KJB Daily Devotion – Following Jesus Through Every Chapter
Date: Monday, September 18, 2017
Chapters: Ezra 4-6, Psalm 137
Message: Getting Back Up
Hello My Friend,
Sometimes it is not easy being a Christian, we face constant criticism, not only from the world, but fellow Christians, especially when we are trying to serve God. You can be sure that once you start serving God obstacles will come your way to try and stop you. The amazing thing is that we do not have to worry about a thing because everything is in God’s hands and timing. The wicked may have their time of fun and glory in having knocked the Christ follower down, but once God sets us on that journey He has us on, He will stop at nothing for us to complete it, we might get hung up once in a while, but we get back up because God is always with us. “Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place: For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” – Proverbs 24:15,16.
I was reading through some news articles and came across one about hurricane relief for a church, one person made a comment that since churches do not pay taxes they should not get help. Little do these people realize that the church may be tax exempt from certain things, but they pay much more in fees and legal requirements to get that tax exemption. The world despises the church and will do anything to hinder or even shut it down. When the call came to the Jews in Babylon to rebuild the temple, they were so eager to get there and get it done. It started of great, the foundation was laid, and then something happened, the natives got word that the temple of God was being rebuilt, they sent a letter to the king, which caused them to be forced to stop.
“Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia. Be it known unto the king, that the Jews which came up from thee to us are come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city, and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations. Be it known now unto the king, that, if this city be builded, and the walls set up again, then will they not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and so thou shalt endamage the revenue of the kings. We certify the king that, if this city be builded again, and the walls thereof set up, by this means thou shalt have no portion on this side the river. The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me. Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not builded, until another commandment shall be given from me.” – Ezra 4:4-5,12-13,16,18,21.
“then will they not pay toll,” The world loves to deceive the unknown into believing that the church gets everything for free and does not pay their part in government relations, of course, this is untrue, but many rather believe the lie over the truth. You can be sure that once you start serving God, opposition will come to the point that it may even be stopped for a while. We all make goals and plans in life, yet very rarely do we end up doing what we had so much hope in doing. We cannot look at not fulfilling those plans as failure, they are not, they are opportunities to bring us closer to God and know His actual plan. You know, one time in my life I saw myself in New Zealand leading people to Christ, and after five years of hope and praying, God showed me why He did not want me to go there and what would have happened if I did. Set backs are God’s way of saying, “I have something much better for you.”, He knows what we need and desire, and if we trust Him, and get back to serving Him wholeheartedly, He will show us what He really desires for us. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:11-13.
For fourteen years the temple remained unfinished while the Jews attended to rebuilding the city. It took the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to remind them that they had not finished the temple and it was time to get back to work. This time God was with them and nothing would stop them.
“Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them. Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God helping them. At the same time came to them Tatnai, governor on this side the river, and Shetharboznai, and their companions, and said thus unto them, Who hath commanded you to build this house, and to make up this wall? Then said we unto them after this manner, What are the names of the men that make this building? But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, that they could not cause them to cease, till the matter came to Darius: and then they returned answer by letter concerning this matter.” – Ezra 5:1-5.
“But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews,” Fear, hindrances, and discouragement can put our efforts to serve God in any capacity to a stopping halt, that is where other faithful and stronger Christians come in. Those who are a little stronger in their faith, who have been where you are, and are there to give you some encouragement and get you back up again. We need to be encouraged, it is our only hope that this life we are living will ever be worth staying in. While we are subject to complying with the laws of man, we must remember, that God will fight for us, remember, it is His battle, not ours. Now, after their pep talk, and a talk with the king, the work of the temple resumed, this time the work was backed up by God Himself.
“Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God in his place. Moreover I make a decree what ye shall do to the elders of these Jews for the building of this house of God: that of the king’s goods, even of the tribute beyond the river, forthwith expenses be given unto these men, that they be not hindered. Then Tatnai, governor on this side the river, Shetharboznai, and their companions, according to that which Darius the king had sent, so they did speedily. And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.” – Ezra 6:7-8,13-14.
“Let the work of this house of God alone;” The king not only returned a message saying they could continue rebuilding the temple, they told them not to hinder them, and give them everything they needed to get the work done. When life sets us back from doing the things that even God wants us to do, we cannot throw in the towel and give up, we have to keep going. God is with us, He really is, and the times you think that He is no where to be found, that is when He is preparing us and making things ready for us. Never forget that the things we do for God have nothing to do with what we getting on earth, it has everything to do with what we are getting in His Kingdom. Never let the trials of this life take away your joy in knowing that one day, it will all be over, and we will be with Jesus. Psalm 137 was written during the time of the Jews captivity as a reminder to them that God never forgets His people, no matter where they are.
“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.” – Psalm 137:1-6.
“if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.” Those who are glad over the suffering that sometimes comes to God’s people shall not go unpunished, for those who mock their grief will endure much eternal grief themselves. Sometimes, we are not in any position to do the things we plan to be doing, but with a little faith and trust in God, we get right back up and move forward. If we try to do everything in our own strength we will fail, but with God backing us up, there is nothing He will not do for us. “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” – II Corinthians 12:8-10.
Jesus Christ Magnified: “Be it known unto the king, that we went into the province of Judea, to the house of the great God, which is builded with great stones, and timber is laid in the walls, and this work goeth fast on, and prospereth in their hands.” – Ezra 5:8. Jesus Christ is the lively Stone which the builders refused and He has become the Cornerstone of our faith.
Today’s Prayer: God, Sometimes that picture is so clear, but we cannot see it because we become clouded with discouragement, fear, or disappointments over the things we want. Lord, remove the clouds and open our eyes so we can see what You want for us. Lead us and guide us, give us strength to move forward and let us not let set back keep us from getting back up and going again. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
Are You 100% Sure You Are Going To Heaven?: http://readytofollow.com/
Receive The KJB Daily Devotions In Your Email: http://eepurl.com/2WMzT
Missed A Message: http://imfollowingjesus.com/Biblestudy/
Visit I’m Following Jesus: http://imfollowingjesus.com/index.html
Like I’m Following Jesus On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/byhisstrength
Copyright © 2017 I’m Following Jesus, All rights reserved.