1 Chronicles 13:1-14 – Moving the Ark

Read 1 Chronicles 13:1-14

Now that David’s kingdom has been established, it seems one of the first items of business are to bring the Ark of God into the City of David. This was a big deal, and it shows us that David was intent on having God’s presence surrounding him in his kingdom.

As you recall, the Ark is the most sacred object in Israel’s ancient traditions. It was an ornately decorated box containing the tablets of the ten commandments, among other holy items. The Ark was revered for what it represented, the presence of God. Exodus 25:10-22 tells us more detail about the construction of the Ark.

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Ecclesiastes 12:8-14 – Final Thoughts

Read Ecclesiastes 12:8-14

What an image describing how wise words inspire us! Neither a cattle prod nor a nail-studded stick sound like a pleasant way to direct our path. Yet sometimes that’s just what we need – like a “kick in the pants!” Understanding right from wrong can often be an eye-opening experience.

Encountering the Teacher’s reflections throughout the book of Ecclesiastes has been helpful. I appreciate his conclusions and parting thoughts in this final passage. “Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.” If more people in this world knew what their “duty” was, families, neighborhoods, and even churches would be much happier. Don’t you agree?

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Nehemiah 5:14-19 – A Godly Example

Read Nehemiah 5:14-19

From being cup bearer to the king of Persia to being named governor of his homeland, Nehemiah has had quite a life. I don’t remember a passage that officially names Nehemiah governor, but certainly his actions reflect a godly governor to be sure. I assume that King Artaxerxes probably named Nehemiah governor over Judah in one of the letters he sent along with Nehemiah on his journey home.

In today’s passage, we see Nehemiah’s example of putting the work of God ahead of his own personal interest. There aren’t many leaders these days who would do what Nehemiah did to move the project along. Today we see a lot of greed and power-hungry leaders who seem to forget about the “little guy.”

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Ezra 7:11-26 – A King’s Provision

Read Ezra 7:11-26

This letter to Ezra contains many blessings from this pagan king. King Artaxerxes may not be an Israelite, but he certainly holds God in high regard. Many believers don’t have the same respect as this king. The time of exile must have made quite an impact on the kingly leadership of that day. Those who stayed faithful became tremendous testimonies to the majesty and grace of the great God we serve.

Anytime we can share our witness with others, we can make a difference. You never know who is watching. You never know how God is going to use any of the people you encounter. Ezra wanted to study and bring awareness to his own people, yet he was clearly spreading a message to non-believers as well.

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Hebrews 10:26-31 – Fear of the Lord

Read Hebrews 10:26-31

I like the meme that lists all the sins I haven’t committed yet today, adding “now it’s time to get out of bed!” We sin all the time. And, we’re probably even oblivious to much of our sinfulness, but God sees. Today’s text convicts us to be mindful of our sinning, especially if we’re continuing to sin in the same way over and over. It doesn’t matter the reason or purpose we’ve created to minimize the guilt, we are to avoid deliberate sin. Period!

These would be the sins we do on purpose or do even though we know they are sinful. When is the last time you did a deep dive into your own faith life and uncovered some sins that might have soon become “deliberate”? Maybe you’ll find some deep dark sin tucked away, but you’re unable to give it up. Examples that come to mind are addicts and atheists. Whether you’re doing things that distract you from God or you’re not living to honor God, you are sinning.

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