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August 2017

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Ezra 7-8:20

In reading today’s passage, I am struck by King Artaxerxes’ respect and honor for the Lord. I don’t think the king learned about the “God of Heaven” by going to a Jewish Seminary. I believed he learned about this God from observing Ezra, his character, his wisdom, his integrity, all of which flowed from Ezra’s relationship with God and God’s Word.

I know of Believers who are strong in their understanding of the Word and who cannot be compromised on their jobs, they may be hated but they are respected. They are trustworthy and things that require the utmost security, integrity and diligence are regularly given to them. I believe the king saw this same trait in Ezra and then judged the God Ezra served as good and magnificent based on what he saw in Ezra. When we serve God and follow his commandments and ordinances, we show ourselves wise and trustworthy.

God speaking to the children of Israel in the wilderness:

Don't add a word to what I command you, and don't remove a word from it. Keep the commands of GOD, your God, that I am commanding you. You saw with your own eyes what GOD did at Baal Peor, how GOD destroyed from among you every man who joined in the Baal Peor orgies. But you, the ones who held tight to GOD, your God, are alive and well, every one of you, today. Pay attention: I'm teaching you the rules and regulations that GOD commanded me, so that you may live by them in the land you are entering to take up ownership. Keep them. Practice them. You'll become wise and understanding. When people hear and see what's going on, they'll say, "What a great nation! So wise, so understanding! We've never seen anything like it." Yes. What other great nation has gods that are intimate with them the way GOD, our God, is with us, always ready to listen to us?
(Deu 4:2-7 MSG)

I Corinthians 4:1-21
Us folks love to “one-up” each other and we love to design the goal or standard, declare, by consensus of a party of one, ourselves, that the goal or standard is primo, then turn and judge everyone else by our own standard. When we place teachers/preachers above the Word of God then we are doing the same thing Paul accuses the church at Corinth as doing.

The power of the Gospel is not in the person’s voice or elocution and expounding of the Word, but it is in the Word, and the Word only, that is what brings deliverance and salvation.
Psalm 30:1-12

God told Noah,

Gen 8:22 "While the earth continues to exist, planting time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night will not cease."

God has set things in cycles, day is always followed by night, summer comes before winter or after winter depending on perspective, with summer comes heat and then the cold of winter. To harvest one must plant, then some of the seeds from harvest are saved to plant again in the spring season to bring another harvest. So too are our seasons of weeping and sorrow, though it may appear to be a life long curse, weeping and sorrow are always followed by joy. But the greatest joy is the Joy of the Lord.

For his anger lasts only a brief moment, and his good favor restores one's life. One may experience sorrow during the night, but joy arrives in the morning. (Psa 30:5 NET.)

Don’t give up and in to the despair of what may seem to be perpetual sorrow. Wait out the nights of your life for your morning, no matter how far off it may appear to be, is sure to come.


Proverbs 20:28-30
Youth may be admired for vigor, but gray hair gives prestige to old age. (Pro 20:29 MSG)

If we ever took these words to heart, the companies that make hair dye would go “belly-up.”

Grace and peace,
Ramona

In 2011, I prayed a lot about being overly critical of others and judging others. Toward the end of 2011, I found myself praying "...God, keep me mindful that I make decisions and choices; and you make judgments." Judgments are not mine to make. When I find myself judging someone or judging a situation etc, I tell myself, "I make decisions and choices..." It has really helped me refrain from criticizing or judging others.

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