Archive for the ‘Teshuvah 40 Day Devotional’ Category

PROCRASTINATION IS FEAR BASED

The textbook case for spiritual procrastination would be Pharoah when he told Moses he wanted the frogs to be gone ‘tomorrow‘.  (Exodus 8:9-10) Who or what was he afraid of? If I was Pharoah I would want the frogs out of my bed & soup NOW! Was he afraid of his reputation, that he could not handle a little thing like frogs?

Amplified Bible, Psalm 27:1, “The LORD is my Light and my Salvation – whom shall I fear or dread? The LORD is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life – of whom shall be afraid?”

I want to focus on DREAD today. Now is the time during Teshuvah for Fall Housecleaning- both in the natural and spiritual. If your closets and drawers are like some of mine, the task overwhelming. It is easier to tackle ‘tomorrow‘.

God has been teaching me to ‘order my day’ and to  ‘value my time’. My prayer and study room was so cluttered I did not even want to be in that room. After a 2 days cleaning of book shelves, trips to Good Will to donate, shampoo carpet, clean windows it is a room that is now quiet and comfortable. I can easily settle in and hear from God in my study again. Mess causes stress and when you are stressed you do not have the peace and  quiet to hear what God is saying to you.

Whatever it is we need to do today we need to do today. Procrastination surely is the thief of time. There are many reasons why we put things off—apathy, fear, anxiety, uncertainty, habit, indifference, passive resistance, and/or just plain not-getting-around-to-doing-it. Whatever the reason, there are some things that are far too critical to put off until a more convenient time—especially putting our life right with God. Today is the only day we ever have. Yesterday is gone forever. Tomorrow never comes.

Hazak! Hazak! V’nit’ chazak! Be strong! Be strong! And let us be strengthened!

Every day for 40 days the entire Psalm 27 is read aloud by every observing Jew. As they proclaim this they are forming a protective shield over themselves by the words of their mouths and as an army of covenant people they are forming a shield around the nation. Verses 2-3 read, “When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. (3) Though an army may encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident.”

This next week is the 2012 Republican National Convention. This will be the 3rd straight Republican National Convention that has been associated with major Hurricanes.

  • 2004, Hurricane Frances (Frances means ‘free man’, ‘free from France’)
  • 2008, Hurricane Gustav (Gustav means ‘staff of the gods’)
  • 2012, Hurricane Isaac (Isaac means ‘laughter’) [at present Isaac is still a tropical storm]

Hurricane Isaac is coming on the 7th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. All of these events have to do with the United State’s intention to divide the Promised Land of Israel. (Katrina has been associated with the removal of the Jews from the Gaza Strip). President George W Bush prepared the ‘two state solution’ in 2002, 10 years ago. We need to pray that our nation will dispel with their intervention to divide God’s covenant land. God’s Word stands, “Whoever blesses Israel will be blessed.”

The date of August 29 on the Hebrew calendar is Elul 11. I looked up in history and on that day 3 things stand out in history. (all 3 have to do with moving Jewish people)

  1. 1563– Expulsion of the Jewish community in Moravia
  2. 1943– Liquidation of the ghetto of Minsk and Lida
  3. 1950Operation Magic Carpet was concluded (1949-1950) 430 planes were secretly used to bring 45,000 Jews from Yemen to Israel as on ‘wings of eagles’, mostly Yemenite children. (some figures say 50,000) These were part of the Lost Tribes of Israel and had been in Yemen since 7th century BC.

Hosea 14:1, O Israel, return to the LORD your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity. Verses 5-8 tell of God’s promises to restore His people with fruitfulness (the lily), stability (roots like the cedars of Lebanon), beauty (olive tree), and fragrance (wine). Hosea’s name means ‘Salvation’ or ‘Deliverance’.

May this be the Teshuvah (season of returning to the Lord) that God’s covenant people spiritually come back to the Lord.  My prayer is from Ephesians 3:19, (Amplified) “[That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]: that you may be filled [through our being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself].”

I WILL NOT FEAR – I WILL TRUST

Luke 21:26a in the Amplified Bible reads, “Men swooning away or expiring with fear and dread and apprehension and expectation of the things that are coming on the world”. This is a warning to us of what will happen is the Last Days, the days I believe we are living in right now.

Isaiah 51:12 in the Message Bible reads, “[ What Are You Afraid of—or Who? ] “I, I’m the One comforting you.  What are you afraid of—or who?”

Are you afraid of what party will win the election? Are you worrying about your financial future as you are feeding on the media’s opinion of what is happening in the world? Are you deeply concerned about your healthcare? What if I get cancer and no insurance? What are you looking at? What is your faith, in the Eternal Living God who never changes? Or this world system that changes from day to day?

So I am asking you, what are you afraid of- and who? Today, boldly say:

The LORD is my light and my salvation– so why should I be afraid? The LORD protects me from danger– so why should I tremble?

The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear.

