A Fresh Start

Today’s Reading –  Ezra 1 – 2 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Romans 9 – 12Psalms 126 – 130Proverbs 27)

Scripture Memorization for May – Romans 10

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song –  Ephesians 4:32

Read a great article by Pastor Cary Schmidt– “Encouragement for Spiritual Leaders

Read the “0527 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.” – (Ezra 1:2-3)

The children of Israel had spent 70 long years in captivity at the hands of the Babylonians. We cannot really blame Babylon for Israel’s troubles however, as the Scripture makes it very clear that Israel was taken into captivity as a direct judgment of God because they had forsaken Him. However, now at the end of the seventy years, we see a new king, Cyrus of Persia, who is releasing the nation of Israel and giving them the charge to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Again, we cannot fully give the credit to Cyrus for being such a gracious king, as God foretold this event in the Book of Isaiah almost 200 years prior to its happening, even mentioning King Cyrus by name:

“That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.” – (Isaiah 44:28)

At any rate, Israel is given a wonderful opportunity to get things right; they are given a fresh start. What a wonderful thing it is to be given the opportunity to start all over again. Salvation does this to a person’s life. God gives them a clean slate; a new beginning. While we can never go back and undo our past mistakes, it is great to know that those mistakes are in the past, and under the blood. Israel was granted the chance to go back into the land and live for God, and worship Him as had been originally intended. Sadly, however, history wil reveal that they quickly went back to some of their old ways. We do the same thing, don’t we? God gives us a new beginning, but we soon find ourselves making the same mistakes as we did prior to our salvation. It’s really a shame, but it just reveals that the old sin nature is still alive and well. We won’t be rid of this sinful flesh until we are with the Lord; but we can make the most out our fresh start  and do our best to live our lives yielded to the will of God.

If you are saved, God has given you a fresh start. Make the most of it. Experience the fullness of a life filled with the Spirit of God in the very center of God’s will. Every day, we have a fresh opportunity to get it right. Let’s ask God to help us live our lives to the fullest today, representing Him well to the world around us.

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