December 10, 2018

The name Onesimus means profitable. However, when he ran away, Philemon might have been tempted to call him worthless. Fortunately, God’s grace transformed this worthless slave into someone that was indeed profitable, not only to Paul, but he would also become profitable, to Philemon. This is because he would return and serve Philemon not as a slave, but as a brother in the Lord. Please open your Bible to Paul’s Epistle to Philemon, and listen as Pastor Ray Viola completes his discussion of this short letter.

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December 10, 2018

The name Onesimus means profitable. However, when he ran away, Philemon might have been tempted to call him worthless. Fortunately, God’s grace transformed this worthless slave into someone that was indeed profitable, not only to Paul, but he would also become...

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December 7, 2018

Paul wrote a personal letter to Philemon on behalf of his runaway slave Onesimus. Just as Jesus pleads our case before His Father, Paul intereceded on behalf of Onesimus. Paul told Philemon to charge him personally for any debt that Onesimus owed him, just as Jesus...

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December 6, 2018

If you don’t know the Lord, don’t presume on God’s patience. One day your life will come to an end and the day of salvation will be over for you. Today He holds back judgment so you can run to the cross and be saved. But one day, God’s patience will come to an end....

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December 5, 2018

Because we live in a fallen world, everyone is in a trial, coming out of a trial, or about to go into another season of adversity. Peter tells us that God uses these trials to accompish four things in the life of a Christian: Trials perfect us; they help to establish...

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December 4, 2018

Because we live in a fallen world, everyone is in a trial, coming out of a trial, or about to go into another season of adversity. Peter tells us that God uses these trials to accompish four things in the life of a Christian: Trials perfect us; they help to establish...

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December 3, 2018

The Bible tells us that the devil is not merely a symbol of evil. He is real, alive, and dangerous. To successfully fend off Satan’s attacks, we must be sober and vigilant in the way that we think, in the way that we pray, and we must purpose in our hearts to resist...

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November 30, 2018

Humility, unlike pride, is not self willed. Jesus gave us many examples of humility. Perhaps His most powerful example came in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayed to His Father, “. . . not my will, but Thine be done,” the night before He was crucified. Apart from...

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November 29, 2018

Humility is the key to teamwork and unity within the Body of Christ. Pride, on the other hand, is that poisonous attitude of the heart that is the root of all discord and division. In all of heaven and earth, pride and self exaltation or self promotion is the gate and...

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November 28, 2018

Jesus wants us to be godly examples to one another. To do this, we must have and hold a proper focus on God, allowing Him to bear all our anxieties. We must also be clothed with humility and subject to one another. These attitudes will strengthen and encourage us so...

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November 27, 2018

God does not like it when leaders within His Church misrepresent Him, especially when they do it for personal gain. Sound doctrine and spiritual discernment are vital defenses against these charlatans. Most of a Christian’s rewards are yet future and eternal. Jesus...

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November 26, 2018

Church leaders are like shepherds. As such, they are to watch over and protect their congregations from those that would do them harm. Feeding them sound doctrine is an important component of that protection. Sadly, many leaders within today’s churches are hirelings...

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November 23, 2018

In his first epistle, Peter had an exhortation for elders. In the Church, an elder is not necessarily an elderly person in age, but he is a spiritually mature person, who has a true relationship with Jesus Christ. The Lord raises up such people to oversee the...

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November 22, 2018

If you don’t know the Lord, don’t presume on God’s patience. One day your life will come to an end and the day of salvation will be over for you. Today He holds back judgment so you can run to the cross and be saved. But one day, God’s patience will come to an end....

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November 21, 2018

Scripture tells us not to be ashamed of the Gospel. Whenever we are persecuted for sharing the Gospel or a biblical truth we are not doing anything wrong. Said another way, do not do anything to dishonor the name of the Lord. Speak to the truth in love, for we are His...

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November 20, 2018

Why would a person, who loves Jesus and seeks to live a life that pleases Him, be reproached or even suffer for His Name’s sake? The answer is simple. The Master’s message is not one that the world wants to hear: The Gospel narrows the idea that all roads lead to...

