experience with this progression in our lives will empower us to become the purposeful and productive people God wants to be!

Prayer: Abba, we all have circumstances in our lives that are out of balance. Show us that You want to bring these opposing forces into a state of balance by making virtue, knowledge, self control, patience, godliness, brotherly love, and love a chain reaction that will transform our character and make us more like You. Help us to become the purposeful and productive people You created us to be! Amen.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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, May 11, 2018

Omer Devotional Day 42



May 11 at sundown - Day 42
Today is day 42 of counting the Omer 

Today is day 42 out of Egypt
Today is day 42 of Messiah Resurrected


Learning to Follow (Numbers 10:11-13)

11 On the twentieth day of the second month of the second year, the cloud lifted up from above the Tabernacle of the Testimony. 12 Then Bnei-Yisrael set out on their travels in the Sinai wilderness. The cloud came to rest in the wilderness of Paran. 13 So they set out the first time by the mouth of Adonai by Moses’s hand.

Reflect:

For forty years the children of Israel followed the physical presence of God in the form of a cloud by day and a fire by night. On this day, in the second year of wandering in the wilderness, the cloud lifted and moved and the children of Israel packed everything up and followed. Can you imagine how amazing it must have been to follow the physical presence of God? Or how odd it must have been to be walking in circles for forty years because of the people’s failure to take the Promised Land as God had commanded? Maybe you have had a similar experience, but instead of wandering in the desert you’ve been stuck in a pattern that’s left you wanting more. The good news is that we can encounter the tangible presence of God when we accept Yeshua into our lives! After we do this, the Holy Spirit will come into our lives to lead us out of the negative patterns we’re stuck in and into an amazing and awesome future. All we have to do is surrender our desire to lead and learn to follow!

Prayer: Lord, I surrender my desire to lead You. Instead I want to follow. I want You to guide my steps and life in a brand new way. I want to see and feel the tangible Spirit of God in my life. Amen.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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, May 10, 2018

Omer Devotional Day 41


May 10 at sundown - Day 41
Today is day 41 of counting the Omer 

Today is day 41 out of Egypt
Today is day 41 of Messiah Resurrected


God’s Got This (Philippians 4:4-13)

4 Rejoice in the Lord always—again I will say, rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be known to all people. The Lord is near.

 6 Do not be anxious about anything—but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
 7 And the shalom of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Messiah Yeshua.
 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any virtue and if there is anything worthy of praise—dwell on these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—put these things into practice, and the God of shalom will be with you.
The Secret of Contentment
10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me (though you were concerned before but lacked opportunity to show it).
 11 I am not saying this because I am in need—for whatever circumstance I am in, I have learned to be content.
 12 I know what it is to live with humble means, and I know what it is to live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment—both to be filled and to go hungry, to have abundance and to suffer need.
 13 I can do all things through Messiah who strengthens me.

Reflect:

Sometimes we want something so bad that the desire for it can drive us crazy. It doesn't matter if it is that new job, that special relationship, or that new item that everyone is buying. They can all lead us to a place of discontentment with the gifts that God has already given us. Read Philippians 4:6-7. This passage tells us not to worry about anything but pray about everything! It tells us that in doing so God will give us a peace that others cannot understand. He will guard our hearts against all harm and danger. It is good to know that God is listening to your prayer requests and providing you peace and protection. Getting the answers back from God can take time, but the patience we develop while we wait upon the Lord leads us to contentment and gratitude. This is the place where restoration and healing can begin in your life and the lives of others.

Prayer: Lord, I want to live a life free from anxiety and depression. I want to put my full trust in You and to be content. I want to have peace in my heart. Help me live my life for You and hear Your voice. In Yeshua’s name, amen.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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, May 9, 2018

Omer Devotional Day 40


May 9 at sundown - Day 40
Today is day 40 of counting the Omer 

Today is day 40 out of Egypt
Today is day 40 of Messiah Resurrected


Now Is the Time (Acts 1:1-11)

When Will Yeshua Restore the Kingdom?1 I wrote the first volume, Theophilus, about all that Yeshua began to do and teach—
2 up to the day He was taken up, after He had given orders by the Ruach ha-Kodesh to the emissaries He had chosen.
3 To them He showed Himself to be alive after His suffering through many convincing proofs, appearing to them for forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
4 Now while staying with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father promised—which, He said, “you heard from Me.
5 For John immersed with water, but you will be immersed in the Ruach ha-Kodesh not many days from now.”
6 So when they gathered together, they asked Him, “Lord, are You restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?”
7 He said to them, “It is not your place to know the times or seasons which the Father has placed under His own control.
8 But you will receive power when the Ruach ha-Kodesh has come upon you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and through all Judah, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
9 After saying all this—while they were watching—He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
10 While they were staring into heaven as He went up, suddenly two men stood with them in white clothing.
11 They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you keep standing here staring into heaven? This Yeshua, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven.”


