EXPERIENCING RESTORATION – Tuesday April 9th 2019
Memorise: Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. Acts 3:19
Read: Ezra 9:1-9 (KJV)
1 Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.
2 For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.
3 And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied.
4 Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice.
Bible in one year: 1st Peter 5-2, Peter 3, Jeremiah 14:13-22, Hymn: Sing hymn 2
Restoration presupposes the loss of something good and valuable.
OPEN HEAVEN [9 APRIL 2019] EXPERIENCING RESTORATION
Today’s Bible reading tells the story of God’s people who were in need of restoration after returning from the land of captivity. I believe their example contains valuable lessons for those seeking the face of God for restoration in one form or the other. When a people are carried away into a strange land as captives, there is the tendency for them to lose their identity and character as their virtues get influenced by the environment they find themselves in. The Israelites experienced this. After God caused the king of Persia to permit the restoration of God’s worship in Jerusalem through the hand of Ezra, it was discovered that the priests and Levites who were supposed to lead the people in worship could not minister because they had corrupted themselves by marrying idol worshipers. To ignite the fire of revival and initiate the restoration of God’s people to His worship, Ezra 9:5-6 lists some key things Ezra did which cannot be overlooked by anyone seeking restoration. It says:
Open Heaven 9 April 2019: [Tuesday] Daily Devotional By Pastor E.A Adeboye – Experiencing Restoration
“And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God, And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown unto the heavens.”
Ezra realised that God’s people needed spiritual restoration first, before they could experience any other form of restoration. He therefore went before God in penitence and humility to seek for His forgiveness and restoration. This example shows that spiritual restoration is obtained only when we are repentant and humble before God. Psalm 51:17 says:
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
Open Heaven 9 April 2019 Tuesday: Prayer Point
In other words, a remorseful heart is the foundation of genuine repentance, and through genuine repentance, spiritual restoration is received (Acts 3:19). Repentance means making a “U-turn” away from one’s trespasses. Those who repented of their sins in Ezra’s time did not continue in them; they completely relinquished their former lifestyles (Ezra 10:2-17). It is therefore strange that some people claim to have repented of their sins and yet they do not relinquish this sinful lifestyle. Such people are only deceiving themselves (Romans 6:1-2). Beloved, what type of loss have you suffered – spiritual, physical or otherwise? You can be restored if only you genuinely repent of your sins today and come back to your first love for God.
Open Heavens 9 APRIL 2019 Prayer Point
Father, Please restore to me all that I have lost, especially the joy of salvation and the hope of eternity with you.
Open Heavens Daily Devotional Lessons was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical Churches in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer's Ministries