|My we had a blessed day yesterday! Church was wonderful! God blessed in so many ways,... we had a great crowd of people, we had our new Spanish Pastor, I was able to share my plan to broaden the base to raise to new heights but hiring new staff members, and our people responded far more than I could ever have imagined. They committed $8,500.00 to be raised extra in the month of August, and they committed (almost every one) to give an additional 2% of their income for six months to pay the additional salaries. After that, the increase from the labor of the new staff will make the difference. Then, in the evening, we had such a good service with Dean Kirshner, with Gospel Link. He did a dramatic one man drama of a russian soldier who stood for Christ at the cost of his life. Even the children were spell bound. There were shouts of Amen, as he shared the story in first person and quoted many dozen scriptures. It was a real blessing!! Well, that was yesterday!! Today, I read in the Bible from Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. Here are a few thoughts:|
1) Ezra 7:10- "For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments." In other words, when it came to the Word of God, Ezra decided to Know It, Show It, and Teach It. We should be doing the same!
2) FEEL THE SHAME- Have we lost the shame of sin? When we sin, we should feel the shame. I'm afraid we dismiss it so lightly knowing it's under the blood, but still we have hurt and offended our God and His Son, our Savior. Ezra, like many in scripture, was great because he could feel the shame of sin. In Ezra 9:6, it says: "And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens." AND... it wasn't even his sins he was talking about... but he felt the shame of sin!! Oh GOD, humble our hearts and help us to feel the shame of our sin and once again know godly sorrow over our transgressions. Keep us a pure heart and a heart sensitive to sin, that we may walk pleasing to You O LORD!!
3) YES HE WILL- Nehemiah 2:20 says: "The God of heaven, he will prosper us:" Yes He will!! Let us not worry about our future if our present is in obedience, the God of Heaven, He will prosper us!
4) A BROKEN PLEDGE- In Nehemiah 10:39, the people make a pledge to God and Nehemiah. They said: "and we will not forsake the house of our God". That is a great pledge to make and every Christian ought to make it! But, they did break that pledge.... for in Nehemiah 13:11, Nehemiah asks them: "Why is the house of God forsaken?" Pledges are great... if we keep them. Dear Lord, help us to make and keep right pledges that challenge us to faithfulness and a deeper devotion to you dear Lord. Help us today to walk in the light of the committments we have made to You, the true and living GOD!!
5) Vashti's Disobedience- Vashti was the queen and she disobeyed her husband's request to show her beauty to a royal gathering. Now, we are not talking about her walking around indecent, we are just saying she was to make an appearance at the party and all would notice how lovely she was. Lest we think it was evil to do so, Esther showed her beauty in Esther 2:15: "And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her." She also was not indecent, she just was lovely and gracious. Vashti's disobedience had to do with her pride in not wanting to follow the request of her husband. Because of her pride, she was removed from being queen... and Esther was chosen out of the whole kingdom to stand in her place as the new queen of the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians.
Well, so much for today. Have a blessed day in the LORD!! Dr. Mike Mutchler, Pastor