Purim Season

Good day readers! This month ( March 20-21 2019) the Israelites celebrate Purim (see Esther 3:7 below for the feast’s meaning), celebrating Queen Esther’s obedience and courage leading the Jews in triumph over wicked Haman. My Bible readings are in Esther this week and want to share with you some of the pertinent parts I saw in this book.

Esther 3:7 In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur (that is, the lot), before Haman [a]to determine the day and the [b]month, [c]until it fell on the twelfth month,which is the month of Adar.

XerxesThe book of Esther is staged in Shushan Province, contemporary to the book of Nehemiah’s account of the refugees in Jerusalem rebuilding the walls. This story begins with King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) having a drunken feast with all his princes & servants as well as nobles and princes of all 127 provinces he ruled over from Shushan palace. This feast lasted 7 days after having spent 180 days showing them all the glories of his kingdom. In the midst of this drunken orgie, he called for his queen to come before them with her royal crown on. One commentator believes the drunken king was ordering his queen to appear nude with only her crown on so they could ALL see her beauty! Well, this makes many of us very sad about the way the king treated her.

 Last week I made note from Nehemiah that King Artaxerxes is the son of Xerxes (Ahasuerus) and believed by many to be the son of Esther. (Nehemiah 2:1) Esther was daughter of Mordecai’s uncle, which made him her cousin. After her parents died, he adopted the fair young maiden and treated her as his own daughter. In Esther chapter two we see God’s favor on her. Hegai was pleased with her and she obtained kindness from him. 

 Esther 2:9 Now the young woman pleased him, and she obtained his favor; so he readily gave beauty preparations to her, besides [j]her allowance. Then seven choice maidservants were provided for her from the king’s palace, and he moved her and her maidservants to the best place in the house of the women.

It took twelve months to prepare a maiden to go in to the king. To purify the women it took six months of oil of myrrh and six months with “perfumes and preparations for beautifying women”. Esther took the suggestions of Hegai, showing great humility. The women were allowed to take anything they wanted from the women’s quarters when it was their turn to go in to the King. Esther chose to take.Esther

Esther 2:15 Now when the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his daughter, to go in to the king, she requested nothing but what Hegai the king’s eunuch, the custodian of the women, advised. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her.

It has been noted that God is not mentioned at all in this book, but His favor and plans are evident throughout. Interesting to me: Mordecai & Esther (also known as Hadassa) were of the tribe and lineage of Benjamin. Haman was a descendant of Agag whom God had ordered King Saul to utterly destroy:

1 Samuel 15:2 Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. Now go and attack[a] Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ”

BUT…King Saul disobeyed the LORD!

1Samuel 158 He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.Haman

This is when God rejected Saul as king. SO…Saul’s disobedience came back to bite his people in later generations. In contrast, Esther’s obedience saved her people!

Notice how evil did not prevail; Mordecai was exalted by Haman’s own prideful words (Esther chapter 6) and Haman was hung on the 70 foot high gallows he’d erected for Mordecai (Esther 7:10). The edict to slaughter the Jews sent out to all the provinces by Haman in King Artaxerxes’ name could not be cancelled or withdrawn, but the king was able to send out another edict allowing the Jews to take up arms and defend themselves.

This book shows how the LORD never changes, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. This should give us hope that obedience is better than sacrifice and disobedience will not go unpunished.

Ancient of Days

How to Share Your Testimony

We’ve heard we need to write down our testimonies and we need to be sharing them. Good guidelines here!

Canadian Bible Guy

The following is a short, step-by-step process on how to share your testimony. I created this document for people in our church who are getting baptized. It is based off of original material I found on the websites of Living Waters and Cru.


In Acts 26:1-23, the apostle Paul shares his testimony and gives a general outline of what it might sound like. His format basically was a 3-step process:

  1. What his life was like before Jesus (v. 1-11)
  2. How he became a follower of Jesus (v. 12-18)
  3. How his life has changed because of Jesus (v. 19-23)

Using this basic outline, you can build your own testimony by considering some of the following questions.

1. Describe your life before you met Jesus

What was your religious upbringing? How did you view God, Christ, the Church, and Christians? What beliefs and values did you hold to? What sins and…

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March Musing and Understanding

author Thank you all for joining me today. I am reading the Moravian Daily Texts 2019, our Pastor invited us to join him for Francis Chan’s Disciple Makers study (you can download it from the Play Store) and our Life Group is watching Pastor Robert Morris’ Free Indeed series on YouTube. This is a lot of Bible reading, learning, and soul searching. Here’s some things I’m gleaning.

