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I woke up a little later than usual this morning, having been pretty tired last night. And I am also preaching a new series of sermons this week, in the Revival. That means lots of necessary study time! But still, the Lord has laid a little verse of Scripture on my mind, or my heart. […]
It is so easy, natural even, to fail to see the Lord’s Hand in our problems! To (maybe without even realizing it) think, “Even God cannot solve this one!” Or to let that hardship (trial) “wear you down,” or “consume your strength,” or “dull your optimism,” or “rob you of hope!” And it is at this very […]
Joseph Parker, an old British Preacher once said: “Preach to hurting men, and you will never lack for a congregation.” I believe he is right. In every service, there sits before the Preacher someone who is enduring an especially “hard” time of life, a “valley,” so to speak. This morning, with our “Encouragement” Series still […]
In fact, an unlikely Book, from which to get any encouragement … Lamentations! A Book of tears, wailing, mourning for loss, extreme loss in Judah’s case! Yet it is Lamentations that teaches us God “mercies” are inexhaustibly fresh! And that God is ever Faithful! As in this beautiful King James wording: “It is of the […]
I recently heard a Sermon (in a Jubilee Meeting recently) on Jesus washing the Disciples’ feet. The Lord used that Text (John 13) to warm my heart. In fact, my printer right now is preparing a “Bible Portion Booklet” with John 13 being its main content. Yes, I plan (under the Lord’s direction and timing, […]
All day long my heart yearned to write another Lesson on the subject of encouragement. That’s the subject of our current Series. But our day began early, shortly before sunup in Canton, North Carolina. The sweet Revival Meeting there ended last night. So we promptly drove home and I immediately repacked and headed south to […]
I started to say we have here a “prayer promise” for those hard times. That’s true insofar as it goes, that statement. But Psalm 50:15 is much MORE than just a promise. It is a command from God! A STARK COMMAND! Let me show you. “Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will […]
Most of you are familiar with the story of Job, the great Old testament Patriarch. How he, apparently very wealthy, was visited with calamity and loss, suddenly and unexpectedly. And you remember how well he responded, especially at first, to his distress! “And (Job) said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall […]
Either could be catastrophic! Water en force, a veritable flood! Or raging fire, helplessly out of control! And yet these are the two very “foes” God mentions in a precious little verse of Scripture … Isaiah 43:2, from the pen of a ready writer! Debbie and I were riding home from Church last night, from the […]
Moses direly needed God’s Help! Leading the Jews from Sinai to Canaan. So Moses wisely asked of the Lord: “Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way …” Which I take to mean … “show me the (right) way to guide Thy people, the correct route to pursue! […]
Trials, troubles, and the like … yes, they are a part of life! Job 5:4 even makes this remarkable statement about such difficulties: “Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” Wow, sounds inevitable, doesn’t it? But for the Christian, the Believer in our Lord Jesus Christ, “pressures” and “heartaches,” the “hard times” that […]
It was a storm, for sure. Having rained for forty days and forty nights! Water higher than the mountains! But not yet, no rainbow had ever been seen! However, once the ravages of that fierce world-wide Flood had subsided, God made Noah and his family an enduring Promise! That never again would He so overcome the earth with […]
The verse is a benediction, and a paean of praise as well! Plus a glorious Statement of fact! And has been to many hearts “tons” of encouragement! And today it is our focus, our Lesson. “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all […]
A comfort verse from the Old testament Book of Exodus? Yes indeed! Exodus 3:7, in fact. “And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows.” Those last few words, “FOR I KNOW […]
Yes, Isaiah 32:2. I don’t know why this verse has not been on my “radar” when troublesome times come! But over the weekend this Text (empowered by the Holy Spirit), personally spoke to my heart. Burdened my heart, then lifted that burden … thereby refreshing my soul! And now the verse! Again, Isaiah 32:2 … “And a man […]
This is my final Article/Lesson concerning the Old Testament Book of Ezra. Remember, his name means “help!” Based on this fact: “ezer” (you can easily see Ezra embedded in this little word) in Hebrew means “to help, to succor.” And the Latin verb “succurrere” means “to run,” indicating God can speedily come to our side … […]
Essentially the Book of Ezra records (in some detail) the account (accounts, plural, really) of how the Jews who had been in Babylon for 70 years … were released from their captivity … and chose to return “home” to Israel, to Judah specifically. In Ezra chapter 2 a sizeable group returned under the leadership of […]
Hundreds of Jews, who (yes) had made a mistake, committed a grave sin, failure to separate themselves from the heathen inhabitants who had infiltrated the land of Judah … have now repented and rectified the situation! Best they could, anyway. In summary: “Separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives. […]
So now I must add the Book of Ezra to my “list.” The list in my mind of “abrupt endings” in the Bible, in Scripture! In the New Testament the history oriented Book of Acts, ends in such a fashion. (Incidentally, Ezra is history, too!) Yes, Acts concludes with the Apostle Paul in jail … and we’re […]
I am not saying this is absolutely the last Ezra Lesson, there may be another tomorrow. (We have already invested 9 Studies to Ezra chapter 10 alone!) But I am saying we are nearing the end of our journey through this truly “amazing” little Book of Bible history. Holy Spirit inspired history, and a whole […]
Paul the Apostle, many years after Ezra lived and died, wrote these words: “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of […]
Yes, many Jewish men had (illegally, according to Moses’ Law) married women of heathen descent, people who worshipped false gods at that! And Ezra and his co-leaders felt they (the erring men) were diluting, compromising, hindering the spiritual progress of the whole (albeit little) nation! Living in disobedience, later Jesus would have called it living in […]
Yes, Ezra is known for its lists, at least to some degree. There was a list of returning (to Judah from Babylon) captives way back in Ezra chapter 2, under Zerubbabel’s (among others) leadership. Then another such list (still of returnees) under Ezra’s direction appears in chapter 7 of this little Book. But now, today […]
I am trying to be ever so careful as I comment on this 10th chapter of Ezra, its grand finale! And I’ve learned early this morning that I may have overlooked an issue! (Surprise: human commentators are not infallible!) It’s just a single verse, Ezra 10:15 … “Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahaziah […]
Several times Ezra gives us precise “time spans.” Of course, with the man (Ezra) being a “scribe,” he would have been used to such specificity! (Think of court reporters, scientific researchers, skilled lawyers, and such. No, add scholars in religious law, as the Pentateuch of Moses!) Here’s the Book’s final example of such “dating:” From Ezra […]

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