TODAY’S SPECIAL: Malachi 3:1-5
TO CHEW ON: "But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? for he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." Malachi 3:2,3a"Malachi" by J. James Tissot
Ezra’s revival soon cooled. The joy of being back in Jerusalem evaporated. Life was hard for the exiles. They didn’t get rich quickly, as some had thought they would. Many felt disappointed with God. Their disappointment showed in the way they no longer respected Him. Instead they lived to please themselves.
No longer did the Levites teach the truth. Men divorced their aging wives and married beautiful young foreign women to take their places. People lied, cheated workers out of wages and were mean to immigrants. That’s when the prophet Malachi came on the scene.
“God will return to His temple one day,” he said. “He will come suddenly and purify His people, like soap washes clothes clean or a searing fire burns impurities out of gold and silver.”...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 19:11-27
TO CHEW ON: "He replied: 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.'” Luke 19:26
One day Jesus told the story of a king. Before the king went on a trip, he gave ten servants one mina* each. He told them to put the money to work for him.
When the king got back, he asked the servants for a report. Servant One had made ten minas with his one mina. Servant Two had made five. But Servant Three only had the original mina.
This made the king angry. He took the mina away from Servant Three and gave it to Servant One."Servants reporting to the king" - Artist unknown
This parable teaches us:1. Life isn’t fair.2. It pays to be greedy and get all we can.3. If we don’t use the things we’ve been given, we’ll lose even those things.
I think it’s number 3 - don’t you?
Jesus' stories are not only interesting but they teach us about God and what is important to Him. In this story we learn about how God wants us to use what we have.
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Haggai 1:1-10
TO CHEW ON: "You have planted much but have harvested little. You eat but never have enough. You drink but never have your fill. You put on clothes but are not warm. You earn wages only to put them in a purse with holes in it." Haggai 1:6
“Pack your things, some of us are going home!” The exciting news spread amongst the exiles in Babylon. Zerubabbel, grandson of King Jehoiachin, led the happy travelers back to Judah.
But when they entered Jerusalem, what a mess they found! Houses were broken down. The streets were full of broken bricks and garbage. The temple was a heap of rubbish.
So the people got to work. They cleaned up the garbage. They made bricks and rebuilt their homes. Some started working on the temple. But they didn’t get very far. It was such a big job, they just quit in discouragement. Instead they worked in their fields, gardens and workshops to earn money to make their own houses nicer. It seemed, though, that no one was doing very well....
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TODAY'S SPECIAL: Read Genesis 13:1-17Abram and Lot - Artist unknown
TO CHEW ON: "So Abram said to Lot, 'Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me.... Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.'” Genesis 13: 8,9
Abram did take one member of his family along – his nephew Lot. Lot also had flocks and servants. Soon their servants were fighting over the same pastures. Abram didn’t want fighting. He had a meeting with Lot. “I think it’s time for our families to part,” he said.
Abram was the leader and the respected older person on this trip. He could have told Lot to graze his cattle on the scrubby hills while he (Abram) took his cattle to the green valley. Instead Abram let Lot have first choice about where he’d go.
What an easy decision for Lot. Of course he picked the lush green valley for himself. Besides being the best pasture land, it was near the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah where his wife could shop and he could get supplies.
If Abram was sorry about his decision to let Lot pick first, it wasn’t...
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