Ezra 1:2 Recognize Who Gave It

City in mountains

This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah.’ Ezra 1:2 

People receive things all the time. Recognizing who gave it does not always occur. Often people think that they got it completely on their own. They are unwilling to recognize who helped them along the way. They become a one-man show in life.

Wealthy people do not get their wealth completely on their own. They come up with some idea, but others work for them to make it possible. If others did not work for them, they would be very seriously limited in how much they could earn.

God had destroyed the nation of Judah and put the people into captivity in Persia. Cyrus was the king at the time. Immediately he recognized that God had given him all the nations that he had possessed. He gave God the credit for what He had and so He was going to have the temple built in Jerusalem to worship God at.

It is easy for people to forget how they got what they have. Most often people think that they got everything that they have on their own, without any help. While help from people in this world can go a long ways, a greater help is from God.

God is the One who oversees everything that occurs upon this earth. There is nothing that He does not have control of. He is the One who moves people to do things to help others in ways not directly seen. He is able to use those who follow Him and those who do not follow Him to fulfill His desires.

Believers are the first to recognize that it is God who is in control. It is God who is the provider of everything.

Everything that you have has been given to you by God or God has allowed you to have it. Without His hand of provision or allowance, you could not have it.

Through Jesus you have been given all power and authority in heaven and on earth. You have been given all the kingdoms of this earth. The purpose of this is to be His witness and to build His kingdom, to build temples to worship God.

You did not get all this on your own, it is only through the work of Jesus. Recognize this and give Him the praise.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will recognize God’s hand at work in your life; that you will recognize God’s provision in your life; and that you will build a temple in your heart to worship God. 

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2 Chronicles 1:7 Asking God

Earth from space station

That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” 2 Chronicles 1:7 

Most people would like a blank check given to them to get whatever they want. They want to be able to write in the amount they want and know that it will be given. They dream of the genie in the bottle to grant their very wishes and desires.

God had did this very thing to Solomon. He appears to him and tells Solomon that he can ask for whatever he wants and he will be given it. It was a blank check given by God, Himself.

Many believers have read this passage and often dreamed of God doing this for them. Often this is done out of personal greed, desiring things for self, and not for the greater good.

Yet, many people forget that Jesus had made this same type of statement several thousand years later. He had stated that whatever one asks in His name, it would be given. This is a type of blank check.

God could see Solomon’s heart at the time He made the offer. He knew that Solomon would make a good choice. Solomon did not make a selfish choice for his own benefit, but one that would benefit the people as a nation.

God is always willing to grant requests when it lines up with His will and mission. His will that no one will die and His mission is to save every person. When requests are made with His will and mission in mind, God is more than willing to grant the request. These requests are not selfish or sinful in any way, they are made to God’s glory and kingdom.

Jesus has made this statement to you also. You can go before God and make your requests known to Him. As you go before Him with a request, take a moment to think about your request. Does your request line up with God’s will and mission? Or does it line up with personal greed and desire?

Go through the Bible and learn what God’s heart is about. What is His desire for you and all believers? Align your life and heart to that of God’s and you will ask things of God that line up with His desires. Then ask God and see how God works great things in and through you to build His kingdom.

I pray today that you will know God’s mission for you; that you will have a heart after God’s heart; that you will put God’s desires first in your life; and that you will see God’s hand at work in your life to build His kingdom. 

The Heart Of Communication

My 16 year old son, Caleb, wrote this blog post. He actually came to me and told me it first. I was so amazed by it, that I asked him to write it down for others to enjoy.

Talking Image

In all of life we use communication whether it is in the work place, school, church, home, or in other countries. Think about it, how many times do you read a sign on the road? That’s a form of communication.

There are three main tools of communication we use every day, which are the following:
1.Verbal
2.Non-verbal
3.Written.
Verbal means talking face to face, or the phone, public speaking, and more.

Nonverbal can mean watching a video on YouTube, a movie, music, the list goes on.

Movie film

Then there is written that’s books, articles, exactly what you are reading now.

Books

There is also a sub form of communication namely “Other“.
What is other? Well it means stuff like paintings, abstract art, drawings, and blueprints.
In order to perform any of these different types of communication you have to know what the heart of communication is.

At the heart of communication you need two key parts which are the following:
1.Giving
2.Receiving.

Here is an example: I give you the option to read this, but you have to receive it.
Now God has communicated with man since the beginning of time. In Genesis 1:27 you can find the first time God communicates with man, He blesses them. In Exodus you can find the account of Moses. God came to Moses through a burning bush told him to set his people free, but it would never have happened if Moses had not received the commission.

In 1 Kings in the bible you can find a prophet named Elijah, he prayed to God to send fire down from heaven. Yet again it would never have happened if God did not receive the prayer, and give the fire.

As you can see God has communicated since the beginning. It even gets better though. When a woman becomes pregnant, (hopefully in wedlock), God gave the child to her in the womb He knit the child together, created the child’s innermost being.

mother and child

Now when the woman gives birth if she is a follower of Jesus Christ, or attends a church, she would have the baby dedicated, or given back to God. This is when God receives the baby. If you fast forward a few years thechild one day has to choose whether to follow Jesus, or follow the world. God will knock on the heart of the child, and if the child decides to let God into his life. Than the child receives the gift of salvation God is presenting, and in doing so the child gave his life to Him.

But that’s not it. God receives your life with joy. But He also sends this child on a mission. God gives a command to the child to go to all the ends of the Earth and spread the gospel. This is the hard part for a lot of people to live out.

Why would you want to go out to the people in the mall and talk to people about Jesus, or at work, school, even in your own house? Yes you will be humiliated, mocked, ridiculed, there’s absolutely no doubt about it.

Take a look at what Jesus did for you. He, the Son of God himself, became a man for you, born in a manger which is a feeding trough. He grew up as a carpenter’s child, he taught people to love your neighbor as yourself. Love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you. He was taken captive in the night, he was accused of blasphemy. He was spat upon, mocked, ridiculed, and beaten. He was scourged, than carried a cross about three miles. He had a crown of thorns, and was nailed to the cross where he died. All of this was for you. But three days later he came back to life.

Jesus resurrection

Thank God he did, or else we would all have no chance to go to heaven.
I hope this helped someone out there. God has and will always be there.