Archive for October, 2013


Do Not Judge

Do Not Judge

Here is a poem about judging others. We do not want to judge others. It is easy to get wrapped up in our own world, but until we have walked in the other persons shoes we do not have the right to judge others.

Do Not Judge Others

Do Not Judge Others

I was shocked, confused, bewildered
as I entered Heaven’s door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
by the lights or its decor.

But it was the folks in Heaven
who made me sputter and gasp–
the thieves, the liars, the sinners,
the alcoholics, the trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade
who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
who never said anything nice.

Herb, who I always thought
was rotting away in hell,
was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, “What’s the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How’d all these sinners get up here?
God must’ve made a mistake.

And why’s everyone so quiet,
so somber? Give me a clue.”
“Hush, child,” said He. “They’re all in shock.
No one thought they would see you.”

Do Not Judge….

How Can We Pray For You Today?

How Can We Pray For You Today?

 

God Always Wins

Today, we are reading chapters 8 and 9 and we are reminded that God always wins in the end. Chapter 8 tells Ezra’s return to Jerusalem with about 5,000 men, women, and children, how they prepared, and how GOD protected them on their journey.

God Always Wins

God Always Wins

Chapter 9 tells how the people started to inter-marry (exogamy) with the different tribes, the tribes GOD had not wanted them to become mixed up with. GOD knew if they intermarried it would weaken their religious identity, especially the priest and Levites.

The canal of Ahava was one of the many canals that radiated out from the Euphrates River near Babylon (8:15)

In verse 8:21 you will read where they fasted. The act of fasting is a process leading to purification and humbling oneself before GODEzra’s journey across the desert was a dangerous one. They were traveling around 900 miles, without a military escort, with large quantities of gold and silver. No wonder they fasted and sought GOD’s protection.God always wins!

Bringing the Bible Alive

Our Bible has so many words that we do not recognize. But, each of these words that we do not know, have very profound meanings, and can impact our readings in a whole new light. For example, Ahava in Hebrew means this deep intense love. So, as you are reading Ezra 8:15 it states that they assembled at the canal that flows towards Ahava (Love) see how this word is used inv.15, 21, 31. Word studies are very interesting!

Then the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah and made then afraid to build and bribed counselors against them to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Then, when the copy of King Artaxerxes’ letter was read before Rehum and Shimshai the scribe and their associates, they went in haste to the Jews at Jerusalem and by force and power made them cease. Then the work on the house of God that is in Jerusalem stopped, and it ceased until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

In the first year of Cyrus the king, Cyrus the king issued a decree: Concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, let the house be rebuilt, the place where sacrifices were offered, and let its foundations be retained. Its height shall be sixty cubits and its breadth sixty cubits.

Let the work on this house of God alone. Let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its site.

Ezra 4:4-523- 246:3, 7

How Can We Pray For You Today?

How Can We Pray For You Today?

Thought For the Day

This is a great “Behind the Scenes” story that we have an opportunity to see that God will always win in the end. So, let us take a look at the big picture of the rebuilding of the Temple and see if there is anything that we can apply to our lives.

After GOD put it in Cyrus’ heart to rebuild the temple, do you think that it was an easy task?

No, it was going to be a hard task, in fact it says in Chapter 3:3 that the people went on building even though they were in fear of the people around them.

Do you think that satan was happy that the temple was going to be rebuilt? NO, satan had won the battle (he will win little battles here on earth, but, we know how the story ends….God Always Wins!) the temple was destroyed and GOD’s people were in captivity. The last thing that satan wanted was for his work to be undone. That is why inchapter 4:4 we read about how satan used people to discourage the people of Judah from progressing. Read verse 12-15 and you will see the people in opposition lied and used money to influence the king to stop production.

Yes, satan did again win a little battle, but he was no match for our God as will always win in the end! The people of Judah wrote a letter back, and instead of a counter attack, they spoke the truth, and challenged the king to search the truth (5:17) satan and man were no match for GOD.