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November 19, 2018

Fervant love covers a multitude of sins. Covering sin does not mean that we are blind and deliberately overlook sin that needs to be addressed. It means that, when it is necessary to address an issue of sin, we do it in love, not out of anger, not in pride and not in...

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November 16, 2018

In today’s passage from Peter’s first epistle, the soon return of Jesus Christ dominated Peter’s thoughts. Therefore, he wanted his readers to know above all things that Jesus wants His followers to have a fervent love for Him and for one another. This cannot happen...

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November 15, 2018

Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray rather than how to do miracles. They made the connection between Jesus’ powerful ministry and His prayer life. Besdies teaching them what we know as The Lord’s Prayer, Jesus also used parables to enhance their...

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November 14, 2018

The Church began in a prayer meeting, and it is by the prayers of the saints that the Church continues, because we need continually need the Lord’s help. Scripture also teaches us to persist in prayer, even when the answer is long in coming. These delays exercise our...

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November 13, 2018

People in the body of Christ have diverse gifts, talents, and ministries. However, there is one ministry to which each and every believer is called: Prayer. We will devote the next few broadcasts to this vital subject. Please open your Bible to First Peter chapter...

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November 12, 2018

Many people in these last days may think that they are Christians, because they have jumped through some religious hoops, or they have done charitable works. However, if they have never been truly transformed by God’s power, that is, if they have never been born...

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November 8, 2018

Peter, who was once a fisherman that was probably prone to excessive drinking, exhorted his readers to be spiritually sober. Why? Because the coming of Jesus Christ is at hand or imminent. This means that Jesus may come for His Bride (the Church) at any moment to take...

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November 7, 2018

Peter admonished his readers to no longer walk in the old ways, which often included drinking, sexual immorality, and idolatry. Though the blood of Jesus protects us from the wrath of God’s judgment, we will have to stand before Jesus one day and make an account of...

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November 9, 2018

The word sober means, “A life that is free from intoxicants or artificial stimulation. A life that is marked by thoughtful character and self control.” If we are to keep our wedding garments pure and white as the Bride of Christ, we must be Spirit filled, sober...

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November 6, 2018

Peter told Christians that, when we decide to follow Jesus, we should expect to suffer in the flesh, even as Jesus determined to suffer for us when He went to the cross. Besides suffering when we resist our own fleshly desires, we could also suffer from false...

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November 5, 2018

Peter used the story of Noah and the ark to explain the great salvation that Jesus has brought into the world. Noah was a preacher of righteousness. While he built that massive vessel, he continually preached repentance to his contemporaries for one hundred twenty...

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November 2, 2018

Jesus’ death on the cross was an unrepeatable death. That is, He died “once and for all.” This means that Jesus Christ’s death is sufficient to cover the sins of anyone repenting of their sin and looking to Him today for forgiveness of sin. What the blood of...

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November 1, 2018

Though people can hurt us, the pain is only temporary, because Christians are heaven bound. Therefore, we should live our lives with eternity in mind, and not invest so much of our time and money in things that will burn. Please open your Bible to First Peter chapter...

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October 31, 2018

The world says, “Don’t get mad; get even!” However, if we want to be like Jesus, then we must love our enemies the way Christ loved us when we were His enemies. The only way that this is possible is to yield to the Holy Spirit, and to do it in His strength, not our...

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October 30, 2018

One of a husband’s key responsibilities in the home is to sanctify his wife and his children. That means that it should be the husband that sets the moral compass for the home. All too often husbands neglect or abdicate this responsibility altogether, forcing the...

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October 29, 2018

God’s word tells husbands to treasure their wives far above any earthly treasure, even as Christ was willing to lay down His life for His Bride. One look at our culture today, and we see that this is not the norm. Too many marriages and families have been destroyed,...

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October 26, 2018

Any Christian in a position of authority should adhere to what Jesus said: “If any man desires to be first, then let him be a servant of all.” This message is especially important for husbands, who have been given God-ordained authority in their homes. Please open...

