Sunday, April 13, 2014

April 13 - Opening the Book

Today's Reading:
Nehemiah 7:73b-9:21
2 Timothy 2:22-3:17
Psalm 119:113-120
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:
Nehemiah 8:5-6
5 Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. 6 Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, "Amen! Amen!" Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

Reading and understanding the Scriptures were central to the rebuilding of Israel. The remnant of Jews who had returned from exile needed to understand the word of the Lord if they were to reestablish their worship, life, and traditions. For days, the people listened to Ezra reading the book of the Law. Teachers helped to translate and explain what Ezra was reading, and the people wept because they were so moved and convicted by what they heard.

Response and Action:
Reading and understanding God's word is central to my life. If I am to build a life that is strong and true, I must build on the solid ground of God's word. Just as the Ezra and the people of Israel gave special effort and time to give attention to Scripture, I will set aside time and make a special effort to attend to Bible reading. Just as those who heard the Scriptures were moved to tears, I will be soft-hearted toward God's word. Just as those who had trouble understanding what they were hearing, I will seek out help and instruction to gain understanding.

O God, thank you for the Bible. Thank you for the testimony and guidance of Scripture. Help me to understand and apply the truth of your Word in my daily life. Give me the wisdom and the will to make time for reading and meditating upon your Word. By the breath of your Holy Spirit, make your word living and active in my heart. Use it to teach me, rebuke me, correct me, and train me in righteousness, that I might be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: Matthew 7:24
24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

Life with God: Reading the Bible for Spiritual Transformation
by Richard Foster

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