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.
Continue reading “Ezra 7:11-26 – A King’s Provision”
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.
Continue reading “Hebrews 10:26-31 – Fear of the Lord”
Read Micah 2:6-11
Micah doesn’t just proclaim God’s words as a monologue, but he engages with the people. I don’t know about you, but I often picture our Biblical prophets walking through the streets or standing on rooftops calling out God’s proclamations.
The people are clearly in denial. They can’t imagine that what Micah is talking about involves them. It’s ludicrous! There must be some mistake. Do these people even know God? If they did, wouldn’t their faith tradition cause them to act differently?
Continue reading “Micah 2:6-11 – Are You Feeling Comforted?”
Read 2 Kings 22:1-7
It sounds like Josiah was a pretty smart kid for being eight years old. He was making righteous decisions. “He did not turn away from doing what was right.” Sometimes being right isn’t the popular decision. And being “right” can mean many things depending on whose “right” it is. God’s laws are often contrary to man’s laws. I choose to want to be faithful to God’s ways first.
Josiah was seeking to please God. Influenced by David’s faithfulness, we see there was emphasis on God’s holy place, the LORD’s temple. While David’s dream was not fulfilled until his son, Solomon, completed the temple, David knew that honoring God with a home on earth was a high priority. Josiah now, generations later, wants to restore it and keep the structure strong and vibrant.
Continue reading “2 Kings 22:1-7 – Honor the Temple”