Trek through Ezra
Scripture reading for December 6th: Ezra 7-10, Psalm 97, Revelation 4
Revelation 4:1-4 “After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with One seated on the throne. And He Who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. . . “
John, after receiving personal messages from Jesus Christ for each of the seven churches, describes how he next saw an open door in heaven. As he beheld this door, a voice called to him (like a trumpet) commanding that he come up through the door. Immediately, John was in the Spirit and transported to the throne room of heaven. His attention was focused on the One seated there, clothed in radiant splendor like precious jewels. Around that throne were twenty-four other thrones occupied by twenty-four elders, clothed in white with crowns. This scene was marked by worship from these elders and four living creatures guarding and serving God’s throne. ,
Psalm 97:1-3 “The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are all around Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. Fire goes before Him and burns up His adversaries all around.”
Prayer: Father God, I am in awe of Your glorious throne! Thank You for promising Your church an open door that no man can shut! Thank You for promising those who overcome the right to sit with You on Your throne and for the white robe of Your righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ and the crown of life eternal! Open doors here for sharing this Good News that more may be crowned and clothed!
Ezra 7:27-28 “Blessed be the Lord, the God of our fathers, Who put such a thing as this into the heart of the king, to beautify the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem, and Who extended to me His steadfast love before the king and his counselors, before all the king’s mighty officers. I took courage, for the hand of the Lord my God was on me, and I gathered leading men from Israel to go up with me.”
Scripture reading for November 30th: Ezra 5-6, Psalm 95, 3rd John
3rd John: 2-8 “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these that we may be fellow workers for the truth.”
John loved the people that God had assigned oversight to him for their souls. His prayer for them was for health and prosperity as their soul prospered. Soul prosperity comes when we follow Jesus in obedient faith and support Jesus’ workers in order that the Gospel is preached to all the world. John commended this church family because they were walking in the truth and supporting those who were preaching the Gospel message. He told them that as they gave support, they became fellow-workers with them for the spreading of the Gospel. Some can go and others can send, but all share in the work and the rewards.
Psalm 95:1-3 “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation! Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and great King above all gods.”
Prayer: Father God, we praise You with great joy, singing, and giving to Your sacred work! Thank You for encouraging me to give generously to support Your workers who share the Gospel and quarry ‘living stones’ from the lost of this world. I can’t always go, but I can joyfully give that Your work proceed. I say ‘amen’ to this prayer for prosperity and health as my soul prospers through Your amazing grace!
Ezra 6:22 “And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the Lord had made them joyful, and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.”
Scripture reading for November 22nd: Ezra 3-6, Psalm 92, 1st John 1
1st John 1: 5-10 “This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But if we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.”
John, in his old age, wrote this letter to the church to encourage them in the truth and to warn them against the lies of false teachers who were seeking to deceive the believers. God is light, and His Word is a light to our path and a lamp for our feet. Believers must walk in the Light of God’s Word and cling to Jesus Christ for cleansing and salvation. The false teachers were telling people that there was not really anything like ‘sin’ and that God would save everyone. John stated that those who say they have no sin, deceive themselves and ignore the Truth of God’s Word. Confession of sin and repentance alone brings cleansing and it is a continual process to walk it out. The blood of Christ, our ‘Passover Lamb’ is sufficient!
Ezra 6:20-22 “. . .So they slaughtered the Passover lamb for all the returned exiles, for their fellow priests, and for themselves. It was eaten by the people of Israel who had returned from exile, and also by everyone who had joined them and separated himself from the uncleanness of the peoples of the land to worship the Lord, the God of Israel. And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the Lord had made them joyful. . .”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the Light of Life in Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. Thank You for the apostles, like John, who knew You and spoke plainly to the Church concerning basic truths of sin, repentance, cleansing by Christ’s blood, and the deceptions of false teachers. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and help me today to walk in the Light of God’s Word and speak truth that brings repentance and faith.
Psalm 92:1-2 “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to Your Name, O Most High; To declare Your steadfast love in the morning and Your faithfulness by night.”
Scripture reading for November 21st: Ezra 1-2, John 21
John 21: 15-17 “When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” He said to him a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” and he said to Him, “Lord you know everything; You know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. . . .”
Peter had been an impetuous disciple known for rash outbursts and impulsive responses. When Jesus said that one of the disciples would betray Him, Peter swore He would remain faithful, even to death. Jesus responded: “before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” This indeed was what happened. Now, as Jesus set about restoring Peter, He asked him three times, “Do you love Me?”. Peter responded simply with “Yes Lord” two times then declared that Jesus knew everything. Jesus’ response to Peter was a reiteration of His mission to feed and tend Jesus’ sheep and follow Him.
John 21:20-22 “Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against Him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “What about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is My will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for restoring those who slip up in following You. Your mercy and kindness lead Peter to repentance and many others, including myself. Thank You that You alone know everything and see every heart and restore and stir up Your people to accomplish the mission You give of reaching the lost and building up Your house with living stones out of the rubble of sin and death. I will follow You.