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October 25, 2018

A woman’s apparel should never send a message that would cause her devotion to Jesus Christ or her pursuit of holiness to be questioned. Women of the world emphasize the external, because they are empty inside. The way that they dress is a testimony to their bankrupt...

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October 24, 2018

Just as there are limits to submission when it comes to employers or governing authorities, submission also has its limits within marriage, especially when it comes to physical abuse, worshiping false gods, or compromising behaviors that are immoral or illegal. God...

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October 23, 2018

In today’s society we see nearly everyone fighting for their own rights. This makes submission an unpopular idea, because society views it from a horizontal perspective rather than a vertical one. The next several broadcasts will concern submission in marriage. Please...

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October 22, 2018

Submission is not an act of worship to the person in authority. We are worshiping and honoring God when we submit to His appointed leaders, whether they are in our family, our church, our place of employment, our government, or any other institution of which we are a...

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October 24, 2018

Just as there are limits to submission when it comes to employers or governing authorities, submission also has its limits within marriage, especially when it comes to physical abuse, worshiping false gods, or compromising behaviors that are immoral or illegal. God...

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October 19, 2018

Peter exhorted us to live lives of separation from carnal lusts and worldly systems. For example, we should not behave as worldly people that give more honor to the rich, beautiful, or educated than those who were endowed with less. However, we are oblidged to submit...

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October 18,2018

As Christians, we belong to Jesus, and we are His ambassadors to a lost and dying world. Therefore, our lifestyles should be easily distinguishable from the lifestyles of those that are dying around us. Not so that we can claim moral superiority, but so that we may...

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October 17, 2018

Life is so short, and we are citizens of heaven. We are here today and gone tomorrow. Therefore, try to spend the bulk of your time on things that matter. We should also heed Peter’s advice to abstain from fleshly lusts that war against our souls. This will either...

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October 16, 2018

In the Church, every believer is not only a saint, but a priest also. The Latin word for priest means bridge builder. Is your life building bridges that make it easy for others to see Christ and desire to know Him, or is your life turning people away from Jesus? A...

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October 15, 2018

The Church is an ever-growing collection of living stones surrounded by construction scaffolding. For these stones to be fitly joined together into a single, beautiful edifice, Jesus, the Master Builder, must knock off our rough edges as He shapes us into images of...

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October 12, 2018

Jesus is the Stone that saves some and causes others to stumble. To the Christian, He is the Precious Cornerstone of our faith, but to the world, Jesus is not precious at all. One cannot use popular opinion to judge something’s value. The world was wrong about Jesus...

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October 11, 2018

Hypocrisy literally describes someone who puts on a “false face.” They act one way when they are around other Christians in order to fit in, but in secular settings, they are just one of the gang. Scripture also describes them as wolves in sheep’s clothing. For those...

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October 9, 2018

Obeying the Holy Spirit develops purity in our lives that yields a fervent love for other believers. However, there are things that can cause this love to grow cold: malice, deceit, hypocrisy, and envy, to name a few. We should lay aside these attitudes so that our...

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October 8, 2018

When a person is going through hard times, they are vulnerable to the lies of the enemy. It is tempting to throw your hands up in the air, and say, “What’s the use?” Then run back to the former lusts, trying to comfort your flesh, rather than feeding your spirit....

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October 5, 2018

How do you show somebody that you love them? You spend time with them, and you do things that will bless them. By spending time in prayer, in God’s word, in fellowship with other believers, and living obedient, god-fearing lives, Christians show their love for Jesus....

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October 4, 2018

Scripture tells us that the ways of this world, many of which seem right to carnally-minded men, end in destruction. However, you can have living hope in Jesus Christ, because He rose from the dead. If you abide in Christ in this life, your eternal destiny is certain...

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October 10, 2018

Just as a malnourished, physical body will not develop properly, a person can inhibit their spiritual development by harboring toxic attitudes. Allowing God’s word to cleanse and nourish your soul can do wonders for your spiritual growth. Please open your Bible to...

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October 3, 2018

The Apostle Peter wrote two general epistles to Jewish believers that were dispersed throughout the known world. He reminded his scattered brethren that it is God’s power that keeps them, even in times of persecution. In truth, the only way that the devil can get a...

