Ezra 6:1-12 – Stamp of Approval

Read Ezra 6:1-12

As we expected, King Darius confirmed the Israelite’s story. It took a little digging from the sounds of it, but the message was exactly as Tattenai had been told. Did you love King Darius’ response to the meddling Tattenai and his cohorts! “[S]tay away from there!” In other words, don’t mess with the Israelites.

King Darius took it a step farther as well. He decreed that Tattenai actually help the Israelites. The king’s instructions left little doubt of what should be done. I can just about feel Tattenai’s blood boiling even after all of these generations. He was probably very sorry that he had “opened that can of worms” when he first made his inquiries.

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James 1:19-27 – Listening and Doing

Read James 1:19-27

Remember James is teaching us how to live as followers of Christ. Wouldn’t the world look totally different if everyone put his wisdom into play? Let’s unpack these great reminders.  

Listen before speaking. How many times have you rushed to respond to someone without letting them finish or even paying attention to what they said? I know I’m guilty of that and feel horrible when I catch myself. James is simply telling us to “be present” in all situations. We can avoid a lot of heartache when we pay attention and communicate effectively. This may be the gentle prompt you need right now to “slow down!”

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Hebrews 1:1-4 – Encounter Jesus

Read Hebrews 1:1-4

If you’ve spent any time at all reading prophecies in the Old Testament, you are very familiar with the salutation to the book of Hebrews which talks about how God speaks to us through the prophets. It’s true that God’s prophetic messages are still relevant and applicable to us today. Many of those prophecies point directly to Jesus.

The book of Hebrews is like an eloquent sermon burning with passion. The author is unknown but appears to draw from eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ life of ministry. Several main themes dominate. One is that Jesus Christ is superior to everyone and everything. We will see descriptions showing how Jesus fulfills prophecy and the promises of God. The other focus is simply to give encouragement to the Jewish Christians, likely 2nd or 3rd generation. Not all Jews had accepted Jesus as their Messiah, so the Jewish Christians needed this encouragement, so they didn’t fall back into their old ways.

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1 Timothy 1:18-20 – Ready for Battle

Read 1 Timothy 1:18-20

boxer in red shorts with red globes standing in the spotlight looking determined

As Christians, we aren’t promised a problem free life. In fact, some even say the Christian walk can be a battle. The conflict between good and evil has been going on forever, and now we are caught in the middle. False teachers were emerging, and Paul’s counsel to Timothy shed wisdom on how to face those battles.

How do we avoid catastrophe on our own faith journey? How do we recognize false doctrine and evil in disguise? Paul’s example of faith being shipwrecked would have been powerful for the people of his day when disasters at sea were more common. This idea of people’s faith being tested was happening then and it’s happening now.

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Micah 1:1-5 – The Lord is Coming!

Read Micah 1:1-5

Jesus in the clouds

I’m super excited to walk through the Book of Micah with you. Micah was a prophet used by God around the same time as Isaiah and Hosea. Micah is known as a “minor prophet” only because his book is short. His three major themes of justice, peace, and the Messiah have made great impact. For me personally, my happy ending all began when attempting to dig into the meaning of this book twenty-five years ago.

My pastor husband, David, did his doctoral dissertation on the book of Micah. He has always been honored and grateful to God for being chosen for publication by Scholar’s Press. One of the first things I did during our courtship was to ask to read his book on Micah. I had never met a published author before! While I found it to be “way over my head” in terms of my literary understanding, I was enthralled, and a bit intimidated, by David’s intellect and great faith. I was able to overcome my feelings of “not being enough” thanks to David’s great love and devotion to me. I see that Amazon still has a few copies of his book published back in 1988, if you’re interested!

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