Intersession

Acts 27:21-25, 33-38

It was then, when they had gone a long time without eating, that Sha’ul stood up in front of them and said, “You should have listened to me and not set out from Crete; if you had, you would have escaped this disastrous loss.  But now, my advice to you is to take heart; because not one of you will lose his life—only the ship will be lost.  For this very night, there stood next to me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve.  He said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Sha’ul! you have to stand before the Emperor. Look! God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.’  So, men, take heart! For I trust God and believe that what I have been told will come true.

Just before daybreak, Sha’ul urged them all to eat, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day you have been in suspense, going hungry, eating nothing.  Therefore I advise you to take some food; you need it for your own survival. For not one of you will lose so much as a hair from his head.” When he had said this, he took bread, said the b’rakhah to God in front of everyone, broke it and began to eat.  With courage restored, they all ate some food themselves.  Altogether there were 276 of us on board the ship.  After they had eaten all they wanted, they lightened the ship by dumping the grain into the sea.

 

As believers in ADONAI we are to be encouragers of the people around us.  Sha’ul with divine vision from God had already foretold of this disaster that this ship would face leaving Crete during the winter storm season.  Yet he stood in the gap and prayed for the people around him until he had redeemed all that were on the ship with him.  Again, his prayers encouraged them and convinced them to eat so that they would have the strength to fight the last bit to the shore.  By standing firm in our trust like Sha’ul we too can encourage others when they are being tossed about by life’s storms.  Sharing our heart in prayer with them can open doors that would have otherwise been closed because they were too distracted by the storm to seek ADONAI.  Lord let me always be a beacon of Your love to everyone no matter where they are from You.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

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Give Praise

Psalms 22:26-29

Because of you

I give praise in the great assembly;

I will fulfill my vows

in the sight of those who fear him.

The poor will eat and be satisfied;

those who seek ADONAI will praise him;

Your hearts will enjoy life forever.

All the ends of the earth

will remember and turn to ADONAI;

all the clans of the nations

will worship in your presence.

For the kingdom belongs to ADONAI,

and he rules the nations.

 

It is not for power or placement but for the worship of ADONAI alone that I testify like King David to all that ADONAI has done in my life.  It is by our testimony of the body of believers that all will come to know Him and bow down to His authority in our lives.  It is in that authority that all will be satisfied in their needs so that they too can worship ADONAI and we will all know the peace of His presence among us, for we will have Shalom.  Lord let Your day come quickly and let us see Your face and the blessings that it brings.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

 

Where our help comes from

Numbers 3:5-7

ADONAI said to Moshe, “Summon the tribe of Levi, and assign them to Aharon the cohen, so that they can help him.  They are to carry out his duties and the duties of the whole community before the tent of meeting in performing the service of the tabernacle.

Just as He did not expect Aharon to take care of every single stitch of the tabernacle but assigned the whole tribe of Levi to help him, there is no task that ADONAI assigns us that He hasn’t placed people to help us to achieve the goal He has for us.  God sees our needs long before we can even conceive of them and has an answer for us.  Lord let me always see Your hand as You move in my life.  Let my service be pleasing to You.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Stop Window Shopping and come in

Acts 24:22-25

But Felix, who had rather detailed knowledge of things connected with the Way, put them off, saying, “When Lysias the commander comes down, I will decide your case.”  He ordered the captain to keep Sha’ul in custody, but to let him have considerable liberty and not prevent any of his friends from taking care of his needs.

After some days, Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Sha’ul and listened to him as he spoke about trusting in the Messiah Yeshua.  But when Sha’ul began to discuss righteousness, self-control and the coming Judgment, Felix became frightened and said, “For the time being, go away! I will send for you when I get a chance.”

Felix knew the Word and Torah!  I am sure his wife kept the feast days and that he participated but when it came to take a stand for ADONAI and give up things that were near and dear to his selfish heart such as righteousness, self-control and judgement He became frightened and recoiled from confessing true trust in ADONAI.  Like many people Felix returned again and again to hear Sha’ul testify about God, but he could never fully let go of the selfish desires that kept him from truly trusting.  I too like Felix knew of the Word and God’s hand in my life, I even heard him speak directly to me and I had a good and faithful wife who served the Lord until her death.  Yet it wasn’t until I was in the pit of mourning and rebellion against God that I was truly ready to sacrifice all my selfishness to let God tell me who He saw me as in His eye and hold me in His hand from that point on.  Lord I pray that everyone will be able to see who You would have them to be, everything You desire for them and let it reflect through me so that everyone can come to trust in You and Your salvation in Yeshua.  I ask this in Yeshua as He taught us, amen.

Turn Back to God

Leviticus 26:23-26
“‘If, in spite of all this, you refuse my correction and still go against me; then I too will go against you; and I, yes I, will strike you seven times over for your sins. I will bring a sword against you which will execute the vengeance of the covenant. You will be huddled inside your cities, I will send sickness among you, and you will be handed over to the power of the enemy. I will cut off your supply of bread, so that ten women will bake your bread in one oven and dole out your bread by weight, and you will eat but not be satisfied.
 
The very things that are affecting our nation and yet there is no great outcry to return to ADONAI. Gun violence has exploded not because guns are easy to get ahold of but because as a nation we have dumbed down the value of human life by accepting sin as a normal. We murder our own children as a matter of convenience, childhood illness has returned, and we have yet to have a successful military engagement since World War 2. Now with the wildfires and droughts that we have experienced over the past ten years food prices going up up up. When will we learn that as a nation our prosperity is linked to the blessings that God gives us when we worship Him. Lord forgive my hateful nation and let these ox goads bring us back to You. Lord let Your face shine upon us once more so that we can be bound together as one new man. I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Fear ADONAI

Psalm 25:12-14

Who is the person who fears ADONAI?

