Thu, August 17, 2017
Nehemiah 13:14 – Remember this good deed, O my God, and do not forget all that I have faithfully done for the Temple of my God and its services.
Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem and learned that compromises had been made that necessitated immediate intervention. “True holiness is active and dynamic, not passive and static. We must actively remove the ways of the world from our lives.” We must “be willing to root out worldly ways where they have become established” …”and reject carnal compromises (13:4-9).” Live alert and “refuse evil alliances” (13:23-27) that lead to disaster. Nehemiah had re-introduced God’s laws to God’s people, yet so quickly they wandered. Sadly, our hearts are prone to wondering! Live alert to the Holy Spirit who convicts us and leads us back when our hearts stray. Seek His guidance every day (Eph. 5:15-17).
Fri, August 18, 2017
Break Evil With Prayer
Esther 3:13– Dispatches were sent by swift messengers into all the provinces of the empire, giving the order that all Jews—young and old, including women and children—must be killed, slaughtered, and annihilated on a single day…
Esther graphically narrates how God’s people were preserved during the fifth century. It is a “study in the survival of God’s people amidst hostility.” Haman, a self-important court official, hatefully conspired to destroy the Jews—like Satan, who hatefully works to oppose God’s purposes for humankind (John 10:10; Rev. 12:12). Notice the ongoing references to prayer and fasting throughout the story—an important reminder that timely intercession can neutralize evil plans. We break the power of evil through fasting and prayer (Matt. 9:15; Mark 9:29: Acts 14:23). Today, pray for Christians around the world who are persecuted.
Sat, August 19, 2017
Esther 4:4 – When Queen Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her about Mordecai, she was deeply distressed. She sent clothing to him to replace the burlap, but he refused it.
Our simple, uninformed methods of solving problems are as inadequate as Esther’s initial response to Mordecai. He needed a miracle, not a new suit. Something nefarious was going on here that could wipe out the people through whom the Messiah, the Savior of the world, would be born. Esther would have to square her shoulders, step up, and courageously take hold of her God-given calling. Mordecai’s challenging words should ring in our hearts today as we consider our calling: “Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (vs. 14 NIV). Where has God placed you?