Monthly Archives: July 2022

Working For God

Please turn with me in your Bibles to Nehemiah chapter 2. 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah. Nehemiah is the Cup Bearer or the Butler of the King Artaxerxes (a Persian King and conqueror of Judah). God has moved on the heart of Ezra and Zerubbabel to lead Jewish exiles back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. Some 12 years later some of these exiles return to King Artaxerxes palace and tell Nehemiah that the walls of Jerusalem are destroyed, and the gates burned with fire.

When the walls of the nation are fallen and the gates burned, the criminal element rule the nation. The walls must be rebuilt if righteousness will return!

Nehemiah seeks first God’s permission to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls. Receiving permission from God, Nehemiah asks King Artaxerxes for help – who willingly gives it! Nehemiah travels to Jerusalem, surveys the damage done, then gathers the refugees in exile to present the facts to them. We read:… Continue reading

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Enduring And Eternal Faith

James came to know Jesus as more than a stepbrother, but as the very Son of God, and was with the disciples on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was given. Why did the brothers not believe in Jesus prior to the upper room? It is very possible that – as siblings – they were envious of the respect that Jesus received from Mary and Joseph. It is also true that the god of this world (Satan, the devil) blinds the minds of the unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4). In order for a person to be saved the “God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” must shine in our hearts, giving us a knowledge of Christ. No person is ever saved unless “the Father Who sent Jesus DRAWS them” (John 6:44). Salvation is a supernatural work that God does in our lives from start to finish.

The main point of James’ writing is that …. Continue reading

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The Death Of Death In Christ

What Is This Thing We Call “Death”?

1 Corinthians 15:55 O death, where is thy sting?

In my news feed on Friday, July 8 2022 I read:

“Prolific actor James Caan passed away late Wednesday at the age of 82, according to a statement from family members yesterday”. I first saw James Caan in a movie called El Dorado – its one of my favorite movies. Caan did quite a few movies over the years. I’ll not quote them all, because it’s quite a list. But I wanted to note the end of the article, which said: “A cause of death was not specified”. The man was 82 years old.

As a dear friend of mine said the other day,
“It’s age related”.

We don’t live forever in our current state of being – though scientists are trying hard to overcome death. In another article from Breakpoint Daily,

“Harvard Medical molecular biologist David Sinclair is combining innovation in the lab with innovation in language. In a recent CNN article, one of Sinclair’s financial backers described the goal of his research as changing the definition of the word “aging.” He wants to “make aging a disease.” Sinclair claims to have successfully interrupted the aging process in mice by turning adult cells back into stem cells. … His ultimate aim, of course, is to develop anti-aging therapies for humans.”… Continue reading

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God Is With His People

Last Sunday we started in the Book of Nehemiah. To review, Nehemiah and Ezra were considered one book by Israel and by Judaism. Ezra tells the story of the first return of Israel from exile to Jerusalem. Ezra and Zerubbabel led a team to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple, and to introduce Israel to the Law of God once more. After Ezra’s team had been in Jerusalem 12 years or so, some of the exiles returned to the winter palace of the Persian King Artaxerxes, and met the Cupbearer (the Butler) of the King named Nehemiah. These exiles told Nehemiah that the walls of Jerusalem were down, and its gates burned with fire.

So Nehemiah prayed.

If you want to be used of God, you cannot be in bondage. The reason God gave us who are Gentiles the Old Testament is to show us that God can only use a liberated people. When Israel was in bondage to Egypt, God raised up Moses to go to Pharaoh, demanding:… Continue reading

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Oh, How God Loves You And Me!

The story begins in “the month Chisleu”, which would be equivalent to our late November to early December. The man “Nehemiah” is the “Cupbearer” for the Persian King Artaxerxes, the same King who sent Ezra to Jerusalem to teach the people the Law of God. The “Cupbearer” is a respected, high ranking official who was in charge of what the King ate and drank. The Cupbearer tasted the King’s food and drink to insure that it was not poisoned. This man put his life on the line daily to protect his master. It was a Cupbearer that told Pharaoh about Joseph when he was imprisoned (Genesis 41). Based on the Cupbearer’s endorsement, Joseph was given an audience with Pharaoh – and eventually became right hand man to the King.

Nehemiah was serving the King in “Shushan the palace” – the winter palace of the Kings – when several Jews from Judah came visiting. Nehemiah knew that the Persian Kings Cyrus and Artaxerxes had allowed remnants of Israel to return to Jerusalem some 14 years before. Nehemiah “asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem”. After 14 years Nehemiah expected a good report – or at least, some progress in the restoration of Jerusalem. The delegation replied:… Continue reading

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Jesus Is From Above

John 8:17-24 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. 18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. 19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. 20 These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come. 21 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. 22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. 23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

No One Ever Spoke As Jesus Did

When a jeweler wants to show off the beauty of his diamonds, he does not put the diamonds on a white, clean surface. No, the jeweler puts the diamonds against a black surface, usually black velvet. The black focuses the eye on the light reflecting through the facets of the diamond. Displayed against the darkness, the beauty of the diamond comes out.

As our Lord Jesus ministered on this earth, the times that His beauty was most seen was when He was seen against a black surface. Many times we see Jesus being approached by those who were under the blackness of sickness and disease. Other times Jesus was seen against the darkness of sinful man. But Jesus shone brightest when He was seen against the darkness of self… Continue reading

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Three Judean Kings

Because Ahaz did evil and led Israel to do evil, “the LORD his God delivered Ahaz into the hand of the King of Syria” (2 Chronicles 28:5). “Ahaz was also delivered into the hand of the King of Israel (Northern Israel)”, who killed many citizens. Southern Israel or Judah lost 120,000 “valiant men” in one day on the battlefield – a horrendous loss. The Bible says:

2 Chronicles 28:19 … the Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of {Southern} Israel; for he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the Lord.

Ahaz would not repent and return to the Lord. Rather than admit his sin, Ahaz tried to build an alliance with Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria. Ahaz robbed the Temple of God (verse 21), and instead of turning to the Lord our God he adopted the gods of his enemies.

2 Chronicles 28:23-24 For {Ahaz} sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel. 24 And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of the Lord, and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem.

Ahaz robbed the Temple, taking away all furnishings, altars, and equipment used to worship God. Then Ahaz locked the doors of the Temple so no one could enter in and worship the Lord, and offered Israel false altars made for false gods to worship. Throughout Jerusalem – previously known as the City of God’s Temple – Ahaz established altars to false gods. Not satisfied with this, we are told:… Continue reading

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