Hi Friends! This week we'll finish the book of Nehemiah, then on to 1 Timothy and the book of Esther. I pray you are encouraged and inspired by God's Word this week:
Day 246 Mon, Sep 29, 2014 Nehemiah 8-10 Psalm 119: 97-112...
Hi Friends! I know we've moved into reading Ezra and Nehemiah, but I read this post tonight and was struck by how it underscores 2 Corinthians 12:9: "What if the very thing you think is disqualifying you right now is actually qualifying you for a new chapter in your life in Christ? What if your weakness was a portal to new strength?"
Hi Friends, I found this helpful and thought you might as well!
Introduction to the book of Ezra from the Message:
History had not treated the People of Israel well and they were in decline. A superpower military machine, Babylon, had battered them and then, leaving their city and temple a mound of rubble, hauled them off into exile. Now, 128 years later, a few Jews back in Jerusalem had been trying to put the pieces back together decade after weary decade. But it was not going well at all. They were hanging on by their fingernails. And then Ezra arrived.
This is an extreme case of a familiar story, repeated with variations in most centuries and in most places in the world. Men and women who find their basic identity in God, as God reveals himself in Israel and Messiah, don’t find an easy time of it. They never have. They never will. Their identity is under constant challenge and threat ─ sometimes by hostile assault, at other times by subtle and smiling seductions. Whether by assault or seduction, the People of God have come perilously close to obliteration several times. We are never out of danger.
Because of Ezra, Israel made it through. God didn’t leave Ezra to do this single-handedly; he gave him substantial and critical help in the rescue operation in the person of Nehemiah, whose work providentially converged with his. The People-of-God identity was recovered and preserved. Ezra used worship and text to do it. Ezra engaged them in the worship of God, the most all-absorbing, comprehensive act in which men and women can engage. This is how our God-formed identities become most deeply embedded in us. And Ezra led them into an obedient listening to the text of Scripture. Listening and following God’s revelation are the primary ways in which we keep attentively obedient to the living presence of God among us.
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 MSG
Day 239 Mon, Sep 22, 2014 2 Corinthians 10-13 Psalm 119:1-16
Day 240 Tue, Sep 23, 2014 Ezra 1-4 Psalm 119: 17-32
Day 241 Wed, Sep 24, 2014 Ezra 5-7 Psalm 119: 33-48
Day 242 Thu, Sep 25, 2014 Ezra 8-10 Psalm 119:49-64
Day 243 Fri, Sep 26, 2014 Nehemiah 1-3 Psalm 119:65-80
Day 244 Sat, Sep 27, 2014 Nehemiah 4-7 Psalm 119:81-96
Day 245 Sun, Sep 28, 2014 Reflection
Day 232 Mon Sept. 15 2 Chronicles 31-33 & Psalm 114
Day 233 Tues Sept. 16 2 Chronicles 34-36 & Psalm 115
Day 234 Wed Sept. 17 Obadiah & Psalm 116
Day 235 Thu Sept. 18 2 Corinthians 1-3 & Psalm 117
Day 236 Fri Sept. 19 2 Corinthians 4-6 & Psalm 118: 1-14
Day 237 Sat Sept. 20 2 Corinthians 7-9 & Psalm 118:15-29
Day 238 Sun Sept. 21 Reflection
Day 225 Mon Sept. 8 2 Chronicles 12-15 & Psalm 108
Day 226 Tues Sept. 9 2 Chronicles 16-18 & Psalm 109
Day 227 Wed Sept. 10 2 Chronicles 19-21 & Psalm 110
Day 228 Thu Sept. 11 2 Chronicles 22-24 & Psalm 111
Day 229 Fri Sept. 12 2 Chronicles 25-27 & Psalm 112
Day 230 Sat Sept. 13 2 Chronicles 28-30 & Psalm 113
Day 231 Sun Sept. 14 Reflection
I've loved so many parts of our readings this week! Here's one of them. This is what living life together is really all about.
1 Cor. 12: 25-26 The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.