Reflect:

The fortieth day is an important day in the counting of the Omer. There are only ten days left to Shavuot and on this day Yeshua ascends into heaven. The focus of his ascension was to encourage his disciples with the words, “You will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and through all Judah, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Interestingly, they really don’t go to the ends of the earth for another fifteen years. They continue to focus on Jerusalem and Samaria and Jewish people. In Acts 10, about fourteen years later, Peter shares the Gospel with a Gentile named Cornelius and he and all of his household turn to Yeshua. This opens the doors to the ends of the earth and the disciples begin to travel all over the known world telling the nations the story of Yeshua and encouraging them to put their trust in Him. Yeshua leaves the disciples with a command and after he is gone they just stand there. They’re so amazed by what just happened that an Angel says to them, “Why do you keep standing here staring into heaven?” The Angel’s message is essentially, “Stop staring and get to work!” The real work doesn't begin right away; it takes time. Think about the last fifteen years and how many things have changed. Maybe now is the time to do the things that God has called you to do?

Prayer: Lord, I don't want to wait and stare into Heaven, I want to do the things that you have called me to do. I know you have a greater purpose than I am living out right now. Help me to live a life worthy of the great calling that I have received. Amen.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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, May 8, 2018

Omer Devotional Day 39


May 8 at sundown - Day 39
Today is day 39 of counting the Omer 

Today is day 39 out of Egypt
Today is day 39 of Messiah Resurrected


Reaping Bountifully (2 Corinthians 9:6-13)

Sowing and Reaping Generosity
6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully.
7 Let each one give as he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion—for God loves a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace overflow to you, so that by always having enough of everything, you may overflow in every good work.
9 As it is written, “He scattered widely, He gave to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.” 10 Now the One who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
11 You will be enriched in everything for all generosity, which through us brings about thanksgiving to God.
12 For this service of giving is not only supplying the needs of the kedoshim, but is also overflowing with many thanksgivings to God.
13 Because of the evidence of this service, they praise God for the obedience of your affirmation of the Good News of Messiah and for the generosity of your contribution to them and to everyone.


Reflect:

We may often look at our household bills and the things our families want with nervousness. There may be an unspoken fear that we may run out of resources, that our kids won't be living the fullest life possible with the best possible outcome. Instead of being fearful about our lack of resources or losing them, Paul is challenging us to look at giving and generosity in a different way. He is showing us that “reaping bountifully” isn’t the result of keeping resources to ourselves but instead the result of being generous! At Restoration we call this being irrationally generous. As a congregation we give out 12.5% percent of the tithes and offerings we receive to charitable organizations such as Seattle Children’s Hospital, the Everett Pregnancy Resource Center, Seattle Union Gospel Mission, and many more. We firmly believe being irrationally generous is a discipline that God has called us to, and we encourage those who attend to do the same!

Prayer: Lord, show us how to be irrationally generous. Help us to understand that You want us to sow into our congregation’s finances and the lives of others. In Yeshua’s name, amen.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Omer Devotional Day 38


May 7 at sundown - Day 38
Today is day 38 of counting the Omer 

Today is day 38 out of Egypt
Today is day 38 of Messiah Resurrected


Oh Yes You Can! (Jeremiah 1:1-19)

The Call of Jeremiah
1 The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the kohanim who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin.
2 The word of Adonai came to him during the days of King Josiah of Judah, son of Amon, in the thirteenth year of his reign.

3 It continued during the days of King Jehoiakim of Judah, son of Josiah, until the end of the eleventh year of King Zedekiah of Judah, son of Josiah—until the exile from Jerusalem in the fifth month.
4 The word of Adonai came to me, saying:

5 “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I set you apart—I appointed you prophet to the nations.”
6 Then I said, “Alas, Adonai Elohim! Look, I don’t know how to speak! For I’m still a boy!”
7 But Adonai answered me, “Do not say ‘I’m only a boy!’ For to everyone I send you, you will go, and all I command you, you will speak.

8 Do not be afraid of them! For I am with you to deliver you.” It is a declaration of Adonai.
9 Then Adonai stretched out His hand and touched my mouth and Adonai said to me, “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.
10 See, today I have appointed you over nations and over kingdoms: to uproot and to tear down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”
11 Moreover, the word of Adonai came to me, saying, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I answered, “I see an almond branch.”
12 Then Adonai said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching over My word to perform it.”
13 The word of Adonai came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” I replied, “I see a boiling pot that is tilting away from the north.”
14 Then Adonai said to me: “From the north, disaster will be poured out on all the inhabitants of the land.
15 Behold! I am calling all the families of the kingdoms of the north.” It is a declaration of Adonai. “So they will come and each will set up his throne at the entry of the gates of Jerusalem, against all her surrounding walls and against all the cities of Judah.
16 I will pronounce My judgments on them for all their wickedness—they have forsaken Me, offering incense to other gods, worshipping the works of their hands.
17 Now, you, gird up your loins! Get up and tell them everything that I order you! Do not be terrified by them, or else I will terrify you before them.
18 Look, today I have set you up as a fortified city—an iron pillar and bronze walls—against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its princes against its kohanim, and against the people of the land.
19 Though they will fight against you, they will not win, for I am with you, to deliver you.” It is a declaration of Adonai.