Now is the time to settle it in your heart- The LORD is your salvation.  The government is not your salvation, the doctor is not your salvation, the banker is not your salvation- The LORD is your salvation.

The Hebrew word for salvation here is yesha, meaning ‘deliverance, salvation, rescue, safety, welfare, prosperity and  victory. This word is used in the 1st & 9th verse of Psalm 27.

Does it make a difference to our lives what we say? Our body is made up of 60% water and recently science is proving what the Bible has told us regarding words.  Here is a sample of that scientific study done by a Japanese doctor, Dr Emoto. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIX76QZ-d58

Proverbs 18:21 tells us “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit“.

Matthew 12:27 records Jesus saying, “The words you say now reflect your fate then; either you will be justified by them or you will be condemned.” (NLT)

James 1:26 records Pastor James instructing, “If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are just fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. (NLT)

In Rabbinical teaching, holding one’s tongue is called “Shmiras Haloshom“. Below is a comment from the devotional, Chofetz Chaim, A Lesson A Day:

“It is Hashem’s desire to shower His people with His limitless store of mercy. When people act compassionately by using their words for good, they allow Hashem’s compassion to flow from its Source into their lives. Shmiras Haloshon not only opens the gates of Heaven to one’s prayers, it manifests Hashem’s protection upon His beloved nation by drawing upon them generous measure of His limitless mercy.”

Today is a good time to begin sowing your words that our Lord Jesus Christ is our Salvation. Our body and life will respond best to our words. We are designed to be the prophet of our own lives.

Sometimes I like to read different translations in my devotion times and the Message Bible is so rich in the wording for Psalm 27. Read this aloud to yourself today. Remember, faith comes by hearing and your voice will impact your faith more than anyone else can.

PSALM 27 (MESSAGE BIBLE TRANSLATION)

Light, space, zest- that’s God! So with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing.

When vandal hordes ride down ready to eat me alive, those bullies and toughs fall flat on their faces.

When besieged, I’m calm as a baby. When all hell breaks loose, I’m collected and cool.

I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing: to live with him in his house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet.

That’s the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, the perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic.

God holds me head and shoulders above all who try to pull me down. I’m headed for his place to offer anthems that will raise the roof!  Already I’m singing God-songs; I’m making music to God.

Listen, God, I’m calling at the top of my lungs; “Be good to me! Answer me!” When my heart whispered, “Seek God,” my whole heart replied, “I’m seeking him!” Don’t hide from me now!

You’ve always been right there for me; don’t turn yor back on me now. Don’t throw me out, don’t abandon me; you’ve always kept the door open. My father and mother walked out and left me, but God took me in.

Point me down your highways, God; direct me along the well-lighted street; show my enemies whose side you’re on. Don’t throw me to the dogs, those liars who are out to get me, filling the air with their threats.

I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness in the exuberant earth. Stay with God! Take heart. Don’t quit. I’ll say it again: Stay with God.

Psalm 27:1, The LORD is my light…….

Light is the first thing God brought forth in Genesis 1, “Let there be light”- In Hebrew it reads, “Hayah owr”, Light be! It was a command! ‘According to the Midrash, the original light was of an intense spiritual quality… ‘ (Chumash commentary by Rashi)

The first thing mentioned in the Bible is called “the law of first mention” and is very important. This is the first words  recorded that was spoken out of Creator God’s voice as a command, “Light Be!”

The Apostle John had such an incredible revelation of the power of the love of Jesus that they could not kill him. They even boiled him in oil and he did not die. He opens his Gospel of Good News, according to his time while Jesus ministered with these words: John 1:1, In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God. (2) He was in the beginning with God. (3) He created everything there is. Nothing exists that he didn’t make. (4) Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone. (5) The light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. (9) The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was going to come into the world. (NLT)

Jesus is the Word and when you set your desires to spend time reading and meditating on the Word of God, you are fellowshipping with Jesus. Cleansing yourself of unrighteousness is not such a hard thing to do, you don’t have to tarry long at the altar, weeping, begging to be cleansed. Just purpose to spend time in the Word of God and the light will dispel all the darkness. The more you walk in the light, the freer you will become.

I John 1:9, But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Psalm 27:1, A Psalm of David. THE LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27 is read aloud every day for the 40 days of turning ourselves back to the things of God, and God Himself with our whole heart. It is a time of cleansing ourselves of anything that would draw us away from His perfect will and presence.

First of all, we see this as a Psalm of David, known as a ‘man after God’s own heart’.

Acts 13:22 says, “But God removed him from the kingship and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, `David son of Jesse is a man after my own heart, for he will do everything I want him to.’ ‘” (I Samuel 13:14)

We have read how David failed, but after he returned to the Lord he was cleansed of all unrighteousness and brought back to a place of new mercies. This morning when you woke, you woke to new mercies. God is faithful. He loves you and wants to make all things new in your life, a fresh beginning. Return to the Lord where there is forgiveness, safety, love and healing.