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October 2, 2018

There’s nothing wrong with meaningful tradition. You see, it is very easy it is for a new generation to come along and take for granted the blessings that previous generations struggled and sacrificed to attain! The Jews didn’t make that mistake: They established the...

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October 1, 2018

“D Day”, the day appointed by Haman’s decree for the slaughter of God’s chosen people in the Persian empire, had finally arrived for the Jews. However, because of God’s mighty intervention, Mordecai’s counter decree had changed that “D” from “destruction” to...

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September 28, 2018

Mordecai could not erase Haman’s command for the Jews to be slaughtered, but a counter edict granted the Jews the right to defend themselves on the appointed day. It is one thing to write a liberating new edict, but quite another to get the message out to the people....

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September 27, 2018

Esther and Mordecai were secure in the king’s court, but Haman’s irrevocable decree was still a threat to the rest of the Jews. Wealth and personal security could never satisfy Esther so long as her people were still in danger. To her, the most important thing in life...

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September 26, 2018

Haman was dead, but his murderous edict was still very much alive. Long after wicked people are gone, the consequences of their evil words and deeds can still linger. Even today, innocent people are suffering because of what was done by guilty people who now lie in...

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September 25, 2018

The Bible contains an unchanging principle of sowing and reaping. Haman sowed anger against Mordecai, and he reaped anger from the king. Haman wanted to kill Mordecai and the Jews, but the king killed Haman using the very gallows that Haman had built to hang Mordecai....

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September 24, 2018

In the second banquet that Esther prepared for King Ahasuerus and Haman, she finally made her request known to the king. She had to delicately and dangerously accuse Haman without incriminating the king, who had approved of Haman’s desired decree of death for the...

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September 21 2018

God’s providence intervened at just the moment Mordecai was to be condemned to death. Instead of a humiliating death, Mordecai received prestigious honors that Haman coveted for himself. The thing Mordecai wouldn’t do for Haman–bow down–Haman had to tell others to do...

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September 20, 2018

Timing is important. For example, when Mordecai prevented the assassination of King Ahasuerus, his noble deed was recorded in the offical records, but he remained unrewarded for five years. Then, according to God’s perfect timing, the king was reminded of what...

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September 19, 2018

Don’t let hatred and its resulting bitterness build in your heart. Like Haman, you will find it backfiring against you. If the mere mention of someone’s name provokes you to anger, confess your malice and bitterness as sin. Ignoring bitterness, hiding it from others,...

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September 18, 2018

When God’s people prayed and fasted along with Esther, she received remarkable courage and wisdom. Then she courageously placed her life into God’s hands by going uninvited into the king’s presence. Today’s narrative shows how she deftly handled a dangerous situation....

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September 17, 2018

When Mordecai learned the details of Haman’s plan to destroy the Jews, he sent word to Esther asking her to approach the king on behalf of the Jewish people. This was easier said than done, because unsolicited audiences with the king could be fatal! Esther wisely...

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September 14, 2018

When catastrophe looms, seeking the Lord’s direction through prayer and fasting will do more than any other response. As we will see in the book of Esther, the Lord heard the cries of the Jewish people, and He will hear your cries for help in times of need and...

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September 13, 2018

After Haman’s promotion, everyone in town bowed to him when he passed, except Mordecai. When Haman discovered that Mordecai’s refusal to bow was because he was a devout Jew, he was furious. Haman’s vengeance would not be satisfied with the destruction of Mordecai...

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September 12, 2018

Haman is one in a the long line of powerful people that have tried to destroy the Jews. It is unclear why Ahasuerus promoted him, or why God allowed it. However, in the end, it was Haman and his sons that perished, and the Jews that prevailed over their enemies---Just...

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September 11, 2018

Mordecai was Esther’s cousin and adoptive father. He was a very wise man that was willing to do that which was inconvenient and uncomfortable. God used this selfless man to save the life of a Persian king and an entire generation of Jewish people. How might God use...