Reflect:

We can learn a lot from this passage about God’s commissioning of Jeremiah’s ministry. Here we see a young man filled with doubt about his abilities. It is important to note that God didn’t answer Jeremiah’s doubt with good advice. Instead, He answers Jeremiah’s “but I cant’s” with a series of “don’ts”: Don’t say you can’t do it, don't say you're too young, and most importantly don’t fear. He reminds Jeremiah at the end of his commissioning that He made Jeremiah and that overshadowed any of his limitations or circumstances. The same is true for us today. Instead of looking at ourselves and what we lack, we can take hold of who God created us to be. We can become people created by Him to tell others of His love and the salvation that they can have when they invite Yeshua into their hearts. This is at the core of being Yeshua’s disciple and our calling here at Restoration.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, empower me with Your Holy Spirit so that I can move forward with courage, conviction, and tenacity. I give all my fears to You and I want to trust that You have good plans for me. Amen.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Omer Devotional Day 37


May 6 at sundown - Day 37
Today is day 37 of counting the Omer 

Today is day 37 out of Egypt
Today is day 37 of Messiah Resurrected


The Joy of Renewal (And Smashing Idols) (2 Chronicles (30:23-31:1)

23 Then the whole congregation decided to celebrate seven more days—so for another seven days they celebrated with gladness.
24 Hezekiah king of Judah contributed 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep to the congregation, and the officials contributed 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep to the congregation, and great numbers of kohanim consecrated themselves.

25 The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced with the kohanim and the Levites, and all who had assembled from Israel, both the strangers coming from the land of Israel and the residents of Judah.
26 There was great joy in Jerusalem, for nothing like this had happened in Jerusalem since the time of Solomon son of David king of Israel.

27 Then the Levitical kohanim arose and blessed the people, and Adonai heard their voice, for their prayer reached heaven, His holy dwelling place.
Restoring the Kohanim and Levites
1 When all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the towns of Judah and smashed the pillars, smashed the Asherah poles and demolished the high places and the altars throughout all Judah and Benjamin, as well as throughout Ephraim and Manasseh, until they had destroyed them all. Then all Bnei-Yisrael returned to their towns, each to their own property.

Reflect:

To say Hezekiah’s father Ahaz was a king who didn’t follow after God is an understatement. He made idols that turned the people away from God and to idolatry. While worshipping these idols, he even had his own children burned alive. God gave him and the kingdom of Judah over to their enemies, and the subsequent occupation by foriegn invaders left the land in disarray. After his death, Hezekiah his son took the throne. Hezekiah feared God and desired to do what was right. This sparked a renewal that began a spiritual transformation among the people of Israel. The Israelites turned to God in such numbers that there were not enough Kohanim (priests) around to handle the offerings of cattle that were being brought into the Temple. Those in Jerusalem agreed; they needed to celebrate a 2nd Passover (see Day 25 of this devotional for information on this special holiday). The result was a great joy that was felt by all those in Jerusalem! Afterward the people (of their own volition) decided that Ahaz’s idols needed to be torn down in order for them to worship the One true God.

Prayer: Abba, please help us to turn to You with all of our hearts. Pour out Your Spirit and bring renewal to our city, our nation, Israel, and the whole world. Bring great joy among us as we worship You! Amen!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Omer Devotional Day 36



May 5 at sundown - Day 36
Today is day 36 of counting the Omer 

Today is day 36 out of Egypt
Today is day 36 of Messiah Resurrected


God-Developed Leaders (1 Peter 5:1-6)

Shepherds Lead by Example
1 Therefore I appeal to the elders among you—as a fellow elder and witness of Messiah’s sufferings, and a partaker also of the glory about to be revealed—
2 shepherd God’s flock among you. Watch over it not under compulsion but willingly before God, not for dishonest gain but eagerly.

3 Don’t lord it over those apportioned to you, but become examples to the flock.
4 When the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
5 Likewise, you younger ones, submit yourselves to the elders. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He may lift you up at the appropriate time.


Reflect:

Peter learned a lot of lessons this way. He was a natural leader, one who had limitless energy and a “can-do” attitude. He was quick to volunteer, and people must have really liked him. God uniquely equips leaders like Peter. God gives them natural gifts and abilities to help them fulfill their calling, but they still must learn to lead. Oftentimes this process is marked by more failures than successes. It is the leader’s job to follow after God and wait for Him to produce results instead of trying to make it happen on their own. For leaders (particularly young ones), it is difficult to learn to wait for God’s timing and to recognize what season God has them and their flock in. They need discernment, support, and other leaders speaking into their lives to help them hear God’s voice. Above all, good leaders are servants who seek the good of others before their own. This is the example that Yeshua laid out for all of us, but is particularly a quality He develops in those He calls to leadership.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the leaders You have raised up and the new leaders You are raising up in our congregation. Teach our leaders to hear Your voice, and show them how to lead your flock. Please give them the support, discernment, and encouragement that they need along with the humility to listen to others You have called to speak into their lives. In Yeshua’s name, amen.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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.