David got to know his covenant LORD through his trials, battles, successes, failures and worship. David killed a giant while he was bragging on his LORD’s name. (I Samuel 17:45)

He understood how the LORD was his shepherd and took good care of him as a helpless little lamb. (Psalm 23)

Magnify God- make Him the biggest part of your day today! Make God bigger than your mountain and see what the Lord of Hosts will do!!

All it takes to dispell the works of darkness is light. He is your light! Allow Him, let Him shine in your life today.

Every day for 40 days of Teshuvah the 27th Psalm is read aloud.

First of all, what is Teshuvah? Teshuvah is a 40 day season of time for introspection, judging yourself. It begins Elul 1 and ends Yom Kippur  (Day of Atonement). The last 10 days are known as The Days of Awe.

The Hebrew root for Teshuvah is shuv, number  H7725 in the Strong’s Concordance and it means to return, to turn back, to restore, to cause to return. Spiritually speaking it is turning back to God. He never changes and if you feel distant from Him it is because you have distanced yourself by your own desires and choices in life. It is now an open portal to return to the Lord.

Jeremiah 24:7, ‘Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return (shuv) to Me with their whole heart.

Days of Awe

Posted: September 16, 2010 in Teshuvah 40 Day Devotional

Rosh Hashanah (Head of the Year) began last Wednesday at sundown, September 8, 2010 which turned Tishri 1, 5771 on the Hebrew calendar. Keep in mind the Jewish day always begins at nightfall. (Gen 1:5b, “And the evening and the morning were the first day”)

The Feast of Trumpets (also called Rosh Hashanah or Yom Teruah) begins by the blowing of trumpets (shofars or rams horns). There are 100 blasts of the shofar:

  • Tekiah blast“- awakening sound, one long blast (3 second)
  • Shevarim, “broken”- three shorter ones- weeping, lamenting, broken heart
  • Teruah, “alarm”, nine quick blasts in short succession (totaling 3 seconds)
  • These series are blown 11 times for a total of 99 blasts
  • After that, the final blast is knows as Tekiah Hagodolah, “great blast” or “THE LAST TRUMP”! (minimum of 10 seconds)

Rosh Hashanah began 10 Days of Awe that will end on Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement that begins at nightfall Friday evening, September 17, which begins Tishri 10 on the Hebraic calendar. Yom Kippur ends the 40 days of Teshuvah (repentance, turning back to God). For 40 days they have been reading aloud Psalm 27, as they make a Chuppah (canopy or covenant covering) over themselves and their loved one. They have also been making restitution to those who they have harmed, giving to the poor and doing acts of kindness. (things we should do daily, but neglect)

At the time of the blowing of the trumpets on Rosh Hashanah, it is believed by the observing Jewish people that these blasts are heard in heaven and 3 books are opened. Malachi 3:16, “Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name. (17) “They shall be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels.* And I will spare them As a man spares his own son who serves him. (18) Then you shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked, Between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him.” (Also see Revelation 20:12)

  1. Book of the Righteous sealed with the seal of God who would immediately be written for good life the next year (Revelation 3:5)
  2. Book of the Unrighteous, who would be judged during the year; the totally unrighteous whose names are blotted out.(Ps 69:28)
  3. Book of the Intermediate, those who are not completely righteous or wicked. They would have until the Day of Atonement to make restitution and get right with God or they would not be in the Book of Life. (Joel 3:14)

L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu
Literal Hebrew to English Translation: “May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for a good year.” This traditional Rosh HaShanah greeting wishes others a good year and is often shorted to “Shanah Tovah” (Good Year).

Years ago, the Rabbis realized that Ha’Satan (The Accuser) actually has the numberical value of the Hebrew letters of 364. They believed that there was one day that Ha’satan did not have access to them, The Day of Atonement which is the day when the blood was put on the Mercy Seat on the Holy of Holies for the sins of the nation.

As a believer, I am spending the Days of Awe praying for our nation, the nation of Israel and for the Jewish people to find Jesus as their Messiah.

Ezekiel 22:30, “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”

How many is our LORD going to find this year? Are you one of those who stand in the gap?

What we say reveal our heart.

What we say and how we say it is who we are. Angry, hurtful words define an angry, hurtful person. Kind, compassionate words define a kind, considerate person (Chofetz Chaim, page xxi) But more than anything, words are the sole medium through which the Jew fulfills the purpose for which he was created – to communicate Hashem’s greatness and presence in this world. (page xxii)

Today is understood to be the first  day of Creation that God said “Light Be!”.  This brought the creating Spirit  presence back into the earth. We also are created to create with our words.

This 40 days of Turning Back to God (Teshuvah), the most important thing we can do is judge everything we say according to the royal law of love. I Cor 13:4-7, everything.  But don’t walk around not saying anything, speak praises unto God where ever you are, bringing light into this dark world.