Day 13: EZRA 4-10
Reading Ezra’s comments in chapter 9 must have been gut wrenching. The people had just returned after God had showed them grace after they had been exiled for their wickedness. And how do the people respond the God’s mercy? They start doing the same thing that got them exiled in the first place. They never learned their lesson after 70 years as slaves in a foreign country!
I could see why Ezra could be so upset. His people were squandering an amazing second chance at life. If you have been forgiven, why would you continue doing that exact same thing that God had forgiven you for? We have a lot of Christians who don’t look, dress, or act any different than the next godless person. What does that say of us? What do we then communicate to others about who God us?
May we be different, repent of out compromises, and return to Him with open arms and an open heart. He waiting to bring you back. Pray for our cities and nation tomorrow for just that, and may it usher in a new generation of sold out followers of Jesus who will prepare the way for our coming King.
Day 112: EZRA 1-3
This entry will be short. There is a reason that 30+ days have past since the first time I blogged about my daily Bible reading. Have you ever watched your favorite team play in a game that slowly slipped out of control? Almost like quick sand, it seems almost like the harder the team fights back the faster they sink. It’s a hopeless feeling.
One day turned into 1 week which turned into a month. I had a choice to make. Give up. Make excuses. Or get back up. THe people of Israel had been in exile for 70 years during the time of Ezra. Many left to go rebuild their nation. Others stayed behind. I would rather die trying than live and never risked. God’s Spirit is stirring me like He did the people in exile. In the same way, I choose to get up, walk out, and follow my God in His mission to restore individuals, families, and our nation!
Day 81: 1 SAMUEL 1-3
What is a true sign of love? If it gives or takes. Things that I loved really were more like leeches. The more I gave of myself, the less I was left with. Jesus turned that around. The more I give myself to Him, the fuller I am. He never stops giving of Himself. In 1 Samuel, we see God give Hannah the baby she wanted. What does she do? Give it back. She wasn’t trying to exchange the baby. She dedicated him to God because she lived Him more than she did her dream. Then we see Hophni and Phinehas, two priests who instead of serving people, they instead thought people were to serve them. They loved themselves and their position more than they did God. I want to be like Hannah. My life belongs to Jesus because He offers me His life in return. There is. Phong I can obtain by my own hand that can equal what u can find in Jesus by giving everything to Him. I’m going to lose everything when I die anyways so might as well make it count and give it to God!
Day 80: RUTH 1-4
After a whole book of a nation going from bad to worse we have a change of pace with the book of Ruth. Her story is my story. It’s our story. People who leave God’s promises because they thought they could do better on their own. In the process, they lost everything, When everything seemed hopeless and lost, here comes someone who had noticed the sincere turn of heart from the those who returned back home to God. That person took the responsibility to save the lost out of love, not obligation.
This is our story with Jesus. If you feel like you are at your wit’s end or if you have nothing left to give, do what Ruth did, humble yourself before your God. If you do, He will lift you up and show you how great His love is for you!
Day 79: JUDGES 19-21
21:25 “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
That verse that ends the book of Judges sums up the entire process perfectly. There are some twisted events and actions that people did. It’s a scary thing to see how quickly things can spiral out of control when people take their eyes off of God. This reminds me of a story that I heard about some new boaters that didn’t have any experience with some basic fundamentals about dealing with the ocean. This couple didn’t have any clue about how powerful the waters undertow could be. The wife got in the boat while the husband was trying to untie the boat from the docks. By the time he had released the last rope the undertow took the boat and the wife out into the open water. The Cost Guard had to come rescue the woman because she didn’t know how to drive the boat. It would’ve been interesting to have been present for the conversation between the couple later that day.
We all need to be tied to the dock of God’s Throne. It’s not as hard as you think. If you want to tether yourself to Jesus, do it with the strongest resource possible…LOVE. Love Jesus more than anything else and His love will hold on to you. Don’t get swept up by the current of sin, and if you ever do, His love can bring you back! ANCHOR YOURSELF TO JESUS!
Day 78: JUDGES 16-18
Who doesn’t love a good superhero story? Samson’s story was always a personal favorite of mine growing up, mainly because of the video series THE GREATEST ADVENTURE STORY EVER TOLD. The more I grew up, the more I saw this “superman” story for what it is…SAD. All that potential for good to serve God was thrown away. For what? A girl. He loved girls and going all “hulk” more than he did loving God and serving Him. He would end up in places he never should’ve been it, dealing with people he never should’ve dealt with. This is sin. Choosing other things, bowing down to other idols, and giving oneself to them instead of bowing down to God.
When we give ourselves to things, people, or ideas instead of God we end up like Samson…blind and enslaved. This is the effect of sin. Blindness and enslavement. What are you bowing down to? Your job? Your dreams? Your hobbies? Your “quilty pleasures”? Your self? This hit me home today. I noticed that I’ve been idealizing my career. Anything or anyone you idealize you eventually demonize. If you feel like you will be happy only if X or Y then you never will be happy. Your happiness should come from Jesus alone and it shouldn’t fluctuate because of money, jobs, or personal achievements. Bow down to Jesus alone and you will find a peace and joy that will infect everything and everyone around you!
Day 75-77: JUDGES 6-15
It’s really interesting how many different ways the Bible records the accounts of different people. Some great and horrible examples get very detailed. Then there are those “fly-over” figures who just get mentioned briefly and then the story moves on. There were two Judges named Tola & Jair. The Bible only says that they did their job faithfully. No great heroic achievements. They just did their job. They were faithful to what God called them to do. The previously mentioned Gideon did great things and some very wicked things.
If I had to choose, I would rather be known as someone who faithfully served God without any flashiness. Would you be happy with that? Would you be happy only being remembered as someone who held their post faithfully? Is that enough or do you need to be famous? Lead a world wide ministry? Have a New York Times best seller? Be happy with one things, doing your job as a “faithful servant” to the Lord!