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Read Haggai Chapter 2                                                                                                               

1. How much time has passed from Haggai 2:1 to Haggai 2:10?

2. What is the question for the priests according to Haggai 2:12? How do the priests answer?

3. What does Haggai ask them in Haggai 2:13? How do they answer?

4. How does Haggai respond in Haggai 2:14? What does he mean when he says their offerings are unclean?

5. What does God promise in Haggai 2:15-19?

6. What does God promise in Haggai 2:20-23?

7. What does it mean to make Zerubbabel like a signet ring?

8.What do you learn from these verses?
Deuteronomy 7:6-8

Psalm 65:4

John 15:16

Ephesians 1:3-6

1 Peter 2:4-6

9. What does it mean when God says He has chosen us?

10. How can you apply the book of Haggai to your life? To your relationship with God?

 

If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Small

I was nearly made small
surrounded and hemmed in
by small thinking
petty thinking
reactionary
narrow
inside-the-box
the cardboard box
thinking
or the absence of thinking

I felt my thoughts grow small
puny
longing to retaliate
in small-mindedness
crawl into that place
with its sub-basement conduct
underground deportment

after all–that’s what they did
that’s how they treated me
that’s what they would understand
low
lower
base
baser

Into my plans
shot an arrow of light
a spark of wisdom
from above

smallness is their distinctive
small-minded actions
puny-minded words
only confirmed I was one of them

but I didn’t want to be
that’s not who I’m meant to be

The only way to communicate
with the puny mind
is to be big
bigger
big-hearted
gi-normous

put aside every bit of smallness
every shred of puny thinking
be generous to a fault
overlook the wrongs
live above
live big

smallness is not a question of size
smallness is inside
a state of mind
and the state of living that follows

No one can make me small.

by MaryBeth Mullin

Copyright 2020

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Does God require me to be holy?

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
– Romans 12:1

 

According to the dictionary, holy  is often associated with God.  It can also mean “sacred” or “endowed or invested with extreme purity or sublimity.

I have heard many preachers explain holy as being “set apart for God” or the idea of being “separate” from the world and/or the things of the world. The difficult part of this is God is usually the one described as holy. How is it that Paul, the author of Romans, would ask me and other believers to present our bodies as holy?

Is it true that God would expect us to be holy? Let’s consider what scripture has to say about this.

  • Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love   Ephesians 1:4
  • That He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish  Ephesians 5:27
  • For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.  1 Thessalonians 4:7
  • But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,  because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”  1 Peter 1:15-16

The idea of holiness among the children of God is not limited to the New Testament.  The following are Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) references that teach this concept of individual holiness as well:

  • Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.  Leviticus 19:2
  • For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy.  Leviticus 11:44

Holiness is necessary in order to please God and to approach God, and for that reason we need to diligently seek it in our lives.

If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Jesus Saves!

As part of the Christian walk, life with God as a child adopted into His kingdom, and a bond servant to Christ, I am called to walk by faith, not by sight. If I could see t he road ahead, my destination, the culmination of God’s plan, I would not be walking by faith, but rather by sight.

But God has not left me without road signs, reminders. He has given me His Word, songs, hymns, creeds and personal testimonies, such are the billboards which placard my journey with God. One such billboard message comes to mind as I sit with God today. JESUS SAVES! This two-word saying, which some might call “a tired cliche” or “meaningless Christianese” has multiple messages of encouragement for me.

If “Jesus saves,” it follows that Jesus is a Savior. He must, therefore, have all the job qualifications a Savior should have. He must have much more power than the powers from which I need saving. As a Savior, He must have more authority than the authorities that hold me or threaten me. As a Savior, He must have superior wisdom and understanding than that which I possess to see the way through trouble or out of trouble or know when to wait for trouble to flee. He must have power over death–my most heinous foe. In short, a Savior must be a God among gods, able to save me from other gods and idols as well as men and demons. He must be the One true and almighty God, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen–LORD of lords. And so He is, my King, Jesus. He alone is my Savior.

“Jesus saves” also speaks of His willingness to save. This is good news because it means I can offer to those needing saving, asking for salvation–the willing one, Jesus. He saves because He is in the business of saving. It is His offer to me, to us. For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that we might be saved.
“Jesus saves” necessarily implies a need to be saved. If the need wasn’t real, why would it even be important to say or billboard, “Jesus saves?” But it is necessary. It is urgently necessary to be saved, for it is appointed a man once to die and then the judgment. Jesus saves me from that–Judgment–the wrath of a holy God against a sinful humanity.

“Jesus saves” is also a reminder to me that I am no one’s savior. Jesus saves–not me. He alone has the words of eternal life. His blood alone atones for my sun. His sacrifice alone satisfies the requirements of the law, provides the price of redemption. For by grace I have been saved through faith and that not of myself–it is the gift of God. There is no other name given under heaven by which we may be saved.

