Nehemiah 3,  Proverbs 10:1-16,  Luke 16:10-18,  1 Timothy 6:11-21 Nehemiah 3: This chapter lists all the teamwork that comes into play, the various groups of people as they now build as Nehemiah had led them to do. It takes every part of the body to do its task. Reading 1 Corinthians 12:12-20, we find the…

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Nehemiah 1-2,  Proverbs 9,  Luke 16:1-9,  1 Timothy 6:1-10   Nehemiah 1-2:  It is hard, if not impossible, to comment on all the good things in these two chapters regarding faith, leadership, and God’s answer to prayer. Note, for example, Nehemiah’s interest in the work of God (1:2). We are always to be interested in how…

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Ezra 10,  Proverbs 8,  Luke 15:11-32,  1 Timothy 5:16-25   Ezra 10: The principle at stake here is one that is reaffirmed in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 7:39), but it is important to understand the nature of the problem. What mattered was not the “race” of the people concerned—Israel was always meant to be a…

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Ezra 9,  Proverbs 7,  Luke 15:1-10,  1 Timothy 5:1-15   Ezra 9:   Things are going well, but then there is calamitous news. The officials come to tell Ezra that the people had intermarried with the nations who were not following God, and that the leaders and the officials had led the way in this intermarrying (9:1-2).…

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Ezra 8,  Proverbs 6,  Luke 14:25-35,  1 Timothy 4   Ezra 8:   The recording of the genealogy of those who returned with Ezra (8:1-14) reveals that there are none of the tribe of Levi (8:15). Therefore, to fulfill obligations in the Law, Ezra recruits successfully (8:16-20). He is careful to ensure that all is done properly…

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Ezra 7,  Proverbs 5,  Luke 14:15-24,  1 Timothy 3:11-18   Ezra 7: Ezra is now introduced. And we are told “the hand of the Lord his God was on him” (7:6). Nothing matters more than this: that God is with us, that his blessings go before us, that his hand for good is on us. This…

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Ezra 4-5,  Proverbs 3,  Luke 13:22-35,  1 Timothy 2   Ezra 4-5: A great work is underway, and as usual opposition comes. Consider the cunning of the opposition and its very real threat to the rebuilding project:  First, they attempt to infiltrate the ranks of the true followers of God (4:2) and so dilute their faith…

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Ezra 3,  Proverbs 2,  Luke 13:10-21,  1 Timothy 1:12-21 Ezra 3: This chapter records how the Israelites first rebuilt the altar and then began the work of rebuilding the temple. What caused them to begin this great work, and what was the effect of their faithfulness? They began because “fear was on them because of…

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Ezra 1-2,  Proverbs 1,  Luke 13:1-9,  1 Timothy 1:1-11   Ezra 1-2: As prophesied by Jeremiah, according to God’s Word, the people return from exile. God uses Cyrus, whom Isaiah calls God’s “shepherd.” Though he does not “know God,” he will still be used by God to glorify God. The rest of these two chapters…

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In keeping with the Bible reading plan we are using, the last days of each month are designated as “free days.” July 26-31 then are intended to allow you to catch up on reading you may have missed or to study passages more in depth that intrigued you during the first 25 days of the month. With…

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