Free Indeed session 6 topic: lust of the eyes. stary eyesThe categories are:

  1. Greed

  2. Unbelief

  3. Fear

Look at Adam and Eve’s temptation: This looks good! Did God really say? Is God keeping me from something good? Pastor Morris shared that an ordinance is an ordinary principle, like the one God gave Adam & Eve. We were all challenged to see what happens when we put God first and give to Him the first 10th {number 10 equals test} of all we have. In Malachi (see 3:6-12), the LORD says to test Him and see; if you bring all your tithes into the storehouse so there will be food in His house, see if He won’t provide all your needs over and above that 10%. One in our group is a single woman fearful of losing job, apartment, car…too proud to ask help. This Scripture is what came to me for her:

I would have fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Hope in the LORD! Be of good courage and He will strengthen your heart and you will line up with the LORD! Psalm 27:13-14 (One New Man Bible)

Pastor Morris says people tell him tithing isn’t in the New Testament; they are Psalm 143.10mistaken! I challenge you to obey what the Lord says and taste and see that He is good. I certainly have, and look forward to taste and see more of His goodness as I learn more about obeying. Did you know the coins paid Judas to betray Jesus came out of the Offering of God [God’s money] in the temple? The High Priest & Elders robbed from God to betray Jesus.  When Judas threw the coins at their feet, they couldn’t put the money back in the offering box because they KNEW they had done wrong. That’s why they used the coins to buy “The Potter’s Field”  called “Field of Blood” to this day! [see Matthew 26:14-16, 27:3-10]

Psalm 37: 7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret—it only causes harm.

Thinking about all the struggles going on in our country, these verses stood out to me. Do Not Fret; evildoers shall be cut off. We must cease from anger, forsake wrath, not fret because these things only cause harm (to us and others). God continues:

For evildoers shall be cut off;
But those who wait on the Lord,
They shall inherit the earth.
10 For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more;
Indeed, you will look carefully for his place,
But it shall be no more.

Pray for the Lord’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, and leave it to Him to bring things around for our good as He brings good in the midst of this evil, chaos and strife. 

Next, I’m reading Nehemiah 12,  where the meanings of the men’s names are significant to understanding the chapter. Verse 10: Yeshuah=deliverance/salvation, Joiakim=God exists, Eliashib=God responds, Joiada=God knows. Verse 24: Hashabiah=Thoughts of God, Sherebiah=Scepter of God, Kadmiel=God goes before you. Imagine what it was like for the refugees knowing what these men’s names mean, to those who did all the work to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and preparing the place to worship God Almighty. Imagine being the parents who picked out these men’s names! Since the Lord God never changes (Malachi 3:6), we can claim God is our deliverance and salvation, can know He exists, that He responds and He knows all about us and our needs. The thoughts of God are for us, the scepter of God is in the midst of His people. [name definitions from One New Man Bible foot notes pg.1125 ]

Until next time, think on these words from March 20th Moravian Daily Texts 2019

hymn #609:

O give me Samuel’s mind! A sweet unmurm’ring faith, obedient and resigned to thee in life and death, that I may read with childlike eyes truths that are hidden from the wise.

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Concluding Biblical 10:10 Series

happy nerd Hello again dear readers. Join me as I look  into my last 10:10 and a few 1:10’s in the New Testament.

1 John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

obesentYes, all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, so make sure you are speaking the truth in love and have a true estimation of who you are in Christ.

2 John 1:10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him;

Many there are these days, as there were in the first Apostle’s days, who don’t stick to the basic gospel: Jesus’ virgin birth, torture, death and resurrection. The Word speaks of gospels of angels, of demons, denial of resurrection, …

3 John 1:10 Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.

This passage speaks of leaders who do not believe the truth of the Gospel, prohibit those who do, and throws these people out of the church.

Jude 1:10 But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.Image result for photo of brute beasts

If you read further, they’ve “run greedily into the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.” (v.11)

Revelation 10:10 Then I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter.Image result for picture of scroll with seven seals

 the ‘book’ or scroll did just as the angel said 

11 And he said to me, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.”

As in the days of Noah…as in the days of the early church… as in the 21st century… it behooves us to dig into the Word of God and ask Holy Spirit to enlighten us and help us understand the truths it contains. This world is going to continue to descend into the deep chasms of darkness and error the Bible talks about, but those who walk in the light of Jesus Christ and fellowship with the Lord will shine brighter as the world gets darker. God planned your birth for this time, in this place to shine forth the glory of God and accomplish the good works God planned for you. 

