Ecclesiastes 3:9-15 – Enjoy Life

Read Ecclesiastes 3:9-15

God wants us to enjoy life, not trudge through each day just going through the motions. We often set unrealistic expectations on ourselves for what we can accomplish in a day and end up feeling like we failed. Here we’re told that God has given us the work we are to do. What is that work for you?

If we’re focusing on what God wants, and we already know that his timing is perfect, then our day should go exactly like it should. If we are enjoying the life God has given us, living it to please him, then we have accomplished something very great. There are plenty of people who don’t have this connection to God and are not feeling fulfilled.

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Lamentations 2:1-22 – God’s Anger

Read Lamentations 2:1-22

While the first lament was of a sorrowing widow, Jerusalem, the second poem comes from the perspective of God’s anger and the devastation it can wield. The author was consumed with sadness and fear. What was going to happen? Writing these words in his own anguish would help people never forget. Do you think that was the author’s intent in the moment?

Lamentations is a book to read in Hebrew, if you can, because some of these poems are acrostic. That means each of the 22 verses starts with a letter from the Hebrew alphabet. One thought as to why the author wrote the laments like that was to facilitate memorization. We, as well as the original audience, should never forget what God’s anger can do. Lamentations helps us remember.

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Ezra 7:27-28 – Giving Thanks

Read Ezra 7:27-28

Ezra sets a good example for the people and for us. Gratitude to God should be always shown. Ezra was touched by how the Lord was moving and demonstrated his gratefulness for God’s hand of protection and provision by giving thanks.

What is the last thing that you thanked God for? Was it the sunshine, a parking spot close to the door, a good report from the doctor, another breath. Sometimes we get busy and forget to give God the nod for being in our life. Don’t forget to invite him into your everyday tasks either.

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Ezra 4:1-5 – Stay on Track

Read Ezra 4:1-5

Can our enemies also worship our God? That’s a good question. Maybe we should explore what makes someone our enemy? For me, it would be anyone who doesn’t believe as I do who is trying to harm me or distract me from my mission. With that understanding, I don’t think my enemies would be Christians who love Jesus.

The enemies discussed in our reading were giving good “lip service” to those working on the temple. Their attempts to trick the workers in believing they could also be worshiping the LORD failed. The help they offered as a lure was also rejected.

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Ezra 3:7-13 – Let the Rebuilding Begin!

Read Ezra 3:7-13

Have you ever been part of a building project? Maybe you built your own home or worked for a company that broke ground for a new office complex. Interestingly, my husband David and I have been part of three huge building projects for three different congregations during his time of ministry in the United States. Now, I’m part of another large building project here in Mexico for the orphanage where I serve.

Construction projects take time and lots of planning. The coordination that goes into each facet of the design and implementation still boggles my mind. It’s with this background that I come to this text. If you’ve never been involved in any construction, suffice it to say that it’s a big deal. I can’t imagine what it would have been like in ancient times without all the conveniences we now have.

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