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We started the week with reading Ezra 4:1-10. The exiles were now in the process of rebuilding the Temple and their enemies are perturbed about it.

Their enemies come with deceptive motives to try to join them in their work but the leaders of Israel are onto them and refuse their help.

My Bible commentary brings this thought:

“The people paid a heavy price for their uncompromising commitment to holiness … Work on the Temple was not finished until 515BC (about 20 years).” (from the NLT Study Bible)

God’s people were trying to keep themselves and their worship pure while at the same time rebuilding their very place of worship. Earlier this morning, I read these words from Jesus: “God blesses those who hearts are pure, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8, NLT).

Purity and worship – both are equally important to God.

The study asks two questions of us which truly are thought provoking:

  1. How pure is your worship?
  2. How can you remain pure in heart toward God yet interact with people who oppose God?

It is important for us to look at Jesus’ words in John 4:23-34:

“But the time is coming – indeed it’s here now – when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” (NLT)

In these days we are in, it is imperative that we continually allow the Lord to work in our hearts to keep us pure, for then we will be better equipped to interact with those in our communities who oppose the ways and principles of God.


Continuing in Ezra 4:17-24 and the reading from the full study was just wonderful:

“Worship is power, worship is a weapon against the thoughts of the enemy, worship is a choice.”

(from The Dwelling Place of God, page 18)

The people’s motivation to continue building has waned. The opposition against them and their efforts has caused them to become discouraged and give up.

“When it comes to pursuing and worshiping God, never, never give up.”

(from The Dwelling Place of God, page 18)

May we not become discouraged or give up, for the Lord inhabits the praises of His people. He is in the midst of us as we bring Him a sacrifice of praise.


We closed the week with reading Ezra 6:6-10. Building the Temple is a monumental task, requiring stamina and support. The work had come to a halt and was about to begin once again.

The author makes this point in the study:

“It is much easier to accomplish God’s tasks in His timing and in His way.”

(from The Dwelling Place of God, page 22)

This time the people have the support not only politically but of the prophets. They needed godly support to finish the task, to endure and persevere.

Victory in their lives, and in ours today, depends on His power and not ours.

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?”
(1 Corinthians 6:19, NLT)

We need endurance and perseverance to complete the task of living here on earth. Much the way God was committed to helping His people rebuild the Temple, He is also committed to helping complete the work He has started in each of our lives.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6, NLT)

Is there something you are waiting for Him to complete in your life? Stand firm. Trust Him. He is faithful.


True worshipers recognize that worship is a weapon,
equipping them to persevere and endure
until the very end.


Image 1: by Tep Ro from Pixabay
Photo 2: by La-Rel Easter on Unsplash

Today I am joining … Tell His Story and Purposeful Faith and InstaEncouragements .