This is it! This week we complete our winter Bible Study!
Thank you to everyone who is still here and still going strong!
It has been a great study together!
Are you wondering
what’s next after we complete
our Ezra and Nehemiah Study?
We always take a spring break –
so we will go on break.
Then I have
something NEW for the spring!
So watch for all the exciting news later THIS week right here on the blog!
This Week’s Bible Reading Plan:
(Facebook Leaders: You can use this as your Facebook Header this week. Just right click and “save as” or screen shot it.)
This week’s Reflection & Discussion Questions
(Leaders: Copy and paste these into your groups. If you do not have a group, use these for a personal time of reflection.)
Jerusalem has gone from being a city in ruins to having the temple rebuilt under the direction of Ezra. The walls were repaired under the leadership of Nehemiah and a remnant returned and renewed her covenant with the Lord. But more was needed. The threat of enemy attack remained, and so there was a great need for more people to live inside of Jerusalem, The city needed a greater population for protection and to continue its restoration.
The leaders already inhabited Jerusalem, and now the people are casting lots for 10% of the outlying population to relocate there as well. On top of this 10%, there were also those who willingly offered to move. This decision came at a cost. Not only were they leaving behind the homes they’d built and established, as well as loved ones and friends, but they were choosing to move to a city that was under greater threat of enemy invasion.
This was a sacrifice they chose to make in order to answer God’s call. God’s call often comes at great sacrifice. There will be those who will not agree with our decision or who don’t understand the sacrifices we make. Choosing to follow God’s call makes us a greater target for the enemy’s attack. However, as we see in our passage today, there was a special blessing for those who willingly chose to follow God’s call; and it’s no difference for us today. When we choose to step out in faith and boldness to answer God’s call on our life, we will experience a new level of blessing in our life. In what way is God calling you to step out in faith and obedience? Have you answered that call?
The day has come to dedicate the wall of Jerusalem. All of the leaders came together with the singers and the people, and they rejoiced, sang, and worshipped God so that the sound of their worship and rejoicing was heard from far away. Before they began to worship, the priests and Levites did a very important thing. They first purified themselves, then purified the people, and purified the gates and walls of the city. This was a very important step before they began worship as they recognized the importance of purity in true worship.
In the Old Testament, they followed rituals of cleansing before meeting with God; but now we are under a new covenant. God is not as concerned with our outward purity as much as he is concerned with purity of heart. We can’t purify our own hearts, that’s why we need Jesus. In verse 45 we read that purification was an ongoing ritual; and it is no different for us today. We need to daily cleanse our hearts with the cleansing water of the word of God to maintain a pure heart before God, because true worship flows from a pure heart.
When God’s people, who are purified and set apart for sacred use, come together in unity to worship God, the power of their collective worship is amplified before God. Has the defilement of this world begun to stick to your heart in some areas? Have you recognized areas of your life where you’ve made small compromises? Set aside some time today to allow God to purify your heart, and worship him.
After the Jewish people had experienced this tremendous revival, Nehemiah returned to Babylon for the next 10-12 years. While he was away, Eliashib the priest emptied out a storeroom in the temple courts and gave it to Tobiah to live in. Not only had Tobiah heavily resisted and plotted to thwart the work of God in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, he was also an Ammonite and thus forbidden to enter into the assembly.
About a decade later, Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem and what he discovers grieves and angers him. It did not take long for God’s people to go back on their promises. They had failed to keep the sabbath. They had failed to bring their tithes, so that the Levites returned to their fields out of necessity. They were intermarrying with the pagan surrounding nations. These were all things that had angered God before and led to their captivity.
How often are we like the children of Israel? We make promises to God in times of personal revival and yet fail to keep those promises and go back to living the way we did before. Is there a promise you’ve made to God that you have not yet kept? Remember, God is full of mercy and grace; his love is everlasting. When we fail, all we need to do is seek his forgiveness. And he gives it freely! Purpose today to remain faithful to God.
To print the 23 Reflection and Discussion Questions for Ezra and Nehemiah –> Click Here
This Week’s Verses of the Day:
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Join us EVERY weekday morning ANYTIME after 7:00amEST on Facebook
to discuss the day’s reading assignment.
Remember to leave at least 20 minutes for your reading each day. I am in prayer for you all and asking God to help us understand his word clearly.
Keep walking with the King,
If you are looking to do a Bible Study
during our break, here’s my best selling studies!
Ecclesiastes – Wisdom for Living Well
A 6-Week In-depth Bible Study with a Free Video Series
With over 1000 5-Star Reviews on Amazon – this is my most popular Bible Study! It is a verse-by-verse in-depth study of the book of Ecclesiastes. You can find all of the free resources for this study along with the video series —-> HERE.
Ruth – God’s Amazing Love for You
A 5-Week In-depth Bible Study with a Free Video Series
With over 1,200 5-Star Review, this is my second most popular study. It is a verse-by verse, in-depth study of the book of Ruth.
You can find all of the free resources for this study along with the video series —> HERE.
Rest and Release
A 4-Week Bible Study with a Free Video Series
You can find all of its resources and the free video seres —–> HERE.
Other books of the Bible
You can find all of the books of the Bible we have already studied together and the free resources to go along with those studies on this page —–> HERE.
I encourage you to pick a book of the Bible and study it on your own and I’ll be back in April to study with you again!
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