Today is the 47th day that we have been counting the omer.

Shavuot was and is the last spring Feast of the Lord. It was one of the three Feasts in which all the Jewish men were required to be in Jerusalem each year. It was a time when God gave gifts to His people.

The first Shavuot, Yehovah gave the gift of His commandments. He wanted them to know how things were done in His Kingdom. He had just asked Israel to be His bride, and they had agreed. So He gave them the wonderful gift of His commandments. He wanted them to be different from all the other nations because they loved Him and belonged to Him. They would demonstrate through their lives the original plan that Yehovah had when He created the world. Unfortunately, before they had been engaged to God for forty days, they turned their backs on Him and began worshiping other gods. However, He continued to provide for them.

On the Shavuot that occurred ten days after Jesus ascended to heaven, God gave another gift. He poured out His Gift upon the disciples, baptizing them with the Holy Spirit.  Now Yehovah had not only told His bride how things were done in His Kingdom, but He had also given His Spirit to them so that they would be able to live according to His character out of a heart of love. No longer would it be difficult to keep His ways. Now their hearts would be soft to Him and they would long to know Him even more.

God has given us His commandments. Jesus boiled them down to two. We are to love the LORD our God with all our hearts, souls, and strength, and we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. In His Kingdom, that is the standard. He baptizes us with His Holy Spirit so that we are continually drawn and empowered to reflect His character. The truth is that we must be intentional on a daily basis, to grow in our intimacy with Him if we are going to be prepared to be His bride. It is one thing to say that we are part of His Kingdom, but it is quiet another thing to be so in love with Him that we want to be in His Presence all the time. The greatest life is promised to those who have that deep love for Him!

What will we choose? Will we struggle and frequently be unsuccessful in keeping Him first in our lives? Will we find ourselves routinely drawn away from Him because our focus is on ourselves? Or will we ask Him and allow Him to baptize us with the Holy Spirit and nurture that relationship so that our hearts are continually yearning to know Him and be in His Presence? May God help us to hunger and thirst after righteousness, for Jesus promised that if we do, then God will fill us with His Holy Spirit.

Pastor Ann

May 28, 2020