Category Archives: 15 – Ezra

The Guilt of Sin


Daily Bible Reading – Ezra 9, 10; Psalm 131; Luke 21

Today’s Key Passage – Ezra 9:1-9

 

Ezra knew the seriousness of sin, and he knew that no one sins without affecting others.  Ezra was so overcome with guilt and sorrow over the sins of his people that he “tore [his] tunic and cloak, [and] pulled hair from [his] head and beard” (9:5).  Ezra also knew that despite his sins and the sins of his people, God’s love and mercy had spared the nation when they did nothing to deserve it.

For many people, religion and guilt go hand in hand.  Sometimes we can all feel like religion or church puts an unwanted spotlight on our sin, and it causes us to feel guilty for what we have done, but this is not what God wants.  God loves each of us so much that he made the ultimate sacrifice – he gave his one and only Son to take away all of our sin and our guilt.  We can live guilt-free knowing that through Jesus Christ we are saved – not by what we have done or not done in our past, but by what He did for us.  God saved us by His grace and mercy alone.  It is a free gift and all we have to do is receive it.  When we do sin, the freedom of Christ allows us to go to God, confess this sin to Him, and ask for his help in repentance.

Instead of trying to run away from God out of guilt or shame, we can run TO God for help in restoring our relationship with Him.  God will always accept us and love us just as we are.  While it is true that He abhors sin, He truly loves us unconditionally just as we love our own children. When you sin and are truly sorry, confess this to God, ask for His forgiveness, and then accept his grace and mercy.  Accept that your sin has been washed away and that God has forgotten it.  Then, turn from that sin and run toward God by making the necessary corrections and walking in step with Him.  Never let the guilt of sin weigh you down.  Instead, focus on the wonderful grace and mercy of God.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

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The Dangerous Journey


Daily Bible Reading – Ezra 7, 8; Luke 20

Today’s Key Passage – Ezra 8:21-23

 

Ezra’s journey to Jerusalem would take him and his people about 900 miles on foot through dangerous territory, and would eventually take four months to complete.  Before heading out on this journey, Ezra took the time to fast and pray that God would protect them. (8:23)  Even before making all of the physical preparations for this trip, Ezra understood the importance of making spiritual preparations.  Ezra knew that he and his people could not make this journey alone – they needed God to help them along the way.

Like Ezra, we cannot make our journeys in life alone either.  Most of our journeys in life are not as hard and dangerous as a 900-mile walk through the desert, and maybe that is why we sometimes neglect to spend the proper amount of time making our spiritual preparations before we begin.  When we take the time to seek out God’s help, however, we can prepare ourselves for whatever might lie ahead.  Every time we put Him first in what we do, we get closer to Him.  God is at work in everything that we do on a daily basis, and if we take the time to ask Him for guidance and protection, we become better prepared to handle all of the ups and downs along the way.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Facing Opposition


Daily Bible Reading – Ezra 4; Psalms 113, 127; Luke 9

Today’s Key Passage – Ezra 4:1-24

 

The Jews returning to Jerusalem from exile wanted nothing more than to rebuild the temple of the Lord.  Unfortunately, their task was not an easy one.  Not only did they have to deal with the logistics of rebuilding the temple and all of the work involved, they also faced opposition to the rebuilding efforts from their neighbors.  When Assyria conquered the northern kingdom of Israel, many people were relocated to live in this region, and now these people wanted to keep the Jews from rebuilding the temple for fear that they would gain power.  The enemies of Judah tried several tactics to stop the construction.  First, they attempted to infiltrate the people of Judah by offering to help so they could sabotage their efforts. (4:2)  When this failed, they tried to stop the construction by discouraging and intimidating the Jews. (4:4-5)  Finally, they took their complaint to the king, falsely accusing the Jews of rebellion.  In the short term, all of this opposition worked and the rebuilding efforts were temporarily put on hold. (4:23-24)  Eventually though, God’s plans could not be thwarted, and the temple was ultimately completed.