This weekend as we celebrate “the wearing of the green” for St. Patrick‘s Day , I encourage you to learn about the fascinating life and ministry of the man we celebrate who brought salvation to the Emerald Isle. I pray amongst the festivities you’ll deepen your communion with the Lord of life, for He is worthy!

Isaiah 25.1

New Testament 10:10’s Part II

happy nerdWelcome once again dear readers! As I work on this, it is Ash Wednesday. Visiting with an Episcopal priest a few days ago, she said they can’t say Hallelujah from today until the Lenten season is over. This is news to me, which shows I’ve not been in a church that observes Lent from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday. I truly DO learn something new every day – do you?

Our first 10:10 verse today is in the book of Acts.

he is awed by God

Acts 10:10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance.

In this part of Acts, the Lord lowers a sheet down before Peter filled with unclean animals and God says: “Take and eat.” Peter testifies to God that he’s a “good Jewish boy” and has never eaten any unclean thing in his life. The sheet was taken up and came down three times before Peter understood God was showing that the gospel is for the gentiles as well as the Jew. This vision prepared Peter to accept the invite to go to Cornelius’ house, where he preached the good news and Cornelius’ entire household was saved. Not only that, a whole church was planted from this event!

Romans 10:8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Dark BaptismThis passage is explaining to the Israelites how to accept the free grace of Jesus and the next passage shows how they can’t rely on keeping the Law to save themselves; even their ancestors in the wilderness could not keep from following the lusts of the flesh.

1 Corinthians 10:6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.”Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

In 2 Corinthians 10, Paul is attesting to his Spiritual authority and integrity in Christ.

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2 Corinthians 10:10 “For his letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” 11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present.

Hebrews chapter 10 brings all the verses above together:

Hebrews 10:8 Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

person holding book
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God’s Old Covenant in the Law has been fulfilled and the New Covenant is established in Christ Jesus. If we walk in the Old Covenant; the Law, we must keep every dot and tittle to the ‘T’ or we break the whole Law and there is no reconciliation. The last Passover Christ ate with His disciples was the New Covenant being set forth. The final Matzo that was hidden, found by the children at the end of the meal, redeemed from the child, then broken and passed around as the ‘dessert’. This is that which Jesus took, broke, then said “Take, eat. this is My  body broken for you.” Then He took the cup of wine that was the Cup of the New Covenant in His blood, the fourth cup passed around at the Seder. So with the celebration of Passover starting the Old Covenant, this celebration of Passover started the New Covenant. The cup of Christ’s blood covered ALL our sins, which the blood of animals never could do. This cup also created One New Man out of Jew and Gentile and reconciled both to the Father. All the Scriptures I’ve shared today are the Apostles and Disciples reaching out to share the New Covenant in Jesus Christ with first the Jew, then the Gentile. It’s a little glimpse into the New Testament writings that explain the Christ and how we can be brought into fellowship with Him as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. May we all learn to live in the light of this great covenant of love from Father God, through Christ Jesus, activated by Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

Bless you all as we head into the Lenten season which leads to the Greatest Day of all: the day we celebrate with “Christ the Lord has risen today, Alleluia!”halleluia

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New Testament 10:10’s part 1

Thank you readers, for joining me as we enter the first chapter 10 verse 10’s in the New Testament. Let’s start at the beginning as I combine Matthew and Luke where Jesus was sending His disciples out:

Matthew 10:These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying:..Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts,10 nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food.

Luke 10:8 [spoken to the 70] Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you.And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’10 But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say…

the greek statues
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Jesus gathered His disciples and commissioned them to preach salvation, heal, deliver those they went to minister to in the villages surrounding Jerusalem. The disciples were amazed at the provision of the LORD on their journey and how the spirits obeyed them in Jesus’ name. Remember, at the end of Matthew Jesus appeared after His resurrection to the 11 disciples (after Judas Iscariot was gone) and further defined their commission:

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

As followers of Jesus, we have the same commission. He has given us ALL AUTHORITY as His Spirit has taken up residence in those who believe. 

silhouette of a man in window
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Mark 10:10 In the house His disciples also asked Him again about the same matter.11 So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her.12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Jude 10:10 But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.