He will teach him the way to choose.

He will remain prosperous,

and his descendants will inherit the land.

ADONAI relates intimately with those who fear him;

he makes them know his covenant.

 

I cannot learn from ADONAI until I understand His authority and kingship in my life.  As Shlomo wrote in Proverbs “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom” (Proverbs 1:7).  Before I can function in anything, I must recognize God’s authority over me in everything.  It is in this authority that He directs me so I may live in the land of His choosing just as the nation of Isra’el did after wandering for 40 years in the wilderness.  God’s blessing in my life only exist if I submit to His authority, to step outside His authority back into selfish sin is only to be rewarded with ADONAI removing His blessing from my life because He will not reside with sin. But clinging to the covenant promised in Torah and fulfilled in Yeshua ADONAI fills me with His Ruach so I may know Him more intimately and follow Him even more closely.  Lord let my heart always be an ark to store Your Word so my path is always lit and I will follow Your will for my life.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Hearing Clearly

Acts 21:10-14

While we were staying there, a prophet named Agav came down from Y’hudah to visit us. He took Sha’ul’s belt, tied up his own hands and feet and said, “Here is what the Ruach HaKodesh says: the man who owns this belt—the Judeans in Yerushalayim will tie him up just like this and hand him over to the Goyim.”  When we heard this, both we and the people there begged him not to go up to Yerushalayim; but Sha’ul answered, “What are you doing, crying and trying to weaken my resolve? I am prepared not only to be tied up, but even to die in Yerushalayim for the name of the Lord Yeshua.”  And when he would not be convinced, we said, “May the Lord’s will be done,” and kept quiet.

 

It is to my shame I don’t hear the voice of ADONAI as clearly as Sha’ul did.  The few times I have heard God speak to me like Sha’ul I acted on it.  There is a power in that command that no one who loves the Lord can deny.  Sha’ul knew what would be coming as he returned to Yerushalayim, the Ruach had already told him that imprisonment and persecution awaited him, just as he told the elders of Ephesus who thought they were trying to warn him but in fact were confirming the very Word of God to Sha’ul.  They were giving their words out of context of what ADONAI had already told Sha’ul.  We as believers must grow our trust to be like Sha’ul’s and obey in the context of everything God tells us so that even if we are faced with trials in our lives we will heed and obey ADONAI to His glory and testify to all that He has done for us no matter our circumstances.  Lord let me speak of my love and trust in You in every aspect of my life.  Let me be as Sha’ul, obedient to Your will at all times.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Set Apart to be Holy

Leviticus 22:31-33

“You are to keep my mitzvot and obey them; I am ADONAI.  You are not to profane my holy name; on the contrary, I am to be regarded as holy among the people of Isra’el; I am ADONAI, who makes you holy, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God; I am ADONAI.”

We in our own power cannot make ourselves holy only ADONAI can do that.  Once we have accepted the sacrifice of Yeshua and the indwelling of the Ruach we must live as a people set apart.  It is by God’s power and grace that He has set us apart and as His emissaries we must show the rest of the world what that means.  One of my greatest fears is that I may be all the Word of God a person will see in their life, am I truly the light on the hill that will show them to accept God’s salvation?  How can I, unless I obey the mitzvots He has given to guide us in our lives.  Lord every day I pray to write the words of Your Torah on my heart.  Let me be filled with Your love and kindness so that the world will know who the King in my life is.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Praise in all things, He is there

Psalms 13:1-6

For the leader. A psalm of David:

How long, ADONAI?

Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I keep asking myself what to do,

with sorrow in my heart every day?

How long must my enemy dominate me?

Look, and answer me, ADONAI my God!

Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death.

Then my enemy would say, “I was able to beat him”;

and my adversaries would rejoice at my downfall.

But I trust in your grace,

my heart rejoices as you bring me to safety.

I will sing to ADONAI, because he gives me

even more than I need.

 

Scholars believe this psalm was written during Absalom’s rebellion, who else but family could hurt one so?  Yet David shows that even in the darkest of arguments we must seek ADONAI not only for our part in the problem, but so that God gives light to our eyes so that we will not only see death as the solution.  It is in His salvation that we must trust and rejoice no matter the chaos around us so that we may cling to life and that life more abundantly through Yeshua’s salvation and the infilling of the Ruach HaKodesh.  Lord remove the veil from my eyes so that I see Your hand in all things.  Let me rejoice in all things, not just find silver linings but see the truly mighty works You are doing in this time and season.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Refreshing

Acts 18:9-11
One night, in a vision, the Lord said to Sha’ul, “Don’t be afraid, but speak right up, and don’t stop, because I am with you. No one will succeed in harming you, for I have many people in this city.” So Sha’ul stayed there for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.
 
Prior to this apart from his hometown, Sha’ul had been beaten, jailed or stoned for sharing the Word of salvation through Yeshua. How comforting must it had been that the Ruach would let him know he could take the time to truly establish a strong congregation. We are in such times as Sha’ul when the Word of God needs to be shared out to everyone so we must take advantage when ADONAI grants us time to study His Word and dwell among a group so that their trust will be strong in the times ahead. Lord Thank You for letting me be apart of a congregation that serves You and not themselves. Keep provoking me to draw closer to You. I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.