“Jesus saves” gives hope. I may be lost or a dear friend or loved one may be lost, but Jesus saves. He will seek out the lost. He sought me out. He chased after me when I had nothing of worth to offer and had spent His inheritance in ungodly living, treading His commands underfoot like so much straw and dirt. But “Jesus saves” brings me hope. I look to Jesus author and finisher of faith in me and in others. If a good work was done in someone’s life, no matter how early or what has transpired since, Jesus will save. He will finish the work that He has begun. I can hope, have a certain expectation of good, in that.
Don’t disregard those road signs, those placards in your life. God is near. Look up. Your redemption is near.

biola sign

 

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Continuing with our series of studies in the Minor Prophets, today’s post covers an introduction to the Minor Prophet Habakkuk.

If you are interested in other studies in the Minor Prophets, we have the following available:

Obadiah BackgroundObadiah

Hosea IntroductionHosea Chapter 1, Hosea Chapter 2Hosea Chapter 3, Hosea Chapter 4 Hosea Chapter 5Hosea Chapter 6Hosea Chapter 7Hosea Chapter 8Hosea Chapter 9Hosea Chapter 11

Background
1. Who is the author of the book of Habakkuk?

2. When was this book written?

3. Who was the original intended audience for this book?

4. To which Kingdom did Habakkuk prophesy, Northern or Southern?

5. What does the name “Habakkuk” mean?

If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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I saw the darkness near the start
glimpsed the
damage to the heart
but despite my pause
I wanted to receive
apologies and
other words that please

but missing
in my training
was the wisdom to heed
the warning
darkness unattended
will grow untended
and extended

hidden in unexplored corners
places kept secret
in pretends
in little lies
and tries to please
in every lack of integrity

darkness waited for its collaborator
an open door
for lack of transparency
to yield up dishonesty
and concealed iniquity

to slowly grow and seep
from the corners to the deep
recesses of the darkened mind
the one hiding behind
a disintegrating mask

pretend
became disinterest
became anger
became un-forgiveness

the avalanche of
deceit
betrayal
destruction
total darkness
threatened total black out

I didn’t truly know
but darkness has a foe
its weapons have no defense
its power lost against
the littlest ray of light

Light came for me
Light set me free
Light carried me
on to find my destiny

I’ll forever be a child of Light
and every darkness must take flight
when HaShem becomes my sole delight

Copyright M.E. Mullin

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Outside of Jerusalem as you travel east, you will find Wadi Qelt. A wadi is a common feature in Israel. It is a ravine or stream bed that dries up until the raining season when it may become a rushing river or a generous stream depending on the rainfall, the run-off and the ravine itself. Wadi Qelt is such a ravine that originates near Jerusalem and extends to the Jordan River near Jericho.

Some have suggested that David may have been thinking of such a ravine when he wrote Psalm 23:4 (CJB), Even if I pass through death-dark ravines, I will fear no disaster; for you are with me; your rod and staff reassure me.

This very familiar verse reminded me of God’s guidance and correction in my life and how they prove His love for me. Moreover, my love and acceptance of God’s correction speaks of His imprint on me. In that I can see that He has brought me to this point of sanctification. I also know that He will continue to sanctify me until I am made perfect when I see Him face to face.

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Wadi Qelt

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Wadi Qelt

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Wadi Qelt

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Wadi Qelt

If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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I don’t know about you, but in this time of great confusion and conflicting views of the important truths of our day, I find the need to seek the truth that transcends–the truth of God. Wisdom is distilled into pithy, bite-size morsels in the Book of Proverbs. As usual, it keeps its promise to provide guidance for life.

My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Proverbs 4:20

In Proverbs 4:20, we receive the imperative, “Give attention to my words.” The Hebrew writing style is evident here, namely the second part of the couplet is a reiteration of the first, “incline your ear to my sayings.” The repeat of the information is an emphasis–as if the author is saying, “hey, this is important, so I’m going to repeat myself.”

If we are looking for wisdom, we need to listen to God. We need to listen to His Word. This will be the only way to survive the pandemic without losing hope or faith or our witness.

But even more than an admonition to listen, God is asking for intentionality and diligence in our approach to our relationship with Him. He is asking us to apply ourselves to the systematic study of His word.

Consider the exhortation of Paul to Timothy, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

In order for us to “rightly divide the word of truth,” we must know all of it. We must know the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) as well as the New Testament. We must know the Torah (first 5 books of the Old Testament) as well as the Prophets. We must know the history of both the Jews and the church.

If we are to rightly divide the word of truth, we must understand its nuance, its context, its geography, its characters. We must exert some energy–get outside of our comfort zone.

It is not a once-a-week passive attention to a sermon. It is not working through a book written about the Bible–it is reading and studying the Bible for yourself. We must let God speak to us. We must meet day by day with the Creator and Author.

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