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:

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“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!

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“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!

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“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:

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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!

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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!

chronological day 253 :)

We are going to read Daniel chapters 10, 11, and 12; Ezra 4:24, 5:1, and Haggai 1 today.  Just a quick highlight today, a little treasure that we might overlook:

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“Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day…. your words were heard; and I have come because of your words” (Dan. 10:12 NKJV)

Amen 🙂

Our words are powerful – God will come when we set our hearts toward Him and pray!

chronological day 251 :)

A couple of different places today – let’s read Daniel 6, Daniel 9, 2 Chronicles 36:22-23, Ezra 1, and 1 Chronicles 3:17-19. Are you reading your own favorite Bible, the YouVersion, or a Chronological One Year Bible?  To be honest, I switch around – but look at us!  Making it all the way to 251!  Here we go:

251

Daniel in the lions den…. oh the trust! I thought it was important to note: Darius trusted God at first because Daniel trusted God at all times.

“King Darius published this proclamation to every race, color, and creed on earth:

‘Peace to you! Abundant peace!
    I decree that Daniel’s God shall be worshiped and feared in all parts of my kingdom.
    He is the living God, world without end. His kingdom never falls.
    His rule continues eternally.
    He is a savior and rescuer.
    He performs astonishing miracles in heaven and on earth.
    He saved Daniel from the power of the lions’ ” (Daniel 6:26-27 MSG)

 

Our example of faith might lead someone to faith. Darius’ decree reflected what he witnessed in Daniel. 

“I turned to the Master God, asking for an answer—praying earnestly, fasting from meals, wearing rough penitential burlap, and kneeling in the ashes. I poured out my heart, baring my soul to God, my God” (Daniel 9:4 MSG)

“Turn your ears our way, God, and listen. Open your eyes and take a long look at our ruined city, this city named after you. We know that we don’t deserve a hearing from you. Our appeal is to your compassion. This prayer is our last and only hope” (Daniel 9:18 MSG)

We do not ask because we are anything, we ask because God is everything.  Fasting is also such a powerful and important discipline, not to be overlooked in our Christian walk.

Finally the end of the captivity in Ezra 1! Back in Isaiah 45, it was prophesied that Cyrus would end the captivity and here it comes to pass. God is always true!

chronological day 250 :)

All in Daniel today!  That’s simple.  Let’s read Daniel chapters 7, 8, and 5 together.  Here’s what stands out to me in reading today:  

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“But as for me, Daniel, I was disturbed. All these dream-visions had me agitated. So I went up to one of those standing by and asked him the meaning of all this. And he told me” (Daniel 7:15 MSG)

“I, Daniel, walked around in a daze, unwell for days. Then I got a grip on myself and went back to work taking care of the king’s affairs. But I continued to be upset by the vision. I couldn’t make sense of it” (Daniel 8:27 MSG)

It’s interesting to me that some of these visions were immediately interpreted for Daniel, and others were for the “far future” and Daniel received them but didn’t fully understand. God doesn’t have to tell us everything at once – He gives us what we need when we need it (and there’s the gap again – between knowing and unknowing).

“Daniel answered the king, ‘You can keep your gifts, or give them to someone else. But I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it means’ ” (Daniel 5:17 MSG)

In chapter 5: how terrifying, the hand on the wall! I try to imagine seeing it myself, what would I feel? I like Daniel’s response – he didn’t want the gifts, but he would share the truth. Motivation is important – and Daniel was motivated by faithfulness to God.