OVER AND OVER AGAINBy: Darrelyn L. TuttFor Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.Ezra 7:10Today's Read: Ezra 1&7; Psalm 75-----Considerations and consolation for today,And possibly a few provoking questions. The book of Ezra is a book about reconstruction, redemption, and reconciliation. God's promise to "return" His people to their homeland after 70 years of captivity is being wonderfully realized in this book. The act of healing and reconciling grace is steadily woven and applied within its pages and encouragement for the believer, who has responded to God's chastening and chastising, will find a bountiful supply of soul "balm" within it.1) God is in the business of restoring and reestablishing relationship where sin has been repented of. We need not fear of God ever failing to deliver on His promises or falling short in the "glory" and forgiveness department. God is full of grace and glory and He is abundant in lovingkindness and mercy. Just as He delivered and brought His people through a period of consequential captivity due to their sin, so does He deliver us where we have humbly and ardently repented of our sin.If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.1 John 1:9------2) To question God's love for us while experiencing the consequence of sin is both natural and normal, but will prove a false and inaccurate "read" of the loving character of God if it is relied upon. Restoration rides the heels of repentance and the man or woman who acknowledges openly their sin and proceeds to break ties with it is openly inviting the grace of God to not just dribble in but to pour in.This is the glorious Gospel unfolding.Nowhere have I witnessed a greater degree of God's work, either in my own personal life or the lives of others, than when repentance and truth collide, and the mysterious force of extrarodinary grace erupts. It is a wonder to behold and a witness which speaks to the glory of God.Like Ezra, we can prepare our hearts to seek the Lord no matter where we find ourselves, and we can trust Him to act faithfully through our lives in His perfect time.And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.Romans 8:28-----3) Periods of captivity generally lend themselves to periods of personal and painstaking growth ... and a fresh discovery of new realities about God.Over and over again, God opens Himself up and exposes Himself to our needy hearts, presenting a larger display of Himself in our darkest moments.Words which were previously overworked and overused "cliches" become activated agents of empowerment and take on a new and concise meaning and defining in our lives.Words like:Redemption, Repentance, Restoration, and Reconciliation,come to mean something very different when they are words which are activated instead of words which are talked about.There is a difference between the two.------There is no time when it is not the right time to seek the Lord.God will be faithful ...Let no man separate you from this reality.
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