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September 10, 2018

Mordecai was Esther’s cousin and adoptive father. He was a very wise man that was willing to do that which was inconvenient and uncomfortable. God used this selfless man to save the life of a Persian king and an entire generation of Jewish people. How might God use...

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September 7, 2018

Vashti had been deposed as the Persian queen for disobeying King Ahasuerus. This led to a search for her replacement from among all the virgins in the kingdom. This resulted in the king’s chamberlain bringing a beautiful young Jewess named Hadassah, who took the...

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September 6, 2018

It seems that Vashti was a woman of integrity; however, she probably served Persian gods and not Jehovah. Honesty and moral integrity are desirable, but they insufficient to please Jehovah. It is only His Spirit and the blood of Jesus that make us truly capable to...

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September 6, 2018

It seems that Vashti was a woman of integrity; however, she probably served Persian gods and not Jehovah. Honesty and moral integrity are desirable, but they insufficient to please Jehovah. It is only His Spirit and the blood of Jesus that make us truly capable to...

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September 5, 2018

After entertaining people of power and influence for six months, Ahashuerus hosted a seven-day party at his palace for all the people of Susa. Wine flowed freely at this event, and, while intoxicated, the king made an outrageous request of Vashti, his queen. Vashti...

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September 4, 2018

The book of Esther does not mention God’s name. Yet it was written to encourage the returned Jewish exiles by reminding them of God’s faithfulness and that He would keep His promises to the nation. Regardless of what is happening in your life, remain faithful to God,...

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September 3, 2018

Nehemiah displayed righteous indignation when he saw what was going on in the Temple when he returned from Persia. There are things that are legal and acceptable in our society that are downright wicked and sinful. To say so is not hate speech. However, God’s word...

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October 2, 2018

There’s nothing wrong with meaningful tradition. You see, it is very easy it is for a new generation to come along and take for granted the blessings that previous generations struggled and sacrificed to attain! The Jews didn’t make that mistake: They established the...

read more

August 31, 2018

After twleve years in Jerusalem, Nehemiah had to return to Persia for a couple years. When he came back to Jerusalem, he found that changes had occurred in Judah that were in serious violation of the Mosaic Law. Moreover, an enemy had established a center of...

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August 30, 2018

During the dedication of the completed wall around Jerusalem, two large thanksgiving choirs continuously circled the circumference of the wall. One group moved in a clockwise direction, and the other in a counterclockwise direction as they praised God while being...

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August 29, 2018

There is a huge difference between being a great singer and being a great worship leader. Good Christian music as a form of entertainment and encouragement has its place, but the purpose of worship is to glorify God and to give Him the honor that only He is worthy to...

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August 28, 2018

The LORD ordained Jewish priests to mediate between God and His people. All the priests were to come from the tribe of Levi. These priests served as types or foreshadows of our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ, Who ever lives as the only true Mediator between God and...

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August 27, 2018

God’s gives His children different gifts but one Spirit. This was true in Nehemiah’s day, and it is true now. Whether it is leading the congregation in worship, maintaining the Lord’s buildings, protecting the people of the flock, or any of the other myriad of talents...

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August 24, 2018

Nehemiah knew that one person could not do it all. In any church in which God is working mightily, one will find a host of servants within the ranks of leadership (such as assistant and associate pastors, elders, deacons and secretaries) in whom and through whom God...

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August 23, 2018

After being essentially a ghost town for seventy years, Jerusalem needed to be repopulated after the Temple and the city walls had been rebuilt. Fittingly, the leaders chose to live in Jerusalem as examples for the rest. These leaders had no right to expect the people...

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August 22, 2018

The covenant that the people of Jerusalem made with God affected three major areas of their lives: marriage, the way in which they conducted their business, and the extent to which they supported the Lord’s work. Even today we must see that our marriages, careers or...

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August 21, 2018

Today’s passage records how a nation collectively entered into a covenant with God. It was wonderful for the whole nation to feel that something had to be done about their sin problem. However, without individuals saying, “I will do something about this,” their...

