Monday, January 20, 2020
“Though fear had come upon them because of the people of those countries, they set the altar on its [c]bases; and they offered burnt offerings on it to the LORD, both the morning and evening burnt offerings.” Ezra 3:3 (NKJV)
v. 3 To see any branch of God’s work reestablished after long desolations cannot but open fountains of joy and praise in those who love God. We should be thankful for even the beginnings of mercy though we have not yet seen the perfection of it! For in all times and when we have enemies, the safest course is to keep on intimate terms with God through His Son Jesus who is our rock and our fortress and whose righteousness must be our confidence in all our supplications, (Brooks, 2001, p. 95).
Once upon a time, there was a tree. It was a lovely-looking tree, shapely, strong, and stately. But appearances are not always to be trusted, and they were not in this case. For the tree knew inwardly that its massive strength was beginning to wane. When the wind was strong it had felt itself shaking ominously and heard suspicious creaks. So, wisely, it took itself in hand. With much effort, it grew another branch or two and then looked stronger and safer than ever. But when the next gale blew, there was a terrific snapping of roots and, but for the support of a friendly neighbor, it would have been flat on the ground. When the tree had recovered from the shock, it looked at its neighbor curiously. “Tell me,” it asked, “how is it that you have not only stood your ground but are even able to help me, too?” “Oh,” replied the neighbor, “that’s easy. When you were busy growing new branches, I was strengthening my roots.” (Matthew 7:24-29, NKJV)
Father, you deserve the best we can give because all we have comes from Your gracious hand. Help us to accept Your call to obedience and action.