It Is Finished: Thoughts on Writing Out Every Word of the Bible

On December 31, 2010, at the age of 34, I began handwriting the New Testament. My goal was to complete one chapter per weekday, all 260 chapters, in one year. Nine months later I had completed the New Testament and started with Genesis in the Old Testament. I thought that if I continued at my [Read More…]

Ezra 10: A Final Challenge

While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites—men, women and children—gathered around him. They too wept bitterly. -Ezra 10:1 The final chapter of Ezra was not one of joy, but of mourning. Ezra and many others wept before the Lord over the [Read More…]

Ezra 9: Taking Sin Seriously

3 When I heard this, I tore my tunic and cloak, pulled hair from my head and beard and sat down appalled. 4 Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel gathered around me because of this unfaithfulness of the exiles. And I sat there appalled until the evening sacrifice. 5 Then, at the [Read More…]

Ezra 8: Fasting for Protection

There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. -Ezra 8:21 Have you ever fasted? Many of the great leaders of the Bible did. Ezra once proclaimed a fast for [Read More…]

Ezra 7: Dedicated to the Word of God

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 7:10 Ezra is one of my heroes of the Bible. An exiled priest who helped lead the return of Jews to Jerusalem, he was known for three things–studying God’s [Read More…]

Ezra 6: Mission Accomplished

14 So the elders of the Jews continued to build and prosper under the preaching of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, a descendant of Iddo. They finished building the temple according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes, kings of Persia. 15 The temple was completed on the [Read More…]

Ezra 5: A Ministry of Encouragement

Now Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the prophet, a descendant of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. 2 Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Joshua son of Jozadak set to work to rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem. And the [Read More…]

Ezra 4: Handling Opposition

4 Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. 5 They bribed officials to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia. -Ezra 4:4-5 Living obediently [Read More…]

Ezra 3: Faith Over Fear

2 Then Joshua son of Jozadak and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his associates began to build the altar of the God of Israel to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, in accordance with what is written in the Law of Moses the man of God. 3 Despite their fear of the peoples around [Read More…]

Ezra 2: The Priority of Worship

When they arrived at the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, some of the heads of the families gave freewill offerings toward the rebuilding of the house of God on its site. -Ezra 2:68 When the first Jewish families arrived in Jerusalem, Ezra notes some family leaders gave toward rebuilding the temple. Despite the need [Read More…]