December 10, 2013

Today you should read: Ezra 2

A Time of Return, Rest, Restoration, and Rebuilding

Discipline… no one likes it.

In our passage today we see the end of the season of discipline that the Lord has brought Israel through.  Because they had turned from His commands, the Lord disciplined them for their good… that they would return to Him.

This is the account of those who are returning.   God’s people will rest from their captivity, be restored to their homeland, and rebuild God’s temple.

Today’s “Walk-a-Way”

I would assume this feels like someone just pulled them out of being underwater… and has shaken them dry.  A new season is about to begin.

For God’s people, this will be a time of return, rest, restoration, and rebuilding.

Although things won’t go perfectly, there is a specific feeling and task that comes from transitioning out of a long season of discipline and suffering.

For us, as God’s people, after a season of discipline, if we let it have it’s full affect as God intends, there will come a time of return, rest, restoration, and rebuilding.

In Proverbs 3, it says:

“My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you.  For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.”

 Hebrews 12 says:

 “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”

So, If you are experiencing the Lord’s discipline currently, let it have its full effect. Marinate in it.  Soak up the juices of what God wants to teach you.  And, ultimately, turn from your sin, and RETURN to the Lord.

If you are exiting a season of discipline and have obeyed the Lord in His correction, let this be a season of REST in the Lord.  But don’t stop there… let it be a time of RESTORATION for your life to be centered on Jesus…but don’t stop there…let it be a time of REBUILDING your life on the truth that God is calling you to live for.

Posted by: Sam Cirrincione

December 9, 2013

Today you should read: Ezra 1

Today we start a journey through a book that most of us don’t know much about – the book of Ezra.  Many of us have read and remember the story of Nehemiah and how God used him to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.  Ezra was a part of that dream.  You’re going to enjoy this great book.

Many years before, Jeremiah had prophesied that the people of God would return and build the temple in Jerusalem.  Now, in Ezra 1, it happens.  God stirs the heart of the King of Persia, who held the Israelite people in captivity, to allow any Jewish volunteers to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple.  Many others contributed toward the project.  The priests and leaders also returned to be a part of the project.  The king himself gave back the articles that king Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple years before.

God always has a plan and His plan is always fulfilled.  He always takes care of His people.

I know that You can do all things; no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.

Job 42:2

 What’s God’s plan for you?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

  • Pray and ask Him
  • Seek it out in His Word
  • Make plans to live it out completely

There’s no happier place for a Christ follower than living God’s plan in the center of God’s will!

What needs re-built in your life?

 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”    Psalm 51:10

 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”  2 Corinthians 5:17

 “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”  Philippians 1:6

  • Take inventory of the “broken walls” in your life
  • Ask God to show you His plans to rebuild them
  • Watch God change you and make you into a new person as you submit to His action in your life

Posted by:Tim Parsons