Ezra 4: Handling Opposition

Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. 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 to God does not always equal a positive outcome. The Jews who sought to rebuild the temple were discouraged by their neighbors. These individuals even bribed officials to shut down their construction.

We live in a time when many teach that faithful living equals earthly blessing. Scripture does not support this. Here and elsewhere, God’s faithful are often opposed when standing for what is right. In fact, this is often the norm rather than the exception.

We are to do what is right, expect to be treated wrong, and yet do what is right anyway. This is the true teaching of Scripture.

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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 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.

Let’s talk about it on Facebook! Share your thoughts, pictures, or videos on handwriting Scripture.

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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.

Let’s talk about it on Facebook! Share your thoughts, pictures, or videos on handwriting Scripture.

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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.


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