Job 1:1-3 The Message of Job is Hope

Job 1:1-3 (KJV)
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.
His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.

Job 2:13 (KJV)
So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.

The book of Job is striking in that it expresses such humanity. God is clearly seen, as is Satan and the angels of Heaven. One of those lessons so clearly seen is that nothing much has changed.

  • Fathers worried over their adult children just as we do
  • Marriages had their problems then as they do now
  • Financial security was as tenuous then as it is today
  • Evil men existed then even as they do in our time
  • Spiritual battles were as difficult then as today.

I thought this morning how amazing it is to contrast our first presentation of Job with that seen in the last verse of chapter two. Job is as godly a man as we know in the Bible, and yet he is capable of being so grief stricken that his friends could not find a word of comfort to speak.

I’m jumping ahead (the benefit of having read this book many times before) but I think the real message of the book of Job is hope. And hope is the message of every believer. We possess hope. No matter how our life shakes out on earth, we have a future worth looking forward to.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Job 1:1-3 The Message of Job is Hope

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Esther 9:27-28 The Grandeur of Salvation

Esther 9:27-28 (KJV)
The Jews ordained, and took upon them, and upon their seed, and upon all such as joined themselves unto them, so as it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to their writing, and according to their appointed time every year;
And that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them perish from their seed.

I consider the feast of Purim to be symbolic of salvation. A people marked for destruction from the enemy and, though the enemy had power, the king turned the thing upside down.

We have a powerful enemy in Satan. But our King has, through Jesus Christ, turned the thing upside down. In Christ we are:

  • Rescued from hell,
  • Forgiven of sin,
  • Restored to fellowship with God and

through Christ our enemy is subdued and destined for eternal judgment.

Once the victory had been secured steps were taken so the Jews would never forget this victory. We know they still celebrate the holy day but we also know it has lost much of its significance for them. We Christians need to take steps to never forget what Christ has accomplished for us in salvation. We have:

  • Regular services at church,
  • The ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper and
  • Times of special meetings and prayer

Every one of these is an opportunity to stir up in our hearts the grandeur of salvation.

May we never forget the significance of these!

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Esther 9:27-28 The Grandeur of Salvation

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Esther 7:1 Refuse Mercy To This Enemy

Esther 7:1 (KJV)
So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen.

There is in this passage a portrait of immense proportions. Of course, as with any metaphor drawn from the Bible, one must take care what authority he gives his imagination.

Picture this:

Esther faces a huge burden.
In an effort to address the burden she prepares a banquet.

  • She does not drown herself in pity
  • She does not seclude herself in privacy
  • She does not demand others to care for her
  • She faces her trouble with service.

Esther invites both the source of the trouble and the one who is able to resolve her trouble to her banquet
The king and Haman are both invited and both attend. It is then she presents her trouble to the king and identifies its source. From there she is quiet and leaves the rest of the matter to the king.

 

I think I can see many ways to apply this image.

  • In family
  • In times of financial trouble
  • At work

I leave it to the reader to apply it to whatever are their circumstances.

 

I see an application at church.
Church is, in many respects, a banquet set to resolve trouble. We are strangers and pilgrims in this world. We come to church to serve the Lord and face our troubles. We invite all who share our trouble. Our enemy, Satan, comes too. Every Sunday we present our trouble to the Lord, we identify our enemy and we leave it to God to address him.

I picture our enemy, Sunday after Sunday pleading, not with God but with us, to have mercy upon him. Some give it to him.

  • They do not bring their trouble to the altar
  • They do not come to be saved
  • They do not present themselves for baptism
  • They do not unite with the local church
  • They do not get right with God

Those who refuse mercy on this enemy find the promise of God’s Word is true; submit to God, draw nigh to Him, resist the devil and he will flee from you.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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Esther 7:1 Refuse Mercy To This Enemy

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Esther 5:11-13 Let It Go

Esther 5:11-13 (KJV)
And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king.
Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to morrow am I invited unto her also with the king.
Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.

Getting even, holding a grudge, talking about another behind their back, is dangerous business.

Haman was a Gentile and had certainly never read to Proverbs and the warning of falling into our own snare. Nevertheless the truth is universal; vengeance belongs only to God. To attempt it for ourselves is to step into territory with terrible consequences. Haman’s hatred for Mordecai was so powerful he never thought about who may or may not be related to him. He never considered that Mordecai may have stronger ties to the king than he knew.

Haman is a real life illustration why it is best not to say bad things about others to others. We never know whom they are related to and we cannot know the emotional attachment they may have already made with the one we wish to attack.

Offenses happen in this world. Let them go. If the Lord believes they ought to be judged, He is more than capable of doing so.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Esther 5:11-13 Let It Go

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Nehemiah 6:1-3 “I Cannot Come Down”

Nehemiah 6:1-3 (KJV)
Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;)
That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.
And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?

The difference is subtle and one could argue unimportant. Someone might even say it is only a matter of perception.

  • Sanballat, and Geshem said, “Come let us meet together.”
  • Nehemiah said, “I cannot come down.”

The enemies saw themselves as equals; Nehemiah saw them as inferiors.

At the very least, Nehemiah saw the position of the believers as higher than that of the unbelievers.

