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Ezra 1:1-2:70 ~ 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5 ~ Psalm 27:7-14 ~ Proverbs 20:22-23
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Old Testament - Today we begin the book of the priest & scribe Ezra!
Date: Fifth century B.C.
Content: The book of Ezra deals with the return of the Israelites to the land of Palestine after their captivity in Babylon. After describing first the return and how the work on the Temple was begun, the author tells us the problems that arose. After a great deal of trouble and early failure, the Temple was finally finished and rededicated to the glory of God. The ministry of Ezra is described in some detail, stressing the intercession that he made to God for the wayward people of the restored community.
Theme: When the people of Israel returned home they saw this as the fulfillment of the promise of God. God had said he would never abandon his people, and although they were judged for their sin, God never stopped loving them. That God should care for the world to this degree is the deepest of mysteries. God desires our worship in return for his love, however. This may be seen in that he sent the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to speed the rebuilding of the Temple after the people, in discouragement, had ceased to work upon it. (Above commentary is from Tyndale Publishers “The One Year Bible Companion” p. 8) More commentary on Ezra is at this link: http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=900
New Testament - Today in First Corinthians 1 verse 18 we read – “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” What does this verse say to you? Does it speak to you in any way? What is the message of the cross? What does the message of the cross mean to you personally? Is it foolishness? Or, is it the power of God? I don’t know what it is about this verse, but it really is so powerful for me. I think that it brings the Gospel message back to the central point in time in history – Jesus on the cross. And what Jesus did on the cross changed everything. Jesus changed history. The power of the cross is such that Jesus continues to change things this very moment. He is changing you. He is changing me. To us who are being saved, is the message of the cross literally the power of God? Do you meditate upon the cross regularly and meditate upon what the message of the cross truly is? Are you sharing the message of the cross with others in your life?
Below are two wonderful images for verses 27 and 30 & 31 courtesty of hearlight.org (link on the menu to the left):
Psalms - I love verse 11 today - "Teach me how to live, O LORD. Lead me along the path of honesty." Teach me how to live... what a beautiful prayer! God - Teach us how to live! Lead us along the path of honesty! Teach us how to live... And Psalm 27 verse 14 today is wonderful for us to meditate upon: "Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD." Is there an area of your life where you feel like you are waiting for the Lord to show up? Do you believe that the Lord will show up? I pray that this Psalm will encourage within you the virtue of patience. The Lord will show up. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
Proverbs - Proverbs 20 verse 22 today teaches us: "Don’t say, "I will get even for this wrong." Wait for the Lord to handle the matter." This is a great reminder that Justice is not for us to carry out. Justice is the Lord's!
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!