GOD changed the attitude of the king of Assyria and the building resumed again.

There are a few points that I believe this story can help us with in regards to our troubles today:

Doing GOD’s Work is Never Easy – It is a labor of LOVE for our King. I hope that none of us experience to the point of being in fear of your life, as the people of Judah were, but sometimes it can be an up hill battle. Never quit, and let us always encourage each other. We all need that!satan Will Win Little Battles – It is OK. GOD allows satan to win those little battles, so we become stronger and closer to Christ. Do not let those little losses bother you. Press on. Let the little pip squeak think he is winning.

Always Speak the Truth – When the people of Judah were told to stop, they could have told another lie or attacked the other people involved, but they chose to speak the truth with humility. People can’t argue with the truth, it will always shine through.

GOD Always WINS!!! – KNOW this, LIVE everyday like this. There may be little battles lost here and there, but WE WIN. Never loose sight of that!

Closing Prayer

Dear Jesus

A restful Sabbath Father, thank You. Father I pray today that we walk away from this devotional with a closer look at You and a better understanding. I pray Father that we will always keep it in our minds that You are there with us in our battles and that satan can not defeat us. I pray Father for those that need rest in Your name and that they find it.

I love You and pray in Your Great Name, Amen.

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Do You Have Freewill?

Do You Have Freewill?

Have you ever wondered if what you are doing is really your freewill or is God directing you? Today, we start the book of Ezra. The writer of Ezra is unknown, but some of the book is written from a first person point of view. Ezra and Nehemiah were written as one book in Hebrew manuscripts. Ezra was written around 440 BC. The major theme of Ezra is restoration. After GOD handed Israel and Judah over to the Babylonians, Ezra tells of the return of the exiles from Babylon to Jerusalem. Chapters 1 and 2 tell of the call of Cyrus, King of Persia, to rebuild the temple, and how he gathered the people together. King Cyrus turned against Babylon and it’s king, Nabonidus.

Do You Have Free Will?

Do You Have Free Will?

Bringing the Bible Alive

Today weekend you will read how they rebuilt the altar first (3:1-3), then they went to work on laying the foundation (3:10). It was a bittersweet moment. Some wept, some shouted for joy (3:12-13). Notice the work of satan on the rebuilding of the Temple in Chapter 4. But, in chapter 6 the battle is lost and the Temple is started again.

Scripture

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing:”Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the LORD, the God of Israel–he is the God who is in Jerusalem. Then rose up the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up to rebuild the house of the LORD that is in Jerusalem.

Ezra 1:1-3, 5

How Can We Pray For You Today?

How Can We Pray For You Today?

Thought For the Day

One of my friends and I were discussing, we have freewill? We we talking about freewill vs. involvement of GOD in our lives. I know that you have heard me say this before, but, the really neat thing about reading the Bible, is you get an inside look of what was really going on. For example, a person might “Feel” that they are being lead to do a certain task. Call in your conscious…. that little voice….. OR GOD! Is this your freewill or GOD? Let’s take a look……

There are examples that the Bible gives us of GOD influencing people’s decisions.

But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, Pharaoh will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment.” – Exodus 7:3-4.

Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him. – 1 Samuel 16:14
These are just two that came to mind, if you search the Scriptures you will find a lot of examples of GOD influencing and being involved in human life.

So, what does this mean for us today? Well, two thoughts come to mind. Those little whispers, dreams, visions, and feelings, you need to pay attention to them. I would not push them away. Another good friend gave me a suggestion to write all those “Feelings” into a journal, that is an excellent idea! You might have a whisper, but, it might not come to pass for some years. It is neat to look back and see GOD working in your life. I have had two whispers recently. The first one is to visit Israel. The second came to me a couple of days ago, it is to buy a lot next to us, put a fifth wheel on it, then open it up to homeless people that need to get back on their feet. The second thought is that we need to BELIEVE that GOD is sovereign! Every event in the world happens because HE wants or allows it to happen. Sometimes this is a hard pill to swallow, but, if you grasp this concept nothing can shake you. You might not understand something or agree with it, BUT it is GOD’s will. I hope this gives you something to think about if you have freewill. Have a BLESSED Day!

