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September 2020

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Books for the Journey:

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Ezra 1:1-2:70

THE KING'S heart is in the hand of the Lord, as are the watercourses; He turns it whichever way He wills. (Proverbs 21:1 AMP)

There is no other explanation for this seemingly coincidental event. Even with the world warring, nation against nation, peoples against peoples, God is Sovereign no matter what man thinks.

These are those who came from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Kerub, Addon, and Immer. They weren't able to prove their ancestry, whether they were true Israelites or not: Delaiah, Tobiah, and Nekoda, 652 in all. Likewise with these priestly families: Hobaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai, who had married a daughter of Barzillai the Gileadite and took that name. They had thoroughly searched for their family records but couldn't find them. And so they were barred from priestly work as ritually unclean.
(Ezra 2:59-62 MSG)

If the Old Testament was written as examples for us to follow, and in regard to error, not follow, then we should be showing due diligence in picking leaders, and a leader is really anyone who is seen by the congregation, from the volunteers who clean the bathrooms to the ushers and if big enough, the people who facilitate parking.

I Corinthians 1:18-2:5

The wisdom the word calls wisdom is nothing but folly and foolishness. Outside of the Mind of God, apart from the salvation of Jesus Christ, there is no wisdom. It is a powerful thing when believers filter the education they have received in school through the lens of the gospel.

Psalm 27:7-14

You have said, Seek My face [inquire for and require My presence as your vital need]. My heart says to You, Your face (Your presence), Lord, will I seek, inquire for, and require [of necessity and on the authority of Your Word]. (Psa 27:8 AMP)

The above verse excites me. God wants to be in vital union with me, he wants to carry on a conversation with me. This is so exciting because I know that the creator of the universe has time and wants to spend time with me so that we can have sweet fellowship in our relationship as Father-daughter, as Master-servant, and as Redeemer-and the-one-delivered.
I have not spoken in secret, in a corner of the land of darkness; I did not call the descendants of Jacob [to a fruitless service], saying, Seek Me for nothing [but I promised them a just reward]. I, the Lord, speak righteousness (the truth--trustworthy, straightforward correspondence between deeds and words); I declare things that are right. [John 18:20.] (Isa 45:19 AMP)

Now without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Heb 11:6 NET.)

Proverbs 20:20-23

One of the problems with seeking our own vengeance is that it ties us to the sin and the person who committed the sin against us. Focusing on a wrong, plants our feet deep into the soil of bitterness and grudges and we become immovable, failing to take hold of what God has for us. Freedom means letting go of past hurts and moving on. Besides, God can “pay back” the person in such a way that you can never ever think dream up in your wildest imagination.

My example:

I entered college when I was thirty-five as a single never married black parent of two, and on welfare. I had just begun to explore the scriptures and who God was to me three years before the incident I am about to describe. I don’t believe at the time I could truly say I was a Christian. In doing the paperwork to transfer my credits from a two-year school to a four year school, I found myself in a small elevator heading toward the Financial Aid Office when the elevator stopped and two professors deep in conversation get in. They had come from a pre-semester faculty meeting I guessed because they were lamenting the school accepting more “minority” students and how it would lower the standards.

Because they were deep in conversation, they didn’t see me or acknowledge my presence until with horror I said excuse me to exit the elevator when I got to my floor. I saw the anguish on their faces and said, “Oops, too late,” and walked off. There was a battle going on within me to a) report them, b) curse them out or c) ignore them. I chose “c.”

Fast forward, thee years latter and two months before my graduation with honors and 5 awards, I was leaving the school when I stopped to chat with security. Also speaking with security was a man truly distressed. He was scheduled to teach a required Freshman Math Class and the department had changed the book. His yellowed notes for the text they had always used were now unless. I asked him if could I look at the first chapter and saw it was all about “Sets.” I said, “O, this is easy,” and immediately proceeded to give this man in distress some pointers on how he might teach the class, said good-by and left the building. As I walked down the street, the memory of the elevator incident flashed before me and I laughed. The professor who had voiced the complaint about minorities had just received a math lesson from that which he feared, a minority. I hadn’t remembered the incident nor carried it with bitterness through my years of study there. I had absolutely forgotten the elevator encounter, until God brought it back to me.

Today it stands as a reminder to me about my own propensity to pre-judge.

Grace and peace,

I love how Paul’s humility and words leave you with Christ’s power as the main focus...period. Jesus is most important.

1 Cor. 2 - 5 And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.[c] 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

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