I am a born again believer. I am not afraid to share my faith. "But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father in heaven." Matthew 10:33
During this time the temple was able to be rebuilt. They had encouragement from the prophets that God sent. God allowed the king’s heart to be soft to keep the people safe. It allowed the people to worship God and celebrate the holy days such as the passover.
How many times do we think something about ourselves negatively. God is trying to build us and we tear it down. Unlike the people of that time we do not lean on God day to day. We have a place to worship him but do we make it every Sunday and on time. One thing that I heard from a preacher a long time ago is how important is your job compared to God. If you are on time to work then should you not have the same diligence with Church?
Judges 6:1New International Version (NIV)
6 The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites.
Yikes, in some versions it adds the word again. I think about how many times that I keep doing the same thing over and over again even if I know it is wrong. Instead of moving forward, I freeze and do not want to move. I found it interesting that the Judges in the old testament are different from the ones that we have today. Those that were called Judges back then were called and given power by God to unify the people of God against their enemies. The people of that time had forgotten God and did not seek after him. They had heard the stories I am sure about Moses and Joshua but had never known God intimately.
After God’s people had lived in Babylon for 70 years, God decided that it was time for them to go home. A new king took over and let the Jewish people go. Over 50,000 people went back home. There were many that never got to see their home again and others that were just seeing it for the first time. When they got back one of the first things that they did was to try and restore the temple.
While I was never forced out of my home, I have been put in uncomfortable situations. 2 years ago I went on a mission trip to South Asia with my church. I was nervous as all get out but it turned out great. I had the most amazing experience. One house that we visited had a neighbor that had never heard the name Jesus. When asked “will you go to heaven (yes), and how ( muhammad would save her)”. It was an eye opening experience. I have new eyes when it comes to Muslims and I hate the bad press that they get. Even they hate the extreme faith that causes pain to others. Back to my story by the end the same questions were asked and she said “Jesus is the only way”. Now I can not tell you exact words because a translator was used. The team was with a missionary family that was in the area. But I loved every moment of it and would love to go back one day. I could not imagine what my missionary friends go through on a day to day basis. I once stated that I could never do that but now I have came to the conclusion that if God wants that to happen one day it will.
God showed his power and rescued Daniel. Others were jealous of his power and tried to get rid of him. But through God, he was able to make it out of the lion’s den.
God can do so many amazing things We need to just be faithful to him. We are called to be different from the world. That can be hard to do sometimes. I remember saying something along the lines about it is not fair when I was little. My mom always said this is not a fair and it is life. I have always remembered that. Even Jesus said if they hate me, they will hate you also. I am amazed at how much he loves us and wants us. If we have faith in him, he will always take care of us.
14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
11 The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.
1 Peter 3:9-119 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
I have decided that this year I am gonna focus on peace that passes all understanding. I can get so caught up with the day to day grind that I forget that Gods got this. He will take care of me. I want to remember that he is the peacemaker and I do not have to worry about what will happen today, tomorrow or even 2 years from now. I need to focus on him and not on the small things.
God gives a lot of good gifts. But there is one that is better than the rest. He loves us so much he gave his only son. While I do not have any kiddos of my own I have my nieces, nephews and students that I teach. I can not imagine giving them up to people that will hate them and eventually kill them. But God did. He gave us a savior. He willingly allow his son to be born as a baby to people that had sinned in the past and let him grow up around them. These people had to repent time and time again but God loved them so much. I am astounded by his love for us.
Did you know that Isaiah means Yahweh is Salvation? I was amazed when I found that fact out. Isaiah was a prophet before Jesus was even born but so many of his truths are still important today. He spoke promises that he had no idea whether they came about. But they did and led to Jesus being born.
There are many times today that I can feel afraid and not want to continue on but with Jesus by my side I do. I can not imagine how the people of the old testament felt. They had to make sacrifices and follow many rules. But Jesus was born and allows us to be rescued from our sin.
God’s People had been warned again and again. But they did not listen. They were doing things that they were not suppose to do. Idols were worshiped daily.So God did what he said he would. He allowed them to be taken as slaves. The Babylon kingdom took them. KIng Nebuchadnezzar wanted people to work in the palace and the people that were taken were given new identities. But they stayed true to themselves. They refused to get carried away by the vast new things that they were given. God blessed them for following his commandments. God remembered his people even when they did not remember him.
I sometimes feel this way. I get so busy and then something happens and I realize that I forgot to pray about the situation. I feel bad and pray about it. SInce I am becoming more aware of my faults I have started doing it less. I know that God puts people and situations in my path to help me with this problem. I am excited that even though obedience is not always easy but God will give us the strength to obey his commandments.
In this passage, the people were complaining about how it is not fair. They were told that it was there fault for not being faithful. They were told to repent. God wanted them to repent and gave encouragement to them. God did not want them to be separated and eventually gave Jesus to us to show his love.
I want to have more faith this year and not worry as much. God wants us to put our faith in him and not just complain about it.
2 Chronicles 36: 1-21
Do we follow God like we should? The people of Judah had been given warnings but did not listen. They were taken captive because they did not watch what was happening around them. God had sent people to warn them many times but they did not listen.
Just like me, I know that something is bad for me but I still want to do it. Just like the people of Judah, I have to pay for what I chose to. Not because God is mean or cruel but because he is just. He is like a father and corrects us because he loves us.