Closing Prayer

Dear Jesus

Praise You Father for taking my life and controlling it! I would hate to be the one to do that. I pray Father that I always have the courage to hold fast to Your coattails and follow You every step of the way until I am home. I pray Father that I can make a difference this weekend in Your kingdom and love those around me with a convicted heart.

I love you and I pray in

Your Name, Amen.

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Are You Blessed or Cursed?

Are You Blessed or Cursed

Today, we finish 2 Chronicles the main theme of the books are you Blessed or cursed? Starting in chapter 34 we read about Josiah, who was a good king. As we move through chapters 35 and 36 we read about the events of Josiah, the death, several more evil kings, and the fall of Jerusalem.

Are You Blessed or Cursed

I am not sure if you caught it, but, in reading chapter 36 they mention Jeremiah (36:22). Yes, that was the prophet; Jeremiah (Book of Bible Jeremiah)Alot of the Old Testament major and minor prophets spoke during what we just read. Here are some examples, see if you recognize the names of the kings we just read about:

Isaiah – During the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah.

Jeremiah – 13 Year of Josiah, Jehoiakim, and Zedekiah.

Daniel – 3rd year of Jehoiakim.There are more, if you are interested, you can read the opening chapter and verse it usually tells the time period. So, when we read these chapters in the future you will know their struggles and mind set. GOD loved HIS people and kept trying to reach them, but as we read, most of the time it fell on deaf ears, they either were blessed or cursed.

Bringing the Bible Alive

The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place. But they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his words and scoffing at his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD rose against his people, until there was no remedy. – 2 Chronicles 36:15-16 ESV

Thought For the Day

When ever I finish a book of the Bible, I always look back and reflect on it. I look to see what GOD wants me to learn or to take away from my reading. As we finish the books of Kings and Chronicles we have seen alot of examples of good leaders (Blessed) and evil leaders (Cursed). The really neat thing about reading the Bible is you can see what was happening behind the scenes. For example, a king may get struck with an arrow between his amour links. He may think that it was bad luck, but, in reading the Bible we see that GOD was displeased, and he allowed that to happen, or HE removes HIS protection from that king (Cursed).

So what can we take away from our readings? GOD may be whispering HIS heart to you, here is what HE has been whispering to me. GOD is pleased when we purse HIM. There were two kings that we just read about; Hezekiah, and Josiah. They both sought GOD, and HE blessed them.

GOD is a forgiving GOD! If you start from The Exodus out of Egypt, HIS people have been in a cycle of sin. The same holds true with Kings and Chronicles. We had good kings then evil kings… around and around. Even though GOD is a forgiving GOD, there is still punishment for sin (Cursed).

How Can We Pray For You Today?

How Can We Pray For You Today?

Blessing or Curse? This for me was the biggest whisper. GOD has this “umbrella” of protection. To stay under this umbrella we have to seek HIM, HIS heart, and follow HIS commands. The nice thing about GOD, HE does not have tons of rules, they are pretty easy and straight forward. If we strive to do this we will be blessed and protected. Blessed, not in the form of money, we have to get outside of that mind set, blessings come in many ways.

If we choose to step outside of that umbrella of protection, we are stepping outside of GOD’s protection and may fall under cursed. That is a dangerous place to be; of the world and satan’s prey. As we have also seen, GOD will also send our enemies to overtake us, and without GOD’s protection…… well, it is a sure loss.

Closing Prayer

Dear Jesus

Thank You Father for this day and the fellowship we are able to share with the people in Your world. I always pray that I can be used for You. I pray Father that i can be still and quiet and know when You whisper i my ear. Help me not to ever be too busy . Father thank You for loving me so much.

I love You with all I am.

In Your name I pray, Amen.

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