When we step out in faith in service to God, we too may face opposition.  This opposition might come from unbelievers, or perhaps even friends and family members.  Sometimes, the opposition comes from powers and principalities that we cannot truly understand.  It can be easy for us to become frustrated with this opposition, especially when it works in temporarily stopping our efforts.  However, we can take comfort in knowing that when we are following Christ and acting according to His will, His plans will ultimately succeed.  Our God is all-powerful and completely sovereign, and there is absolutely nothing that can keep Him from accomplishing His mission and achieving His goals.  We may sometimes feel like we are facing a brick wall, but to God this wall is simply a hurdle that is easily navigated.  When facing opposition, pray for the strength to get through the tough times while maintaining a loving attitude toward your oppressors, and pray for God’s will to be done.  God, in His infinite wisdom, will take care of the rest.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

The Highest Priority


Daily Bible Reading – Ezra 2, 3; Luke 8

Today’s Key Passage – Ezra 3:1-6

 

Like most people, I do not enjoy moving.  I have moved several times over the years, and each time I have faced the same dilemma.  Once everything is moved into the new home, the question always becomes where to begin.  If you have ever moved, you have likely faced the same issue and the question is usually answered based on your immediate priorities.  Since you know you are going to need clothes to wear, you might begin by unpacking your wardrobe.  Perhaps you need to make a meal, so the kitchen boxes might come first.  If you are tired from a long day of moving, getting the bed in order might become the most important thing.  Whatever the case, your first steps when moving to a new home will always be dictated by your highest priority.

After years of exile, the remnant of God’s chosen people were finally returning to Jerusalem.  In today’s key passage, we find out about their highest priority during the move into their new home.  When they returned to Jerusalem, they found that they were surrounded by strangers who had settled in the lands surrounding the city.  Though they were afraid of being attacked by one of their new neighbors, they did not immediately begin by building a wall around the city or by worrying about their defenses. (3:3)  Instead, their first step was to rebuild the altar and (eventually) God’s temple.  They knew that their highest priority was to worship God.

We can all learn a lesson from the people in our story today.  How often do we choose to spend our time building our physical lives instead of our spiritual ones?  In this life, we are constantly faced with changing priorities, and often we can all be tempted to make God and afterthought.  Like the people returning to Jerusalem, though, we must all make better choices.  When it comes to finding our highest priority, the correct answer is always our loving Heavenly Father.  When we choose to put Him first in all that we do, our priorities will always be in the right order.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

The Guilt of Sin


Daily Bible Reading – Ezra 9, 10; Psalm 131; Luke 21

Today’s Key Passage – Ezra 9:1-9

 

Ezra knew the seriousness of sin, and he knew that no one sins without affecting others.  Ezra was so overcome with guilt and sorrow over the sins of his people that he “tore [his] tunic and cloak, [and] pulled hair from [his] head and beard” (9:5).  Ezra also knew that despite his sins and the sins of his people, God’s love and mercy had spared the nation when they did nothing to deserve it.

For many people, religion and guilt go hand in hand.  Sometimes we can all feel like religion or church puts an unwanted spotlight on our sin, and it causes us to feel guilty for what we have done, but this is not what God wants.  God loves each of us so much that he made the ultimate sacrifice – he gave his one and only Son to take away all of our sin and our guilt.  We can live guilt-free knowing that through Jesus Christ we are saved – not by what we have done or not done in our past, but by what He did for us.  God saved us by His grace and mercy alone.  It is a free gift and all we have to do is receive it.  When we do sin, the freedom of Christ allows us to go to God, confess this sin to Him, and ask for his help in repentance.

