The Hand of God was Upon Ezra

Ezra Reads the Law

Following the Babylonian captivity, the Jews were allowed to return to their homeland and, with the blessing of the king of Persia, rebuild the temple. Ezra, a priest and scribe, was sent back to the land after the temple was completed. During this time God was with him. The Scriptures also explain why He was with Ezra.

For on the first of the first month he began to go up from Babylon; and on the first of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, because the good hand of his God was upon him. For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel” (Ezra 7:9-10).

This passage contains four reasons why Ezra found favor with God. We would do well to learn from Ezra’s example here. These are the same things we must do today to find favor with God.
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Read Through the Bible in 2010

The new year is upon us. Many people are making resolutions. A good number of them will be making the resolution to spend more time studying the Bible or even to read through the Bible. If that’s what you’ve decided to do (and it is certainly a worthwhile exercise), here are a few resources online that can help you.
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Preparing to Preach

In an article posted August 4 on the Christian Courier website, Wayne Jackson has some good advice for men desiring to preach the gospel and how to prepare for that work. His advice about attending a “Christian college” is particularly good. His concerns about such an education are some of the ones I have as well. This is what he had to say:
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Making the Most of Your Time

Pocket Watch

Each one of us is busy with obligations and responsibilities that have been placed upon us and that we have taken upon ourselves. Our lives can be hectic and we sometimes wonder how we will ever have time to do what we need to do. This is just as much of a challenge for Christians as it is for anyone else.

Paul provided some instructions about time management that would be good for us to heed:

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).

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Context

In studying the Bible, we often stress the importance of understanding the context of a passage, and rightly so. If we take a passage out of context, we could walk away with an understanding that God never intended us to have.

I came across a good, brief article by Jered Smith in Ranger, TX that discusses what factors we must consider when studying the Bible so we understand what we read within its context. I would recommend checking it out.

Click on the link to read the article: Context

Easter in the Bible

This Sunday is when many religious people celebrate Easter. Easter is used to commemorate the resurrection of Christ. Just when this day began to be observed is unknown. The practice is absent from the pages of the Bible.

However, we do have one mention of Easter in the Bible: “And when [Herod] had apprehended [Peter], he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quarternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people” (Acts 12:4, KJV).

Newer translations, however, do not use the word Easter. Instead, they use Passover. Why is that? Is it because the newer translations are inferior to the “authorized” King James Bible and are, therefore, wrong? No.
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The Lord of Sabaoth

Bible study

There are several different names and titles used for God in the Bible. One interesting one is “Lord of Sabaoth” and is used twice in the New Testament (Romans 9:29; James 5:4). What exactly does this name mean?
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