Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 17 – Ezra 1-3

Below are my thoughts from the daily Bible reading of the West Side Church of Christ. Today’s reading comes from Ezra 1-3. Before reading I invite you to pray and asked God to speak to you as you read his word. Also above in the tabs is a link to the Bible reading plan.

Are you willing to stand strong under persecution to carry out the will of God? That is a big and important question all followers of God must answer at some point in life. God does not always call us to do the safe things for Him. God does not always ask us to go where it will take no stretching of faith to go. God wants to mold us and shape us and sometimes that means we must go through some hard times.

Today we started the book of Ezra. Ezra is called by God to go back to Jerusalem and begin rebuilding the Temple of God in the city. All the prophecies pointing to the hope of the return from exile are now beginning to be played out. Their work however is met with obstacles. There are people living in the land who do not want the exiles to return. Some of these people were other nationalities brought in from regions all around when the Babylonians exiled the Jews. Some of these are Jews who were not faithful and may have been left behind in the land. Read again these words of Ezra 3:3 … “Even thought the people were of afraid of the local residents, they built the altar at its old site.” (NLT) Even though they were afraid, thy built anyway.

What is God asking you to that will stretch your faith and trust in Him? Are willing to do it, or are you going to shyly step back and do what is only in your comfort zone. Some of the greatest change this world has ever seen was because people allowed God to stretch them. How can God use you?

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