Instead of trying to run away from God out of guilt or shame, we can run TO God for help in restoring our relationship with Him.  God will always accept us and love us just as we are.  While it is true that He abhors sin, He truly loves us unconditionally just as we love our own children. When you sin and are truly sorry, confess this to God, ask for His forgiveness, and then accept his grace and mercy.  Accept that your sin has been washed away and that God has forgotten it.  Then, turn from that sin and run toward God by making the necessary corrections and walking in step with Him.  Never let the guilt of sin weigh you down.  Instead, focus on the wonderful grace and mercy of God.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

The Dangerous Journey


Daily Bible Reading – Ezra 7, 8; Luke 20

Today’s Key Passage – Ezra 8:21-23

 

Ezra’s journey to Jerusalem would take him and his people about 900 miles on foot through dangerous territory, and would eventually take four months to complete.  Before heading out on this journey, Ezra took the time to fast and pray that God would protect them. (8:23)  Even before making all of the physical preparations for this trip, Ezra understood the importance of making spiritual preparations.  Ezra knew that he and his people could not make this journey alone – they needed God to help them along the way.

Like Ezra, we cannot make our journeys in life alone either.  Most of our journeys in life are not as hard and dangerous as a 900-mile walk through the desert, and maybe that is why we sometimes neglect to spend the proper amount of time making our spiritual preparations before we begin.  When we take the time to seek out God’s help, however, we can prepare ourselves for whatever might lie ahead.  Every time we put Him first in what we do, we get closer to Him.  God is at work in everything that we do on a daily basis, and if we take the time to ask Him for guidance and protection, we become better prepared to handle all of the ups and downs along the way.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Facing Opposition


Daily Bible Reading – Ezra 4; Psalms 113, 127; Luke 9

Today’s Key Passage – Ezra 4:1-24

 

The Jews returning to Jerusalem from exile wanted nothing more than to rebuild the temple of the Lord.  Unfortunately, their task was not an easy one.  Not only did they have to deal with the logistics of rebuilding the temple and all of the work involved, they also faced opposition to the rebuilding efforts from their neighbors.  When Assyria conquered the northern kingdom of Israel, many people were relocated to live in this region, and now these people wanted to keep the Jews from rebuilding the temple for fear that they would gain power.  The enemies of Judah tried several tactics to stop the construction.  First, they attempted to infiltrate the people of Judah by offering to help so they could sabotage their efforts. (4:2)  When this failed, they tried to stop the construction by discouraging and intimidating the Jews. (4:4-5)  Finally, they took their complaint to the king, falsely accusing the Jews of rebellion.  In the short term, all of this opposition worked and the rebuilding efforts were temporarily put on hold. (4:23-24)  Eventually though, God’s plans could not be thwarted, and the temple was ultimately completed.

When we step out in faith in service to God, we too may face opposition.  This opposition might come from unbelievers, or perhaps even friends and family members.  Sometimes, the opposition comes from powers and principalities that we cannot truly understand.  It can be easy for us to become frustrated with this opposition, especially when it works in temporarily stopping our efforts.  However, we can take comfort in knowing that when we are following Christ and acting according to His will, His plans will ultimately succeed.  Our God is all-powerful and completely sovereign, and there is absolutely nothing that can keep Him from accomplishing His mission and achieving His goals.  We may sometimes feel like we are facing a brick wall, but to God this wall is simply a hurdle that is easily navigated.  When facing opposition, pray for the strength to get through the tough times while maintaining a loving attitude toward your oppressors, and pray for God’s will to be done.  God, in His infinite wisdom, will take care of the rest.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

The Highest Priority


Daily Bible Reading – Ezra 2, 3; Luke 8

Today’s Key Passage – Ezra 3:1-6

 

Like most people, I do not enjoy moving.  I have moved several times over the years, and each time I have faced the same dilemma.  Once everything is moved into the new home, the question always becomes where to begin.  If you have ever moved, you have likely faced the same issue and the question is usually answered based on your immediate priorities.  Since you know you are going to need clothes to wear, you might begin by unpacking your wardrobe.  Perhaps you need to make a meal, so the kitchen boxes might come first.  If you are tired from a long day of moving, getting the bed in order might become the most important thing.  Whatever the case, your first steps when moving to a new home will always be dictated by your highest priority.

