“I love you LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
This month we claim God’s love over us; our nation, those in authority over us, those who protect and serve us, and our enemies. The meaning of love is often debated but seldom practiced between humans.
LORD, we aspire to love You like David. Make us strong in your wisdom. May we thirst after Your Word and cling to Jesus – the Horn of our Salvation. Create in us a new heart for You now and forever. We remember the kindness of our Savior, who submitted to the most insulting filth that man could heap upon Him. Forgive our arrogance, Father, in the most Holy and Righteous Name of our King and Refuge, Jesus. All glory and thankfulness to You for Your love toward us. Amen.
May Jehovah bless, protect, and heal each and every one of you this month. May love abound in your hearts toward God and each other;
Hold fast to be a strong witness for the Lord in season and out of season; whether it’s popular or not; Ask God to provide opportunities to share Jesus. He will bless your heart for His work.
Faith without works is dead. ~ James 2:17
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure affliction, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Okay! Our town looks far different in the winter than in the summertime when visitors grace the peninsula (mostly to fish the salmon season). Realizing that I haven’t tried out the gallery feature of this new block editor yet, it seems a great time to check out Old Town Kenai for distinguished Historic Landmarks.
With all that is changing in our nation it’s important to realize that God’s plan has always been for humans to have freedom of choice whether to follow Him or not. No matter what happens in the world, we may choose whether to stand on our faith in Jesus to get through.
I’m okay with that. His way is the only way that works in every circumstance. He does not extend freedom to choose and then take that freedom away. His will is the one constant in the universe. Just as Jesus freely chose to suffer and die on a cross in order to pay our sin debt, we may accept His gift of eternal life or not. PRAISE GOD! WHAT A SAVIOR!! He never asks us to live by a different set of rules than He does.
“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”~ John 10:17-18
So Jesus redeems us by choice – not because He has to. It is an act of love. I encourage you to exercise your God-given freedom of choice and believe in Jesus today. Step into the Light of the World and be changed forever.
“Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
33“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” ~Matthew 6:33-34
God bless you all and thank you for followingImportantstuff.Live!
…behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshipped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
We celebrate what we have, and our trip to Israel was cancelled this year due to you-know-what. This photo is but a tiny glimpse into our daily scenery around here. Thanking God – for He is so good. His gifts are cherished treasures; just like the Magi brought to Baby Jesus so long ago. PRAISE AND HALLELUJAH!! as inheritors of His free gift of salvation, we feel especially blessed this Christmas.
Thank you, Tonya, for sharing with us your beautiful photo; and THANK ALL OF YOU for following Importantstuff.Live!
In 519 BC, God orchestrated the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem via kingly decrees. King Cyrus, King Darius, and King Artaxerxes of Persia were God’s instruments concerning the reconstruction of His House in Jerusalem.
Not surprisingly, there was resistance to the rebuilding of God’s house at Jerusalem during the entire project. At one point some people who were against the Israelites sent a letter to King Darius concerning the validity of the decree. “Did proof of such a decree actually exist?” they demanded.
Then King Darius issued a decree, and a search was made in the archives, “where the treasures were stored in Babylon. And at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of Media, a scroll was found, and in it a record was written thus:” ~ Ezra 6:1-2 NKJV
In the first year of King Cyrus, King Cyrus issued a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem: “Let the house be rebuilt, the place where they offered sacrifices; and let the foundations of it be firmly laid …Let the expenses be paid from the king’s treasury.” ~ Ezra 6:3-4 NKJV
Why pay for this project out of the King’s treasury? Verse 5 explains that the gold and silver treasury of God’s temple had been looted/stolen by King Nebuchadnezzar and brought back to Babylon around 70 years prior.
It was time for God’s judgement against the Israelites for idolatry to be over. The temple at Jerusalem was to be rebuilt and dedicated to the LORD. But in the seventh year of the reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia, the LORD sent Ezra to Jerusalem to serve as priest and scribe of the Law of the LORD; but not to go empty-handed:
This is a copy of the letter that King Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest, the scribe, expert in the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of His statutes to Israel:
Artaxerxes, king of kings, To Ezra the priest, a scribe of the Law of the God of heaven:
Perfect peace, and so forth.
I issue a decree, that all those of the people of Israel and the priests and Levites in my realm, who volunteer to go up to Jerusalem, may go with you. And whereas you are being sent by the king and his seven counselors to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, with regard to the Law of your God which is in your hand; and whereas you are to carry the silver and gold which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose dwelling is in Jerusalem; and whereas all the silver and gold that you may find in all the province of Babylon, along with the freewill offering of the people and the priests, are to be freely offered for the house of their God in Jerusalem – Now therefore, be careful to buy with this money bulls, rams, and lambs, with their grain offerings, and offer them in the altar of the house of your God in Jerusalem.” ~ Ezra 6:11-17 NKJV
WOW! When God moves, He means business. So how does any of this relate to us today? Perhaps this decree by King Artaxerxes reminds us of how the LORD bent the hearts of the Egyptians toward the Israelites during the Exodus. God caused the Egyptians to give their wealth freely to the Israelites at their departure from Egypt. There appears to be a pattern of how God cares for His children. He sometimes shifts wealth from the masters in order to bless His people when they have been held captive during judgement. At the point of God’s forgiveness and consequential freedom from bondage, God immediately blesses.
How do we view things like presidential executive orders today, which are very similar to kingly decrees back then? When our democratic processes break down, and it becomes difficult to govern the people righteously, God may use special means to guide us into trusting Him.
By kingly decree … It served the Israelites well when they were obedient to God in the Old Testament; and it will for us, too, if we trust our LORD.
Notice that as powerful as he was, King Artaxerxes called himself king of kings, without capital letters. He evidently realized that he was not THE King of Kings Jesus. As we celebrate the birth of the Baby Jesus soon, may the world recognize and worship Him as their personalMessiah, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords!