Ezra 3:1-4:23; 1 Corinthians 2:6-3:4; Psalm 28:1-9; Proverbs 20:24-25
Whenever you set out to do good, there is a force of evil that attempts to stop you. We would all like for our road to be covered with rose petals and confetti. After all, if we are trying to do good, why would it be resisted?
The truth is: as much as God wants you to do good, there is a devil that wants to “steal, kill and destroy.” How happy the Israelites must have been that they had a commission to go home and rebuild the Temple. They also received the funding so that it was not a financial strain.
Israel busily started work and opposition arose. It literally came from every side. The key to handling opposition is to expect it, but yet don’t let it overwhelm you because when you are working and living for God, then whenever someone comes against you, they come against God. God will protect you and He will be your vindication. Opposition can actually be a sign that you are on the right track!
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezra 4:24-6:22; 1 Corinthians 3:5-23; Psalm 29:1-11; Proverbs 20:26-27
Ezra 1:1-2:70; 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5; Psalm 27:7-14; Proverbs 20:22-23
You have often heard it said that “Where God guides, He provides.” This is such a true statement yet so many of us don’t trust that God can really take care of us. Rejecting a truth like this puts us in a position where we try to earn a living instead of letting God lead us to where His provisions are.
Cyrus gave a command that Israel could go home. He knew that they had been exiled as slaves in a foreign country and had no resources. God spoke to a foreign king to give them safe passage back home. He then encouraged their neighbors to give them what they needed to being the rebuilding process back home. This is not unusual because when Israel left Egypt, God had the Israelites ask the Egyptians to give them precious metals, jewelry and linens. They left Egypt with as much wealth as they could handle.
Time and time again God shows that He can take care of His children. In times of financial upheaval, we tend to allow human economics to trump God’s promises. However, if you will trust Him, He will provide for your every need (national, spiritual and social).
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezra 3:1-4:23; 1 Corinthians 2:6-3:4; Psalm 28:1-9; Proverbs 20:24-25
2 Chronicles 35:1-36:23; 1 Corinthians 1:1-17; Psalm 27:1-6; Proverbs 20:20-21
When things are taken from us, we try with all of our might to hold on to them. Our lives can become so cluttered that we have no room for God. When a purging happens it is not always bad– even though at the time it feels bad!
Israel had been through several kings. There were kings who did evil in the sight of the Lord and Kings who followed after the example of David. Back and forth the people endured the steady flow of good kings and bad kings. At some point the people and the land had become so cluttered with false gods, pagan rituals and disobedience, that the land needed a rest. Jeremiah said that there would be 70 years of rest for the land. Foreign Kings invaded and took everyone and everything until no one was left!
If people leave your life, or things leave your life, you may want to take it as a sign that God is giving you rest. There are things that compete against our relationship with God. We may not be aware but those things could be poisoning our future and their removal can keep us on the right road. See if there are areas in your life where you need rest. If so, plan it and get rest in that area so you can keep moving forward, drawing closer to God. When Israel returned to their land, they came back stronger and more determined to live for God. You will too!
Tomorrow’s Reading: Ezra 1:1-2:70; 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5; Psalm 27:7-14; Proverbs 20:22-23
2 Chronicles 33:14-34:33; Romans 16:10-27; Psalm 26:1-12; Proverbs 20:19
If you come from a godly heritage, you have been bequeathed a priceless treasure. To have Christ-followers in previous generations sets you up for the blessings of God to flow down to you. Even the unclaimed promises of God that other generations did not enjoy, you have a right to them.
When Josiah became King, he had a heart to obey God. Scripture records that he, “began to seek the God of his ancestor David” (2 Chronicles 34:3). Even though he was several generations removed from David, he went back to King David because he was a devoted example of following God. He did not look to his father or grandfather, but he went all the way back to the one to whom God made the original promise.
Do you have godly people in your family line? If so, take some time to discover the God of your ancestors. Claim every promise that may have been left unfulfilled. Claim every blessing and favor that God has for your family. Claim blessings that even those who would not follow God left unclaimed. There is value in knowing that God’s faithfulness passes from one generation to another. If you do not have godly people in your family line, then thank God that you are establishing one and those who follow you will one day seek for the God that you serve!
Tomorrow’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 35:1-36:23; 1 Corinthians 1:1-17; Psalm 27:1-6; Proverbs 20:20-21
2 Chronicles 32:1-33:13; Romans 15:23-16:9; Psalm 25:16-22; Proverbs 20:16-18
What some people think is a weakness can actually be a strength. The King of Assyria mocked Hezekiah for his intense devotion to the things of God. Even when Hezekiah gave the people hope by telling them that the Lord would fight for them. Sennacherib made it sound like his acts of obedience to God were futile.
In the world in which we live, the respect for God is waning. People find great comfort in spirituality but not in complete commitment to Jesus! Those of us who call ourselves Christian and seek to live out our faith daily are often seen as strange and out of touch with the “real world”. The only time that changes is when a crisis arises!
You see, when a crisis hits, that’s actually God’s time to show who He really is and those who have been faithful to Him have credibility because they were consistent to serve God even when things were going well. There is great value in your faithfulness. Your faithfulness will get you out of situations when your faith is failing. Faithfulness will open doors even when you haven’t done everything well. Be faithful to honor God everyday and even when people mock you for your commitment, whenever a challenge arises, God will show them how blessed it is to be on His side because He always wins and so do we!
Tomorrow’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 33:14-34:33; Romans 16:10-27; Psalm 26:1-12; Proverbs 20:19
2 Chronicles 30:1-31:21; Romans 15:1-22; Psalm 25:1-15; Proverbs 20:13-15
Hezekiah is recorded as a great king because he not only defended Israel but he reestablished the worship of God through the Temple. It was a massive task to uproot all of the religious heresy that plagued the land. But, Hezekiah was determined.
When the Temple was ready, the people held a Passover Celebration like no other. It was so enjoyable that they continued the celebration into a second week. Passover was all about remembering how God not only delivered His people from slavery but also redeemed them for their divine purpose (The Promised Land). After they spent time remembering all that God had done for them through the ages, Hezekiah encourages the people to provide for the Temple and its priests so that they could devote themselves to God’s Work.
The people responded overwhelmingly! They gave so much that they had to build extra storage areas. Why would they give so much? It was because they took the time to remember the goodness of God and His track record of faithfulness!
The same is true with us. If we would take the time to remember all the wonderful things that God has done for us, when God asks us to give, it would not seem burdensome. God expects His House to be fully supplied by those whose hearts are grateful for all He has done.
Tomorrow’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 32:1-33:13; Romans 15:23-16:9; Psalm 25:16-22; Proverbs 20:16-18