Ezra 3: Faith Over Fear

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. Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening sacrifices. -Ezra 3:2-3

Only a small number of Jews had returned to Jerusalem. They were surrounded by pagan nations who had grown accustomed to controlling the area. Yet in the midst of these people, God’s people desired to honor him with their actions. In obedience to the Lord, they began to build the altar and offering sacrifices.

We are told they were afraid of the people around them, but obeyed God anyway.

This powerful concept is one we desperately need today. We often seek the approval of others, fearing rejection. Some literally live in fear of what could be done to them if they openly worshiped God.

Yet these Jews revealed a powerful teaching of Scripture–faith over fear. When afraid to do the right thing, do it anyway. See how God responds.

Act in faith over fear today.

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Dillon Burroughs is the author and coauthor of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of all 31,173 verses of the Bible at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.

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 to rebuilt their own homes and provide for their own families, these devout Jews realized the need to honor God first.

Many argue about giving in the church today, debating how much and in which ways to give financially. The Bible is clear that God’s desire is not a certain number, but a certain attitude. Our giving is to be done in a way that gives top priority to God.

Jesus spoke highly of the woman who gave two coins while often condemning the attitudes of the rich. While God does not condemn money as evil, our use of it can be. Today, let’s remind ourselves that all we have is from God. Our highest devotion must be to him, giving in ways that reflect a heart fully committed to him.

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Dillon Burroughs is the author and coauthor of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of all 31,173 verses of the Bible at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.

Ezra 1: God Is True to His Word

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia… -Ezra 1:1

Ezra begins with the fulfillment of God’s promise–the promise to restore Israel to its land following seventy years of exile.

While we may not see the significance of this fulfillment, the priest Ezra noted it as being of utmost importance.

Could God reveal the future seventy years in advance? Ezra clearly shows that in this case, he did. The prophet Jeremiah who had mostly been rejected during his own lifetime did not live to see his prophecy fulfilled, but others did. Those who were wise noticed that God was indeed true to his word, bringing his promises to life through the decree of a pagan king.

God’s Word includes many prophecies that have already been fulfilled; other remain for a future day. Those who are wise look at these matters and consider the greatness of God. They realize his words are true, perfect, and worthy of our attention. We are to live our lives based on God’s revelation to us, knowing his wisdom is what we need most today.

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Dillon Burroughs is the author and coauthor of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of all 31,173 verses of the Bible at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.

2 Chronicles 36: No Remedy

15 The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. 16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy. -2 Chronicles 36:15-16

God’s judgment comes when there is no remedy. In Israel’s case, he sent many messengers to call his people to change. The people and their leaders mocked God’s messengers.

The result was God’s anger put into action. God’s is slow to anger, but when it happens, it is devastating.

While the situation is different today than in Israel’s past, the principles remain. God is calling people to repent, to turn to him. He is sending many messengers to communicate his message. Those who hear and respond are blessed. Those who will not respond to his message will face future judgment. This is not a source of joy for the godly, but a matter of prayer. Our desire must be to pray and to offer God’s hope to those who have yet to receive it. We are called to be faithful to the end, knowing God is the one who will someday proclaim judgment.

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Dillon Burroughs is the author and coauthor of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of all 31,173 verses of the Bible at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.