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Ezra & Nehemiah – Richard Vara

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    Richard Vara

    Ezra 4:1-4 (NLT) 1 The enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were rebuilding a Temple to the LORD, the God of Israel. 2 So they approached Zerubbabel and the other leaders and said, “Let us build with you, for we worship your God just as you do. We have sacrificed to him ever since King Esarhaddon of Assyria brought us here.” 3 But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the other leaders of Israel replied, “You may have no part in this work. We alone will build the Temple for the LORD, the God of Israel, just as King Cyrus of Persia commanded us.” 4 Then the local residents tried to discourage and frighten the people of Judah to keep them from their work.

    There are things in life we are trying to rebuild under the guidance of God. For me, it’s the relationship within my family. There is a lot of division that resulted from the past when I was not following Christ. Over the years I learned to hold grudges and have hate in my heart, I thought I was okay with that. Now that I’m a follower of Jesus Christ, God has released me from the bondage of unforgiveness. I’m learning how to rebuild myself; unlearn all the corruption I acquired in the world, remove the toxins in my heart. I allowed God in and He is transforming my heart. How am I rebuilding myself? It’s through reading the Bible, praying, attending church regularly, discipleship classes, LU, fellowship, and serving in ministry – ultimately, building my relationship with God first.
    During this building process, I’ve experience the enemy trying to sneak his way in; disguising himself as a “friendly” (military word for ally) as the enemies of Judah and Benjamin did. Learn to follow the Lord’s instruction as you rebuild and stay away from the world’s way of rebuilding relationships, stay away from the drama and keep your eyes on Jesus.

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