Making amends

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(Ezra 9)

(Ezra 9:9) For we are slaves [Bondmen]. Yet our God has not forsaken us in our slavery, but extended to us His steadfast love before the kings of Persia, to grant us some reviving to set up the house of our God, to repair it’s ruins, and to give us protection in Judea snd Jerusalem

God’s grace extended. God issues a decree to Cyrus king of Persia to allow exiles return (to Jerusalem) to rebuild temple, and wall. They would settle among all the other tribes who also lived in the surrounding areas.

Do not be un-equally yoked! (2 Corinthians 6:14) Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? KJV The Israelites were God’s chosen people, A people with an unsullied (undiluted) blood-line -Set apart for Himself.

The fruit of disobedience. (9:2) For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has intermingled with the peoples of the lands; indeed, the hands of the princes and the rulers have been foremost in this unfaithfulness.

Bad seed begets Bad fruit. Of course, Their atrocities against God led to more atrocities. “The wild ass” (Jeremiah 2:24) a wild donkey used to the wilderness, in her heat sniffing the wind! Who can restrain her lust? None who seek her need not weary themselves; In her month the will find her. * Even more disgusting is. Those charged with leading the people (priests, Levites) were the ones most guilty.

They were warned. (9:10-11) “And now, our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken your commandments.” which you commanded by Your servants the prophets, saying, 11 The land that that you are entering to possess is a land unclean with pollutions of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations. They have filled it from end to end with their uncleanliness.

Does God show favor to His own? (9:13) After all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, seeing that you, our God, have punished us less than our i iniquities deserved and has given us such a remnant as this. *Favor doesn’t mean “Without” consequence.

With remorse and repentant hearts 9:15, 10:1) 15 O Lord, God of Israel, you are just but we have escaped as a remnant, as in now the case. Here we are before you in our guilt, though no one can face you because of this. [10:1] While Ezra prayed and made his confession, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women and children gathered to him out of Israel; the people also wept bitterly.

They must be Purified and Re-consecrated. Foreign wives and their children rejected. (10:10-12) Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, ‘You have trespassed and married foreign women, and increased the guilt of Israel. 11 Now make a confession to the Lord the God of your ancestors, and do his will; separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives. 12 Then all the assembly answered with a loud voice, ‘It is so; we must do as you have said.

The path to reconciliation was cut. Our Perseverance will bring it to pass. (Dan 9:24) “Seventy weeks have been determined concerning your people and your holy city to put an end to rebellion, to bring sin to completion, to atone for iniquity, bring perpetual vision, and anoint a most holy place.

Many Christians often love to debate the superficial, the shallow, the trappings of our world, the “ungodliness” of tattoos, purple hair, and skirt lengths. Myself included, because when you’re dealing with heavy issues all the time, it’s like, Hallelujah! Let’s all just stop and talk about something really important……like my hair. Those who doubt the […]

via Purple Hair? — See, there’s this thing called biology…

(Luke 6) Conditional Christianity

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And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritence among all those who are sanctified (Acts 20:32)

(6:46) Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things I say NKJV

After praying, and teaching the 12, Jesus descends with the apostles to the place where a large assembly of apostles, and followers were. (6:18) They came to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases; and those tormented by unclean spirits were made well.

After preaching the Beattitudes, Jesus elaborates on these virtues of the believer-Building on the foundation of our faith, and maintaining the fundamentals of this faith we profess.

He  spoke of humility, remaining resplendent in the face of persecution-Responding with kindness to those who mock, and ridicule(6:28-29a) bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29a If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other.
He spoke of judgement-Is it ever alright? (6:37) Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Then, there’s the optics of our faith, The “Fruit” we bear. What does our faith look like in the eyes of the world? (6:45) A good man produces good out the good storeroom of his heart. An evil man produces evil out of the evil storeroom, for his mouth speaks from the over-flow of the heart. Do we pursue these things that transform our hearts and minds to reflect the indwelling Holy Spirit?
And He finishes with the “Foundation” of our faith-Construction terminology: “Footings” He speaks about the two foundations. Those who profess to be followers and live-counter-intuitively(6:48-49), and those who build their faith on solids foundations (Isaiah 28:16) Therefore, the Lord God said: “Look, I have laid a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation. The one who believes will be unshakable. Check the integrity of your foundation, Your faith depends on it: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. When the flood came, the river crashed against that house and couldn’t shake it, because it was well built.

The Power of Prayer

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Your pain does not belong to you: You number my wanderings; put my tears in you bottle. Are they not in your book? (Psalm 56:8) NKJV

They said to him, “This is what Hezekiah says:”Today is a day of distress, rebuke and disgrace, for the children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to deliver them” ISAIAH 37:3

King Sennacherib launches a campaign against all of Judah to conquer and destroy all of God’s kingdoms. Sennacherib appoints Rabshakeh of Lachish (Chief cup-bearer)to go King Hezekiah of Jerusalem (37:10). His instructions were clear-Make Hezekiah to submit, and surrender. Issue a warning of the impending attack His intent was to instill fear to the point of Hezekiah questioning his faith, and turn his back on God.