Ezra 1:5 “Then rose up the heads of the father’s houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up to rebuild the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem.”
Scripture reading for December 4th: Ezra 7-10, Psalm 97, Revelation 4
Key Scriptures: Revelation 4:1-4 “After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads.”
John was exiled in a prison colony on the Isle of Patmos and was worshiping the Lord when he had a divine revelation of Jesus Christ. Jesus appeared and spoke to him and told him to write down everything he would be shown. Following letters dictated to John’s seven churches, Jesus called John through an open door to heaven itself. The voice of Jesus was like a trumpet, calling John heavenward. Jesus wanted to show John the events that would transpire in the future and have him write them down for all believers. Immediately, John was transported in the Spirit from earth to heaven where he was shown God’s throne in all its glory and the events to come. This call heavenward is a foretaste of the Rapture of the saints, also initiated by a trumpet sound.
Psalm 97:1, 6 “The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! . . . The heavens proclaim His righteousness, and all the peoples see His glory.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I await the trumpet call for Your people to come to You and to behold Your glory forever and ever. Help me and my family to faithfully successfully complete my journey to You and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Ezra 8:21 “Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him a safe journey for ourselves, our children and all our goods.”
Scripture reading for November 30th: Ezra 5-6, Psalm 95, 3rd John
Key Scriptures: 3rd John 4-8 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.”
The Apostle John wrote his third epistle to an elder named Gaius. John was overjoyed that this leader in the church was walking in the truth and leading others in the church to walk that way as well. The believers there were also supportive of other Gospel workers who went out from the church to the Gentiles. They gave towards the work and John commended them. When believers give to support God’s workers, they become fellow workers with them, sharing in the reward.
Psalm 95:6-7 “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker! For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You are my Lord and the One worthy of worship. Lead me to work for You each day reaching the lost and help me to support workers who are also working in the harvest of souls.
Ezra 6:22 “And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the Lord had made them joyful and had turned the heart of the King of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.”
Scripture reading for November 20th: Ezra 3-4, Psalm 92; 1 John 1
Key Scriptures: 1st John 1:6-10 “If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice he truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.”
John was the youngest of the disciples when he began following Jesus and wrote his Gospel and these letters to the church when he was older and more mature. He explained to the church that true fellowship with Jesus brought light, truth, and joy into our life and Christ’s Church. We can’t walk in darkness and truly have fellowship with Jesus. We can’t say we have no sin if we are living it it and cover it up and expect forgiveness and peace. We must walk in the light of Jesus’ Word and confess all sins, repenting and turning away from them. The blood of Jesus cleanses us and we can have true fellowship with others cleansed and walking in the light.
Psalm 92:12-13 “The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I desire to walk in the Light of Your Word and have true fellowship with You and other disciples. Help me to confess sin and walk in righteousness and truth.
Ezra 3:11 And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, “For He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.” And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.”
Scripture reading for November 19: Ezra 1-2; John 21
Key Scriptures: John 21: 17-19 “He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” and he said to Him, “Lord, You know everything: You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This He said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.” And after this He said to him, “Follow Me.””
The first and greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Jesus persistently asked Peter if he loved Him. Peter had denied Jesus three times and now Jesus was restoring him by asking him to affirm his love. Love is the basis for all ministry. Love for Jesus is the foundation of His Church and disciples would be known by their love for Jesus and one another. It would be for love of Jesus that Peter would die a martyr’s death, choosing to be crucified upside down. Jesus spoke prophetically about this and emphasized to Peter his need to lovingly follow the Master, even unto death.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, You alone know what is ahead in my life and I ask You to help me each day to follow You, even if it leads to persecution or death. Your unrelenting love draws me to love You more each day and love people into Your eternal kingdom.
Ezra 1:1-2 “In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the Word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has charged me to build Him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.”“
Scripture reading for June 12th: Ezra 9-10, Nehemiah 1-2, Acts 28
Key Scriptures: Acts 28:23-24 “They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and the Prophets. Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe.”
The Apostle Paul made it safely to Rome and was placed in a rented house under guard. Many Jews came to visit him and he preached Christ to them from the Scriptures. Some believed and others did not. The power of the Gospel was spread in Rome as God had directed.
Nehemiah 1:5-6 “Then I said: “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant of love with those who love Him and obey His commands, let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before You day and night for Your servants, the people of Israel.”
Prayer: Lord, great and awesome God, Lord of heaven and earth, grant boldness to me today to preach Your word to all You send me to. Amen!
Scripture reading for June 11th: Ezra 6-8, Acts 27
Key Scriptures: Acts 27:22-25 “Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you. So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told.”
Paul was aboard a ship caught in a terrible storm. All despaired of life, expecting to drown at sea. But Paul was visited by an angel who gave him a Word from God. All would be saved but the ship would be lost. They were not to be afraid!
Ezra 8:22-23 “For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way; since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek Him, and the power of His wrath is against all who forsake Him.” So we fasted and implored our God for this, and He listened to our entreaty.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for listening to the prayers of your people. You are awesome and we have faith in Your Word. Amen.