We are more like the Pharisees than we would like to admit - hiding our true selves from others and from God and blaming external things for the consequences of our own behavior. But Jesus offers real hope if we will open up to Him in relationship.
Judah has finally come to its end. After a wonder sunset light of Josiah, the nation plunges into the darkness. But even though it seems all is lost, God brings the promise of the dawn of a new day, just as He does to us - so what is required for that new day to begin?
Jesus presents a familiar story with a real spiritual punch - take a listen and figure out if you are rocky, weedy, pathy, or pliable. It may be more significant than you ever dreamed.
Why does evil exist in the world and what are we to do about it? Jesus tells a good story and has some sober advice as we look at ourselves - are we weeds or wheat?
The returning exiles from Babylon faced a daunting task - rebuilding the temple and their nation. They were surrounded by enemies and devastation. What they did was do what they could and trust God for the rest - a good lesson for us as well.
Just how valuable is Jesus to you? Is He more of a common rock you use to skip across the water or buried treasure so valuable he is worth everything you own and more?
The returning exiles had nasty neighbors to contend with. When they wouldn\'t \'play ball\' with the world, the world struck back.
How does suffering affect our ability to minister? As Jesus is overcome with grief how is it that He ended up with compassion, not bitterness?
The children of Israel faced yet another setback as they tried to rebuild the temple. We learn a lot about persevering and also working alongside governmental organizations while preaching the gospel. And when is it right to disobey the government?
Do you get overwhelmed with the thought of serving Jesus? Good - that\'s just where He wants you. Learn the lessons the disciples got as Jesus gave them an impossible task to show that He is more than able to anything that will glorify God - through us!
Despite two attempts by adversaries, God moved on the hearts of the prophets, the leaders, and even government officials to support rebuilding the temple.
The life of a disciple is not usually lived on the mountain top, but sinking in the storm. Gain some real encouragement from watching Jesus at work - sending us into the storm to show our need for Him, then being there to rescue us when we fail.
Esther can be seen as a bunch of stereotypical caricatures or as a rich story full of moral ambiguities that shows us God at work through human frailty.
How important are traditions to you? Do they ever become more important than the gospel and actually keep you away from God? Learn how Jesus deals with the topic.\r\nPharisee, Jesus, tradition, Law, legalism
Though you can\'t see God at work, He is often there behind the scenes, working for your good. See this at work in the lives of the Jews as recorded in Esther.
There are three vitally important questions each person must ask in their life - and three different approaches to answering. How you answer will determine your eternal destiny. Jesus gives us the right way to respond in this chapter.
What are the two qualities shown by Mordecai and Esther that we can emulate as we face an enemy much more powerful than Haman in life here in this war zone?
There are tremendous parallels between Mt. Sinai and the Mount of Transfiguration. Learn how Jesus revealed His true identity and how it relates to us who live down in the valleys of life.
Ezra returns to Jerusalem to oversee the teaching of the Law to God\'s people.
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