Ezra 3:1-4:23 ~ 1 Corinthians 2:6-3:4 ~ Psalm 28:1-9 ~ Proverbs 20:24-25
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Old Testament - Today in Ezra chapter 3 we read about the Israelites rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem. We read in verse 10 – “When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the LORD, as prescribed by David king of Israel.” There are some powerful chapters in Ezra as we read about the start of the rebuilding of the Temple, the opposition to it, and then its final completion. I like that verse 10 above tells us that the priests and the Levites praised God after the foundation to the Temple was laid. And I wonder about this in our lives today. Is there perhaps a “Temple” of some sort in your life that needs rebuilding? Is there a good habit that you have lost? A bad habit that you have picked up? Have you lost some of your zeal for God that you had earlier in your life? Do you want things to change? Do you want to rebuild a “Temple” in your life? How will you do so? Will you perhaps follow the example of the Israelites in Ezra and begin with the Foundation? Will you take the very first, maybe seemingly small steps to begin to rebuild your Temple? And – when you get to even just the foundation of your Temple being rebuilt, will you praise God as the priests and Levites did in Ezra? Many blessings to you as you begin your journey with God of rebuilding a Temple in your life!
New Testament - Bible.org's commentary on today's First Corinthians readings titled "True Wisdom" is at this link and "Substandard Saints" is at this link. Below is a powerful image for First Corinthians 3:3 from today's readings:
Psalms - Psalm 28 verse 2 stood out to me today - "Listen to my prayer for mercy as I cry out to you for help, as I lift my hands toward your holy sanctuary." The thing that stood out to me is the image of the Psalmist "lifting his hands" in prayer. I'm curious about this - if you don't mind sharing in the Comments section below - do you periodically lift your hands in prayer? Do you kneel when you pray? Close your eyes? Bow your head? What do you do to really signify your worship and praise of God? Do you think lifting our hands or doing other body movements can change the way we pray to God - rather than doing nothing unique with our body? Let me know if you have Comments on this below... thanks... My quick thoughts are that we can absolutely pray at any time in any place without lifting our hands or closing our eyes or bowing, etc. I think this gets toward the idea of "praying unceasingly." However - I do think there is something special about the times in our day when we can really spend some quality quiet time with God in prayer. And the best way for me to personally do this is by really changing my body language first - by kneeling down, closing my eyes, bowing my head, maybe lifting my hands, etc. This somehow I think brings me closer to God - it doesn't bring God closer to me - he's always close. But, somehow, what I do with my body before & during prayer can definitely make a difference in how long I will actually pray to God and how deep into prayer & listening I will go. How about for you?
Proverbs - Today in Proverbs 20 verse 24 we will read – “A person's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?” This is a powerful Proverb for us to consider. Do you believe that your steps are directed by God? I think so often we want to be in control of our own steps. And when we really try to take control of our own steps is when we so often stumble. . . It is so powerful for us to realize that the best thing we can possibly do in our lives is let God direct our steps! Let God lead us. And then let us pray we will follow. The question posed by at the end of this Proverb above is probably frustrating to our modern minds – “Whaddya mean I can’t understand my own way! That ain’t right. I am in charge around here!” Are we really? I mean, really? The question posed by this Proverb reminds me of another wise and famous Proverb in chapter 3, verses 5 through 6 – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” We should not ever try to make our own paths straight! Let God do it. He knows where we should be going. All we need to do is trust God. Simply trust. Do you trust God to direct your steps and make your paths straight?
Worship God: Today's Psalm reminds me of the Chris Tomlin song "Our God is Greater:"
Do you know true greatness? Click here to meet our Great God!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "A person's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand their own way?" Proverbs 20:24 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that all of your steps are directed by the Lord. Pray that you trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. Pray that the Lord will make your paths straight.
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!