One of the great devices of Satan, and one that is frequently employed right now, is that of elevating the many religions and, indeed, no religion at all to the same place as Christianity. To imply that the Christian faith is a better faith, a higher faith, or even more true than a different faith is tantamount to hate speech these days.

And a good number of nominal Christians are buying it. Men like Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California have suckered multitudes of churches to come together with Muslims. Hundreds of independent Baptist pastors read, quote and follow the teachings John Maxwell, RC Sproul, Max Lucado and other like them.

We are losing perspective as Baptists. We are coming down to the level of Protestants. And, in doing so, we are lessening the value of the work we do, even if we think we are doing more work.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Nehemiah 6:1-3 “I Cannot Come Down”

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Nehemiah 5:6 I Was Very Angry

Nehemiah 5:6 (KJV)
And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words.

Nehemiah was not above becoming angry. The Bible goes so far as to say “very angry.”

News of the disaffection some had for their own brethren in this needful time, and of their taking advantage of their need through usury, riled Nehemiah to great, but not excessive anger.

He was not wrong to be angry. He did not sin by being angry but I can see he did not lose control because he was angry. Before he acted the Bible says he consulted with himself. He took the time to manage his emotions and prepare a plan of action that was appropriate and not reaction.

Nehemiah responded to that which made him angry and the people responded positively to his response.

May this be true of God’s people still today.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Nehemiah 5:6 I Was Very Angry

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Nehemiah 4:12 They Told Him Ten Times

Nehemiah 4:12 (KJV)
And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, From all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you.

There were those Jews who, though not associated with the builders, and dwelling among the Samaritans, kept coming to warn Nehemiah that the Samaritans would soon attack.

Nehemiah says they told him ten times.

  • They kept telling him until he got it.
  • They could have kept telling him until it annoyed him

If we have information that needs to be shared we ought to share it. But then we ought to let it go.

  • To sound a warning is important.
  • To keep sounding about it can be disheartening.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Nehemiah 4:12 They Told Him Ten Times

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Nehemiah 3:1 Preaching Like That

Nehemiah 3:1 (KJV)
Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel.

I remember some thirty years ago hearing a pastor skillfully preach on the repairing these gates. I don’t recall if he used every gate, though I think he did. What I do recall is that he assigned to each gate he preached on a spiritual significance, he demonstrated that significance in the Word of God and then he applied that significance to the congregation.

I am not sure some today would call that Bible preaching. What some identify as expository preaching is nothing more than reading a verse and rephrasing it in their own words. Some would think to compare Scripture with another Scripture is to depart from Scripture.

Ezra, the Bible says, read Scripture and caused the people to understand the reading. This must surely mean more than supplying definitions.

There is no example in the Bible of preaching that is merely reading a passage and explaining it. Preaching is application. The preacher believes that every passage has purpose today. There is more in Nehemiah chapter three than a record of who repaired what. The preacher I heard so many years ago understood that. He gave an application. He provided us with an action we could attach to the passage.

Thank God for preaching like that.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Nehemiah 3:1 Preaching Like That

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Nehemiah 1:4 Not A Pity Party

Nehemiah 1:4 (KJV)
And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

Few people in the Bible are a better example of leadership than is Nehemiah. He was a man of action and accomplishment. But before he was any of that, he was a man of tears. More than a few tears too. He wept for days. More than privately, his sadness was so profound the king, his boss, could see it.

It’s ok to weep and mourn. It’s ok to become saddened about things. But notice that Nehemiah did not end in a pity party.

He prayed
Chapter one, the second half is a prayer. It’s not the last one recorded either.

He planned
When approached by the king he already had in his heart a thing to do, what he would need to do it and a time frame for which to get it done.

He performed
Some of us are big talkers but poor doers. Nehemiah had a concern a plan and the gumption to work the plan.

It’s fine to cry. Just don’t stop there. Seek the Lord and then do something about it.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
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Nehemiah 1:4 Not A Pity Party

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Ezra 10:44 A Problem With No Resolution

Ezra 10:44 (KJV)
All these had taken strange wives: and some of them had wives by whom they had children.

The book of Ezra ends in a startling way because it seems to me that it does not end.

There is a problem presented but there is no resolution reported.

Fact is, I don’t think this problem ever got resolved. Over the years the children of Israel, even those called of God to be priests, had ignored the Word of God and disobeyed it’s precepts. Here we find them, at least we find Ezra, wanting to make things right with God. Trouble was, their former disobediences had born out consequences that could not be changed.

  • They had married strange wives
  • They had, at least some of them, had children

True enough these priestly peoples could repent and turn to God. But they could not ignore their wives and, even more, their children. Their wives, their children and their children’s children would carry the consequences of these men’s indiscretions. Israel never became the powerful nation they once were ever again. There has been infighting and trouble in Israel that resulted in:

  • their conquest by Rome
  • their crucifying of their own Messiah and
  • their spiritual hardness to this day

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. How we need to:

  • look ahead at the consequences of sin
  • look into the word at the path God has laid out for us and
  • look well at our Lord so that we choose God before we choose sin

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

My books are available at:
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My author Page for Kindle/Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/author/marvinmckenzie

Ezra 10:44 A Problem With No Resolution

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/M04VB. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.