After years of exile, the remnant of God’s chosen people were finally returning to Jerusalem.  In today’s key passage, we find out about their highest priority during the move into their new home.  When they returned to Jerusalem, they found that they were surrounded by strangers who had settled in the lands surrounding the city.  Though they were afraid of being attacked by one of their new neighbors, they did not immediately begin by building a wall around the city or by worrying about their defenses. (3:3)  Instead, their first step was to rebuild the altar and (eventually) God’s temple.  They knew that their highest priority was to worship God.

We can all learn a lesson from the people in our story today.  How often do we choose to spend our time building our physical lives instead of our spiritual ones?  In this life, we are constantly faced with changing priorities, and often we can all be tempted to make God and afterthought.  Like the people returning to Jerusalem, though, we must all make better choices.  When it comes to finding our highest priority, the correct answer is always our loving Heavenly Father.  When we choose to put Him first in all that we do, our priorities will always be in the right order.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

The Guilt of Sin


Daily Bible Reading – Ezra 9, 10; Psalm 131; Luke 21

Today’s Key Passage – Ezra 9:1-9

 

Ezra knew the seriousness of sin, and he knew that no one sins without affecting others.  Ezra was so overcome with guilt and sorrow over the sins of his people that he “tore [his] tunic and cloak, [and] pulled hair from [his] head and beard” (9:5).  Ezra also knew that despite his sins and the sins of his people, God’s love and mercy had spared the nation when they did nothing to deserve it.

For many people, religion and guilt go hand in hand.  Sometimes we can all feel like religion or church puts an unwanted spotlight on our sin, and it causes us to feel guilty for what we have done, but this is not what God wants.  God loves each of us so much that he made the ultimate sacrifice – he gave his one and only Son to take away all of our sin and our guilt.  We can live guilt-free knowing that through Jesus Christ we are saved – not by what we have done or not done in our past, but by what He did for us.  God saved us by His grace and mercy alone.  It is a free gift and all we have to do is receive it.  When we do sin, the freedom of Christ allows us to go to God, confess this sin to Him, and ask for his help in repentance.

Instead of trying to run away from God out of guilt or shame, we can run TO God for help in restoring our relationship with Him.  God will always accept us and love us just as we are.  While it is true that He abhors sin, He truly loves us unconditionally just as we love our own children. When you sin and are truly sorry, confess this to God, ask for His forgiveness, and then accept his grace and mercy.  Accept that your sin has been washed away and that God has forgotten it.  Then, turn from that sin and run toward God by making the necessary corrections and walking in step with Him.  Never let the guilt of sin weigh you down.  Instead, focus on the wonderful grace and mercy of God.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

The Dangerous Journey


Daily Bible Reading – Ezra 7, 8; Luke 20

Today’s Key Passage – Ezra 8:21-23

 

Ezra’s journey to Jerusalem would take him and his people about 900 miles on foot through dangerous territory, and would eventually take four months to complete.  Before heading out on this journey, Ezra took the time to fast and pray that God would protect them. (8:23)  Even before making all of the physical preparations for this trip, Ezra understood the importance of making spiritual preparations.  Ezra knew that he and his people could not make this journey alone – they needed God to help them along the way.

Like Ezra, we cannot make our journeys in life alone either.  Most of our journeys in life are not as hard and dangerous as a 900-mile walk through the desert, and maybe that is why we sometimes neglect to spend the proper amount of time making our spiritual preparations before we begin.  When we take the time to seek out God’s help, however, we can prepare ourselves for whatever might lie ahead.  Every time we put Him first in what we do, we get closer to Him.  God is at work in everything that we do on a daily basis, and if we take the time to ask Him for guidance and protection, we become better prepared to handle all of the ups and downs along the way.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

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