Deeper Dive Devo (Wk5/Day4)

Click on the link below for today’s daily devotional and group encounter. (While the button next to the devotional says “download,” it is simply a link that will safely open a new page with the pdf reading.)


Read: Ezra 8:15-33

I gathered them to the river that runs to Ahava, and there we camped three days. As I reviewed the people and the priests, I found there NONE of the sons of Levi. 16 Then I sent for Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah, and Meshullam, leading men, and for Joiarib and Elnathan, who were men of insight, 17 and sent them to Iddo, the leading man at the place Casiphia, telling them what to say to Iddo and his brothers and the temple servants at the place Casiphia, namely, to send us ministers for the house of our God. 18 And by the good hand of our God on us, they brought us a man of discretion, of the sons of Mahli the son of Levi, son of Israel, namely Sherebiah with his sons and kinsmen, 18; 19 also Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, with his kinsmen and their sons, 20; 20 besides 220 of the temple servants, whom David and his officials had set apart to attend the Levites. These were all mentioned by name. 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. 22 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.” 23 So we fasted and implored our God for this, and He listened to our entreaty. 24 Then I set apart twelve of the leading priests: Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their kinsmen with them. 25 And I weighed out to them the silver and the gold and the vessels, the offering for the house of our God that the king and his counselors and his lords and all Israel there present had offered. 26 I weighed out into their hand 650 talents of silver, and silver vessels worth 200 talents, and 100 talents of gold, 27 20 bowls of gold worth 1,000 darics, and two vessels of fine bright bronze as precious as gold. 28 And I said to them, “You are holy to the Lord, and the vessels are holy, and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering to the Lord, the God of your fathers. 29 Guard them and keep them until you weigh them before the chief priests and the Levites and the heads of fathers’ houses in Israel at Jerusalem, within the chambers of the house of the Lord.” 30 So the priests and the Levites took over the weight of the silver and the gold and the vessels, to bring them to Jerusalem, to the house of our God. 31 Then we departed from the river Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambushes by the way. 32 We came to Jerusalem, and there we remained three days. 33 On the fourth day, within the house of our God, the silver and the gold and the vessels were weighed into the hands of Meremoth the priest, son of Uriah, and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas, and with them were the Levites, Jozabad the son of Jeshua and Noadiah the son of Binnui. (ESV)

Keep-It-Simple Devo (Wk5/Day3)

EXPERIENCE GOD IN SCRIPTURE

Matthew 5:3—God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. (NLT)

Luke 6:20—God will bless you people who are poor. His Kingdom belongs to you! (CEV)

CONSIDER

When do you feel like you need God? How do you feel that need?

God says when we realize we are poor, it’s the first moment our hands can be fully open to receive Heaven. What about God’s Kingdom would you love to have belong to you?

PRAY

Dear Father in Heaven, Your Kingdom sometimes makes me feel poor because I have to go without to see the heavenly gains You’re trying to add to me and to the world I’m in. Help me to be perfectly content with having You. Make my hands open to You so that I’ll realize my soul and life are as abundantly blessed as Heaven is making me. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Deeper Dive Devo (Wk5/Day3)

Click on the link below for today’s daily devotional and group encounter. (While the button next to the devotional says “download,” it is simply a link that will safely open a new page with the pdf reading.)


Read: Ezra 7:1-10

During the reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia, there was a man named Ezra. He was the son of Seraiah, son of Azariah, son of Hilkiah, 2 son of Shallum, son of Zadok, son of Ahitub, 3 son of Amariah, son of Azariah, son of Meraioth, 4 son of Zerahiah, son of Uzzi, son of Bukki, 5 son of Abishua, son of Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the high priest. 6 This Ezra was a scribe who was well versed in the Law of Moses, which the Lord, the God of Israel, had given to the people of Israel. He came up to Jerusalem from Babylon, and the king gave him everything he asked for, because the gracious hand of the Lord his God was on him. 7 Some of the people of Israel, as well as some of the priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, and Temple servants, traveled up to Jerusalem with him in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes’ reign. 8 Ezra arrived in Jerusalem in August of that year. 9 He had arranged to leave Babylon on April 8, the first day of the new year, and he arrived at Jerusalem on August 4, for the gracious hand of his God was on him. 10 This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel. (NLT)

Keep-It-Simple Devo (Wk5/Day2)

EXPERIENCE GOD IN SCRIPTURE

Genesis 12:1-3—The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. 3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” (NLT)

CONSIDER

Why is blessing others its own blessing upon us?

Wherever God plants us, being a blessing to all the families of the earth is the primary mission. Who do you think God is putting in your path today to bless?

How will you bless them, do you think?

PRAY

Lord, it would have been much easier for You if You would have just stayed in Heaven, I’m sure. You wouldn’t have had to endure pain and persecution for Your love for us. Yet You left Heaven so You could bring Heaven to Earth. I will follow You wherever You go and I will bless others as You have always blessed me. ‘Show’ me in each moment today how I can bless others wherever I am and whatever state my heart is in. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Keep-It-Simple Devo (Wk5/Day1)

EXPERIENCE GOD IN SCRIPTURE

Hebrews 12:1-3—Since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the Champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility He endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. (NLT)

CONSIDER

What are the three impacts of keeping our eyes on Jesus?

Why does considering Jesus’ patient endurance help us with our own?

PRAY

Messiah, You endured so much for me. You accepted me without giving my sin a pass, You bled and died so I wouldn’t have to let sin kill me, and You went all the way to the finish line so I can have You and eternity. Give me so much of You that I require so much less of this earthly life to be full. Forgive the sin that seems to always trip me up and exorcise it from my life. Help me to endure the temptations of the darkness and the trials of this life so that I become more like You today. I believe in the name of Jesus, Amen.