Hezekiah responds: He sends Eliakim (Royal Chamberlain)son of Hilkiah, Shebna (Court Secretary), and all the leading High Priests to seek the counsel of Isaiah.

…for the children have come to the point of birth and there is no strength to deliver them. They are in dire circumstances and have reached a point of unbearable pain. Just as your clothes would press firmly against your body in the wind, They did not acquiesce, They pressed even harder into their faith. Hezekiah sends Eliakim (Royal Chamberlain)son of Hilkiah, Shebna (Court Secretary), and all the leading High Priests to seek the counsel of Isaiah

In addition to the gift of prophecy, Prophets made intercessory prayers *The best way to baffle the enemy is to pray. Prayers are the “Mid-wife” of mercy; These are the times when our prayers should be the most boldest before the throne of grace

God is taunted.
(37:4) Perhaps Yahweh your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh, whom the master of the king of Assyria sent to mock the Living God, and rebuke him for the words that Yahweh your God has heard. Therefore offer a prayer for the surviving remnant.

Isaiah’s prophesy:
(37:5-7) So the servants of King Hezekiah went to Isaiah, who said to them, “Tell your master this, “The Lord says: Don’t be afraid because of the words you have heard, which the king of Assyria’s attendants have blasphemed me with 7I am about to put a spirit in him and he will hear a rumor and return to his own land, where I will cause him to fall by the sword.

(Isaiah 59:18) Thus He will repay according to [their] deeds: fury to His enemies, retribution to His foes, and He will repay the coastlands HCSB

Despite God’s warning, Sennecherib is relentless in his pursuit, and continues to taunt God-He uses his recent conquests to validate himself: (37:10) 10 Say this to Hezekiah king of Judah: ‘Don’t let your God whom you trust deceive you by promising that Jerusalem won’t be handed over to the king of Assyria:

Hezekiah’ letter.
(37:14-15) Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers, read it, then went up to the Lord’s temple and spread it out before the Lord. 15 Then Hezekiah prayed to the Lord. This is now the 2nd petition brought to the Lord concerning this matter. His plea to Isaiah (37:3), and now taking it before the Lord himself.

Isaiah relays God answers (37:21-35)

(37:21-22) Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah:” The Lord, the God of Israel says: Because you prayed to Me about Sennecherib king of Assyria, 22this is the word the Lord has spoken against him:…

(Psalm 107:28-30) Then he cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and He brought them to their desired haven

God responds to Hezekiah regarding Sennacherib’s arrogance: (37:23) Who is it you have mocked and blasphemed? Who have you raised your voice against and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel!
Then makes good on His promise:
37:36-38) 36 Then the angel of the LORD went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians.nWhen people got up in the morning- there were all dead bodies 37 So Sennecherib king of Assyria broke camp and left. He returned home and lived in Nineveh. Where he met his demise: 38 One day, while he was worshipping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adramalech and Sherzer struck him down with the sword and esvaped to the land of Ararat. Then his so. Esar-hadden became king in his place. Remain vigelent, and intentional in prayer. Aloha Ke Akua

Transparency

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The Bible tells us, There is therefore now no condemnation(Romans 8:1), Yet, it is Front and center when our faith is challenged:
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid themselves from the Lord God among the trees in the garden. So the Lord God called out to the man and said to him, Where are you? GENESIS 3:8-9

If the temple veil was rent-in-twain (Matthew 27:51), Then, Why would we continue to wear ours? Pride-Fear of vulnerability, Shame- Our attempt to hide our mis-deeds in order to escape judgement:
The Problem.

A huge (If not the biggest) impediment to spiritual maturity is unconfessed sin. Ephesians 1:7 tells us our sins are forgiven past, present , and future. Why do we continue to suffer? (Romans 6:23a) For the wages of sin is sin death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. The “Wages” of our sin is the bondage that keeps us tethered to the past. For instance, If we are caught speeding and become Born again, it does not mean the fine goes away.

The Commandment.

James 5:16) Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you maybe he healed. the prayer of the righteous person is powerful and effective.

WHY?

Your pain is your testimony, and ministry. Paul reached out to his fellow co-workers to remain joyful in-spite of his sufferings (2 Corinthians 1:11) …11 while you join us in helping us by prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gift that came to us through the prayers of many-.

Vulnerability, submission, and surrender.

(Psalm 139:23-24) Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me in the way everlasting.

(Acts1:14) All these were continually united in prayer, along with the women, including Mary the mother of Jesus and His brothers. (4:32) Now the large group of those who believed were of one heart and mind, and no one said that any of his possessions was his own, but instead they held everything in common […]

via Being unified in Christ — guitartist858