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August 20, 2018

The ultimate purpose of reading God’s word to the people was so that they would understand God’s Law. Reading the Word distinctly and explaining it in simplicity are still great needs in the church today. The best way to study Scriptures and to get an understanding of...

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August 17, 2018

When Ezra read God’s word to the people of Jerusalem, the response was moving. In signs of reverence for God and His word, people lifted their hands or bowed their faces to the ground. Sometimes shouts of praise interrupted the reading. Do you still find the reading...

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August 16, 2018

With the city walls rebuilt, Nehemiah recognized that the people of God also needed to be built up. Therefore, he had Ezra read God’s word to everyone. While the city walls provided physical protection, God’s word gives us spiritual protection. Please open your Bible...

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August 15, 2018

Nehemiah recognized that, in order for worship in the Temple to be pure and according to God’s commandments, the priests and Levites serving in the Temple had to have pure, verifiable genealogies. Similarly, if Christians are to truly worship and serve the Lord, their...

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August 14, 2018

Today’s passage contains a list of the names of those whom God had called by His grace out of Babylonian captivity to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. Interestingly, the Greek word for “church” is ecclesia, which means “the called out ones”. Like the returning exiles,...

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August 13, 2018

Though they had completed the wall, Nehemiah wisely realized that attacks would continue. Likewise, we should not be deceived: There will be no true peace until we get to heaven. If you are doing anything for God, there will always be some battle, some attempt to...

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August 10,2018

Though the Lord had called Nehemiah, He did not remove the challenges and make everything easy. Because Nehemiah’s work was built on a foundation of prayer and God’s word, he knew what he was doing, why he was doing it, and Who he was doing it for. Therefore, trusting...

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August 9, 2018

When Nehemiah’s enemies falsely accused him of trying to make himself king, Nehemiah denied the charges and prayed. He realized that only the Lord could truly deal with his situation. When opposition builds up against you, it is tempting to pray, “God, get me out of...

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August 8, 2018

With Jerusalem’s wall nearing completion, Sanballat and Tobiah were desperate, because their efforts to stop its construction were failing. So, they tried a new approach: They attacked Nehemiahʼs character using rumors, deceit, and false reports. Unjustified attacks...

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August 7, 2018

Nehemiah feared the Lord. The fear of the Lord is a key to living the Christian life successfully. The fear of the Lord does not mean that you are afraid of Him, like He is the neighborhood bully; it means that you are afraid of doing anything that would cause Him...

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August 6, 2018

In the first part of the wall-building project, Nehemiah’s challenges as a spiritual leader were primarily from enemies outside of Judah. However, before the walls were finally rebuilt, he encountered the most difficult and intense kind of problem almost every...

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August 3, 2018

Besides external attacks, the Jews faced internal threats when working on the wall. Judah was the strongest of the tribes, but they began to lose heart in the battle, because they were focusing on their obstacles rather than focusing on God. This is the fiery dart of...

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August 2, 2018

Isn’t it interesting that God’s people often find it difficult to work together, but God’s enemies don’t? There is a Satanic conspiracy against the people of God that is alive and well on planet earth, and his agenda is to steal, kill, divide and devour the people of...

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August 1, 2018

After work on Jerusalem’s wall started in earnest, it was not long until Sanballat, the governor of Syria, started making trouble for the Jewish people. Predictably, any real move of the Holy Spirit or any significant growth in a work of the Lord will soon meet with...

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July 31, 2018

The people of Jerusalem used the dung gate to carry refuse out of the city. Until the Lord takes us home, we inevitably say things we shouldn’t, do things we ought not, or have attitudes that are amiss. Therefore, to help maintain unity in the Body of Christ, we must...

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July 30, 2018

Even a strong, organized leader like Nehemiah needed the help of priests, administrators, and many others (even politicians) to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. No one can do it all alone. Likewise, whatever we do for Jesus involves other people, and it is important for...

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July 27, 2018

When Nehemiah was about to start his work, two prominent men (Sanballat and Tobiah) rose up to thwart his efforts. Likewise, our spiritual enemies do not care much when God’s people just plan, talk, and pray, but when God’s people start doing something, then God’s...

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