In the above verses, Jesus sharpens the focus of God’s original Laws and reveals the true nature of our battle. Today we are inundated with people as described in Jude. Don’t be deceived; God is not mocked! We should not be dismayed at the things going on around us in this world, we should be fighting the good fight of faith and battling in the spirit as Paul mentioned in 2 Corinthians 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds…

pexels-photo-415983.jpegThe Whole Armor of God

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren,be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

crowd music musician street performer
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Until next week, praying you will all STAND STRONG in the Lord, Amen.

 

Finishing the Old Testament 10:10’s

happy nerd Welcome Readers! Thanks for joining me again as I work through the last 10:10 verses in the Old Testament, starting in Isaiah. I will include some verses around the 10:10’s this time to give more detail to the verse.

Isaiah 10:10 As my hand has found the kingdoms of the idols,
Whose carved images excelled those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
11 As I have done to Samaria and her idols,
Shall I not do also to Jerusalem and her idols?’ ”

Well, should Jerusalem get away with worshiping idols if God didn’t let Samaria? If God didn’t let idol worship go unpunished in the Old Testament, why would He let us go when we turn from Him to our modern idols?

Jeremiah 10:10 But the Lord is the true God;
He is the living God and the everlasting King.
At His wrath the earth will tremble,
And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation.

statue of buddha against sky
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This passage comes at the end of God talking about the skilled workers of wood and stone who fashion idols. They use half the wood to carve the idol, then throw the other half into the fire to keep warm. These idols can’t speak and can’t stand up by themselves, so why serve these worthless things when we can serve the Living God?

Ezekiel 10:9 And when I looked, there were four wheels by the cherubim, one wheel by one cherub and another wheel by each other cherub; the wheels appeared to have the color of a beryl stone. 10 As for their appearance, all four looked alike—as it were, a wheel in the middle of a wheel.11 When they went, they went toward any of their four directions; they did not turn aside when they went, but followed in the direction the head was facing. They did not turn aside when they went. 12 And their whole body, with their back, their hands, their wings, and the wheels that the four had, were full of eyes all around. 

This is the famous vision Ezekiel saw in God’s throne room, the wheel in the middle of a wheel. The world pictures cherubs as cute little chubby”cupids” floating around on the clouds. The REAL cherubs around God’s throne are much more intimidating! Are we ready for the REAL Heaven to invade earth? The prophets say it’s coming SOON! 

Prophecies Concerning Persia and Greece

Daniel 10:10 Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands.11 And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling.

angel art black and white clouds
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As Daniel did, may we all tremble at the greatness of our God! 

Hosea 10:9 “O Israel, you have sinned from the days of Gibeah;
There they stood.
The battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity
Did not overtake them.
1When it is My desire, I will chasten them.
Peoples shall be gathered against them
When I bind them for their two transgressions.

pexels-photo-415983.jpegGod sends the enemy to chasten His beloved ones so that they might turn from their sins back to the Father. God also chastises enemy nations for being too harsh on His people. Remember:

Deuteronomy 32:35 Vengeance is Mine, and recompense;
Their foot shall slip in due time;
For the day of their calamity is at hand,
And the things to come hasten upon them.’

 The last 10:10 Scripture is filled with hope and a promise from God Almighty.

Zechariah 10:9 “I will sow them among the peoples,
And they shall remember Me in far countries;
They shall live, together with their children,
And they shall return.
10 I will also bring them back from the land of Egypt,
And gather them from Assyria.
I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon,
Until no more room is found for them.

The LORD has NOT forgotten His chosen people Israel! This prophecy is being fulfilled in our days; He is bringing multitudes back to the land of Israel and space is at a premium. Pray that they will be able to lengthen their tent stakes, stretch out their borders, and posses the whole land God gave to their forefathers.

cry me a riverIn light of what I’ve shared, let’s repent, for He is coming quickly. So wash your ‘garments’ and cleanse your soul by the Blood of Jesus, press in to relationship with Him and stand firm in faith. Hope in God alone and trust the great, joyful sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As Daniel and Ezekiel prayed for the sins of their nation, let us also repent for our nation’s sins and our part in it.  The LORD will execute His justice at just the right time. In that day we will thank Jesus Christ for His mercy and grace and the righteousness that we ourselves could never buy!

I leave you with one last Scripture:

Psalm 27:13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

14 Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!                                                                                            angelic