Friday, June 14, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 165

The scriptures read are Ezra 4-6, Psalm 134 and 1 Corinthians 9.

Ezra 4-6. The rebuilding of the temple is stopped by enemies who make it sound like the city's defensive walls are being rebuilt. Those who make the accusation have the king of Persia check his records to see if Judah has been rebellious in the past. She had, so the works stops for 15 years. When the Jews start rebuilding the temple again and are questioned, they tell the king to check out who originally authorized the work. Darius finds out it was his dad, so he not only gives the rebuilding a go ahead, he finances the work out of the royal treasury. The people finish and celebrate another Passover at the temple.

Psalm 134. Bless the Lord and he will bless you.

1 Corinthians 9. Paul must have anticipated some push back on that last bit of teaching because he goes into a defense of his authority as an apostle. He saw Jesus face to face and he was commissioned to spread the gospel, the good news about Jesus. By all rights he deserves to be supported in his ministry. He deserves to but he hasn't taken advantage of that privilege. (Remember in Acts we find him supporting himself as a tentmaker.)

Paul paints a vivid picture of how he tries to meet people where they are, relate to them on their level, so he can introduce them to Christ. He reminds the readers that athletes, if they want to win, are always in training. That's Paul, eyes on the prize, running all out, daring others to do likewise.

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