Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 164
Devotional Song: … GO TO THIS LINK … Please take the time to take in a You Tube video of anonymous group singing, … Joy Down In My heart, expressing the joy of realizing what Jesus has done in my heart by dying for me on the cross … AND THEN ON TO THIS LINK with the song People Need the Lord, expressing the sad reality of how many lost souls I may pass today, even on this Sunday in church, who may not have that love yet in their hearts.
Highlight Passage: Ezra 3:12-13 [NKJV] …
12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes. Yet many shouted aloud for joy, 13 so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard afar off.
… In rebuilding God’s Temple, some cried in remembrance of the old Temple; but others shouted for joy at the rebuilding of the new structure to honor God.
Highlight Context – Ezra 3:7-13 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK …
… God’s people were given the opportunity to return to Jerusalem from Babylon to rebuild His temple, which they did with mixed emotions.
Reference Passage #1 … John 3:16-17 [NKJV] …
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
… Shouldn’t we have joy imaginable because of this truth.
Reference Passage #2 … 1st Corinthians 6:19 [NKJV] …
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
… Realizing, with some degree of terror, the task of rebuilding God’s temple from the brokenness of our sin nature.
My Journal for Today: … Our Daily Bread author, Keila Ochoa, used the biblical scenario, from the books of Ezra, to help her readers (me) to remember the mixed emotions of Christianity … JOY and SADNESS.
God’s people, being freed from their bondage in Babylon and returning to rebuild God’s Temple in Jerusalem (see highlight passage above) had mixed emotions. Some old priests were sad, remembering Solomon’s great temple which had been destroyed; but others, likely the younger remnant of believers, were overjoyed with the reality that they could rebuild God’s temple for His glory.
And please know, today, I will be walking into my local church with the same kind of mixed emotions. As the first song linked above relates, … there will be JOY, JOY, JOY down in my heart, being able to worship my Lord, Who died on the cross to save me from my sins and my brokenness (see John 3:16-17). But at the same time I will grieve, knowing that many, who are there in church today, desperately need God’s saving grace, being lost, even though declaring that they are “christians.” Oh, so many who think they are saved are living in broken temples (see 1st Cor. 6:19, not realizing that they need to rebuild themselves in the love of God.
Please join me … with joy … that God saves and helps us rebuild for His glory; but pray with me that many, even some we may know, who are living in brokenness, may receive God’s love and rebuild for His glory.
My Prayer Today: O, Heavenly Father, … Lord, my joy is overwhelming for Your saving grace; but my grief compels me to pray for the lost today. Amen
Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.