chronological day 263 :)

Today, it’s all about Nehemiah again!  Here we go: Nehemiah 8:13-18; then full chapters 9 and 10.  Read and come on back – let’s visit!

263

“You are not to blame for all that has come down on us. You did everything right, and we did everything wrong” (Nehemiah 9 MSG)

The people did not blame God for their hardships…. you know, sometimes, it really is our fault.  It’s so important to recognize the connection between our actions and our circumstances. Now they enter a period of fasting again – fasting brought a victory before, now they continue the discipline. Fasting also brings favor.  

“we will not neglect the temple” (Nehemiah 10:39)

This is referring to the tithe. Tithes belong in the storehouse (for us, that is our home church) – it’s not a way to purchase favor (we can’t buy favor from God), it’s an act of obedience. Obedience releases blessing.

chronological day 262 :)

Continuing in Nehemiah!  Let’s read the following: 7:4-73 and 8:1-12. Got a highlight?  Here’s mine:

262

At the completion of the work, they remembered God:

“the people went out, brought in branches, and made themselves booths on their roofs, courtyards, the courtyards of The Temple of God, the Water Gate plaza, and the Ephraim Gate plaza. The entire congregation that had come back from exile made booths and lived in them. The People of Israel hadn’t done this from the time of Joshua son of Nun until that very day—a terrific day! Great joy! Ezra read from the Book of The Revelation of God each day, from the first to the last day—they celebrated the feast for seven days. On the eighth day they held a solemn assembly in accordance with the decree” (Nehemiah 8:16-18 MSG)

Once one vision is complete, it’s important to turn our eyes to the Lord purposefully and worship.  Tune in to Him, find out what He is doing next – worship Him for the victory and continue to work!  A victory is not a stopping point – it is a springboard into your next victory!

chronological day 261 :)

All in one place again – that’s nice!  Today, we’ll read Nehemiah chapters 3, 4, 5, 6, and finally 7:1-3.  Got a highlight?  I’d love for you to leave a comment and share it with me!

261

Everyone worked –

“except for their nobles, who wouldn’t work with their master and refused to get their hands dirty with such work” (Nehemiah 3:5 MSG)

It’s a blessing to have the strength to work, a blessing that God would allow people such as we are to cooperate with Him in restoration or whatever He needs accomplished – I don’t ever want to be so self-important that I refuse “such work”.  If God is involved, I want to be involved!

I love the response and when the enemy opposed to restoration (because you know the enemy will oppose) –

“We countered with prayer to our God and set a round-the-clock guard against them”(Nehemiah 4:9 MSG)

Prayer is a weapon! I like Nehemiah 5:16 – they were too busy working for the Lord to be distracted by their own needs, and they trusted God to take care of them. And don’t miss this one:

“I’m doing a great work – I can’t come down” (Nehemiah 6:3 MSG)

What determination. Whatever your situation is, that’ll preach!

chronological day 260 :)

A few chapters today – you are doing GREAT!  Let’s read Ezra chapters 9 and 10; then Nehemiah chapters 1 and 2.  What is your take-a-way today?  What can you apply to your life and learn from the Word of God today?  Here’s a couple of mine:

260

“Now for a brief time God, our God, has allowed us, this battered band, to get a firm foothold in his holy place so that our God may brighten our eyes and lighten our burdens as we serve out this hard sentence. We were slaves; yet even as slaves, our God didn’t abandon us. He has put us in the good graces of the kings of Persia and given us the heart to build The Temple of our God” (Ezra 9:8-9 MSG)

God is always kind!  God never leaves us!  Your circumstances do not determine whether God is good – the goodness of God is a fact, no matter whether times are easy or hard.

“When I heard this, I sat down and wept. I mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God-of-Heaven. I said, ‘God, God-of-Heaven, the great and awesome God, loyal to his covenant and faithful to those who love him and obey his commands: Look at me, listen to me. Pay attention to this prayer of your servant that I’m praying day and night in intercession for your servants’ ” (Nehemiah 1:4-6 MSG)

Nehemiah fasts and prays, such an important discipline – and it yielded great results. Physical obedience can release spiritual results. Fasting is a discipline that disconnects you from the pull of the world, while prayer connects you to God.  Don’t overlook this discipline in your own spiritual walk!

 

chronological day 259 :)

Today, we’re are reading Ezra 4:7-23, then Ezra 7 and 8.  All in one place today!

259

“He had begun his journey from Babylon on the first day of the first month, and he arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month, for the gracious hand of his God was on him. For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel” (Ezra 7:9-10 NIV)

What a wonderful thing – for the hand of the Lord to be on us because we are devoted! Lord, let it be so in my life!  Let it be so in yours as well, my friend!

