Ezra 4:6-24 – More Opposition

Read Ezra 4:6-24

It’s not often we read a letter exchange like this in Scripture. Sure, the apostle Paul wrote letters in the New Testament, but they comprised whole books of their own. These letters are nothing like those because they are full of nonsense and devoid of facts. The purpose of these letters is to upset the King and drive a wedge between him and the people rebuilding the temple.

These attempts to sabotage God’s kingdom purposes in rebuilding the temple are blatant and mean. I find myself getting a bit defensive on behalf of God’s people. Did you? Will such an exaggeration go unpunished?

Continue reading “Ezra 4:6-24 – More Opposition”

Mark 12:41-44 – All She Had

Read Mark 12:41-44

Have you ever thought about what the widow was thinking as she deposited her last two coins into the offering that day? Clearly, she had to know this was it. There was nothing more at home in a jar hidden away. Jesus knew. Her devotion was palpable. Had it been difficult for her to part with these coins?

I don’t think any of us have ever been to that point of desperation. If we had two coins left, would we have given them to God or would we have saved them for our next meal? It’s hard to imagine having that little, isn’t it?

Continue reading “Mark 12:41-44 – All She Had”

Malachi 4:1-6 – Judgment Day

Read Malachi 4:1-6

This is the last chapter of the Old Testament. That fact alone gives me goosebumps as I write this reflection. There will be a huge gap of time (400 years or so) between this writing and the New Testament. The people would have to wait a long time to see some of these prophecies fulfilled.

This prophecy would have given the faithful hope for the future. Like today, there were those obedient to God and his decrees in Malachi’s day. The unfaithful probably turned the other way and ignored Malachi altogether, in denial of their coming peril. People still refuse to listen to God’s word. This prophecy is no exception.

Continue reading “Malachi 4:1-6 – Judgment Day”

Zechariah 2:1-5 – Think Bigger

Read Zechariah 2:1-5

On my first read through this reading, I couldn’t help but wonder, “God, what do you want for me to reflect on?” Then I realized I needed to think bigger, just like the man with the measuring tool trying to measure Jerusalem. He was measuring what was left, as if to reconstruct exactly what was there before.

That man wasn’t doing anything wrong, but he was limiting what God could do. Jerusalem had laid in ruin for 70 years. Now the people were returning. I imagine it was something like a “homing device” calling the people back to their homeland. Zechariah’s vision speaks to just how many people. “Jerusalem will someday be so full of people and livestock that there won’t be room enough for everyone! Many will live outside the city walls.”

Continue reading “Zechariah 2:1-5 – Think Bigger”

2 Peter 1:1-4 – Growing Your Faith

Read 2 Peter 1:1-4

You’ll soon realize that 2 Peter is much different from 1 Peter in language, style, setting, and even theological development. Take in Peter’s final testament of his firsthand witness from Jesus himself and being in Jesus’ inner circle. As you read, remember Peter saw the transfigured Jesus, watched Jesus ascend, and spent all the moments in between being shown what truth in human form was all about.

Having faith in that truth, in Jesus, is what our life focus should be all about. The text says, “This faith was given to you.” What went through your mind when you read these words? At first, I wondered why I was special, why I had been chosen by God to receive faith. Then, I simply marveled at the gift my faith is in my life. The bond of faith is what Peter shared with his audience, too.

Continue reading “2 Peter 1:1-4 – Growing Your Faith”

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)