Ezra 8:10 NIV – Fasting continues to be an important discipline, and we’ll see it in the NT as well.

chronological day 258 :)

Today, we are finishing Esther – wow!  Please read Esther 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10.  It’s so hard for me to put these 6 chapters in a “nutshell” for today! Let’s try – I’d love to hear your highlights too!

258

“When Haman entered, the king said, ‘What would be appropriate for the man the king especially wants to honor?’

Haman thought to himself, ‘He must be talking about honoring me—who else?’ So he answered the king, ‘For the man the king delights to honor, do this: Bring a royal robe that the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden, one with a royal crown on its head. Then give the robe and the horse to one of the king’s most noble princes. Have him robe the man whom the king especially wants to honor; have the prince lead him on horseback through the city square, proclaiming before him, ‘This is what is done for the man whom the king especially wants to honor!’ 

 ‘Go and do it,’ the king said to Haman. ‘Don’t waste another minute. Take the robe and horse and do what you have proposed to Mordecai the Jew who sits at the King’s Gate. Don’t leave out a single detail of your plan.’ ”  (Esther 6:6-10 MSG)

Promotion and honor may not come from an expected source or at an expected time, but God will honor you if you honor Him!

I notice Haman was terrified before Esther and Ahasuerus –

“Haman was terror-stricken before the king and queen” (Esther 7:8 MSG)

I think because he had no love in his heart. We’ll get to it, but 1 John 4:18 says perfect love casts out fear. I’m thankful that because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we don’t have to feel this way that Haman felt.  

Finished the book of Esther!

chronological day 257 :)

Today, we are reading Ezra 6:14-22, Ezra 4:6, and we are starting Esther chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4. Esther is a favorite – it’s hard for me to pick out only one or two little highlights!

257

 

“they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy; for the Lord made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria toward them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel” (Ezra 6:22 KNJV)

They were joyful because the Lord gave joy, and strengthened because the Lord gave them strength for their work. Hard work is a blessing!  The ability to do hard work is a blessing!

It’s hard for me to offer a nutshell on Esther and comment on 4 chapters in a little blurb! Did you ever notice God’s Name is never mentioned in this book? I notice Ahasuerus’ advisors exaggerate (“all” wives will be disobedient because of Vashti’s example?).  We need to be careful of the voices we allow in our lives. Have to mention Esther 4:14, of course:

“who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14 NKJV”

chronological day 256 :)

All in Zechariah today!  Please read chapters 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14. It’s simple when we are all in one place, but I still like to see the connections from book to book.  Have you learned something new or gained new insight from reading the Bible in chronological order?  Let’s visit once you have read these chapters for today:

256

Again in Zechariah 9:9 – rejoice because the King is coming! The Lord does not have to perform to be praised – praise Him in advance!

Restoration again, and a reminder that the Lord always returns with mercy:

“I will bring them back because I have mercy on them” (Zechariah 10:6-7)

Zechariah 11:4-17 reminds me of Ezekiel 34. Any hint of Jesus is encouraging – did y’all see that in Zechariah 12:10?

“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn” (Zech. 12:10 KNJV)

Now we are done with Zechariah!

chronological day 255 :)

A few places to skip to today: Zechariah 6, Ezra 5:3-17, Ezra 6:1-14, and Zechariah 7 and 8.  Let’s visit – what stands out to you? Leave a comment – I’d love to hear from you!

255

“Let it be known to the king that we went into the province of Judea, to the temple of the great God, which is being built with heavy stones, and timber is being laid in the walls; and this work goes on diligently and prospers in their hands” (Ezra 5:8 NKJV)

I like that: the work went on diligently and prospered in their hands.Diligence and hard work is valuable. While we are trusting the Lord to bless our efforts, let’s work hard so that He has something to bless! 

chronological day 254 :)

Several places to flip around today: Haggai 2:1-9, Zechariah 1:1-6, Haggai 2:10-19, Ezra 5:2, Haggai 2:20-23, Zechariah 2, 3, 4, and 5.  I switched to the NKJV for a few days just for a change – do you switch it up here and there? As much as I enjoy the Message translation, the NKJV has been my dear friend for many years.  I like returning to the familiar text as much as I like for a different translation to “keep me on my toes”!  I’m rambling – let’s visit about the reading today!

254

Haggai 2:4 says “be strong” (three times) with the encouragement “for I am with you”. This is a powerful and much needed reminder that our circumstances do not change God’s promises – we are chosen. He is always the same.

“Therefore thus says the Lord:

‘I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy’ ” (Zechariah 1:16 NKJV)

How lovely. How precious. Depending on our need, how powerful. Doesn’t He always return with mercy?

“Sing and rejoice… for I am coming” (Zechariah 2:10 NKJV)

Rejoice just because He is coming – He hadn’t even acted yet, He was just coming! That’s joy and faith in action!