When the Lord moved Cyrus to decree the rebuilding of the House of the Lord at Jerusalem not everyone returned from captivity to participate in that restoration. Only those who were stirred up, moved in their spirits by God, took part. The fullness of joy, beauty, power, and blessings that we require to make a difference in this generation will only be found when we are stirred by the Holy Spirit. Have we become closed off by our own desires and bickering from hearing that still small voice? Where is the overwhelming passion for the Lord and for what Jesus has done for us? Is your spirit stirred up today, or have the cares of this world weighed you down? Brothers and sisters, we must be filled anew and moved in our spirits for the sake of the generation around us that is perishing without God. Now is the time to have your enthusiasm for the Kingdom of God rekindled!
Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,
Thus says Cyrus king of Persia:
All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem. And whoever is left in any place where he dwells, let the men of his place help him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.
Then the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all whose spirits God had moved, arose to go up and build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.
Caleb brought a good report when he originally spied out the land of Canaan. When Joshua was ready to divide the land several decades later he was approach by Caleb who reminded Joshua of the inheritance that God had given Caleb for his faithfulness. Caleb had to fight one more battle to claim what was his, but even at an advanced age he stayed strong. Lord help us in this generation to receive and to retain the strength that only you can provide us. We must all make a decision to persevere, to endure, and to overcome in this generation. The lost are looking for the strength of God to be demonstrated in our lives, and we have a responsibility to those around us to remain strong – not in our own strength but through the Holy Spirit – to demonstrate the love and the transforming power of Jesus Christ.
Then the children of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal. And Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him: “You know the word which the Lord said to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh Barnea. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart. Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the Lord my God. So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.’ And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said.”
And Joshua blessed him, and gave Heron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as an inheritance. Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel. And the name of Hebron formerly was Kirjath Arba (Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim).
Then the land had rest from war.
Are you resting in Jesus Christ? Are you resting in God’s faithfulness? Are you resting in His promises? Are you resting in the leading of the Holy Spirit? We must be continually refreshed by the power and the presence of God. Even in times of tremendous activity we can rest in the Lord through it all. Do you have the peace that passes all understanding? Do you know where to go for supernatural rest? No matter where you are or who you are you can approach Jesus to find rest. Do you know who He is today? Right now – yes literally right now – you can call out to Jesus to save you. If you have already committed your life to Jesus, then you can call out right now for a refreshing. Put aside everything for a period and rest in God even in the midst of trials.
At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I amgentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
God save us from being too comfortable that we aren’t willing to move forward in faith for the sake of others. If you knew without any uncertainty that Jesus was performing miracles somewhere 50 miles away – and that He would wait for you to arrive – but no transportation was available other than your own two feet, would you go? If someone couldn’t make it to Jesus under their own strength, would you carry them there? 20 miles? 10? 5?… Lord give us the faith that we need to press through all of the obstacles between ourselves and the fullness of your will and purpose for our lives!
And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.
When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”
And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
In our Christian walk we can get bitten even in our desire and effort to serve the Lord. After Paul’s shipwreck on the island of Malta, he was bitten by a snake. However, even in these moments we can and must believe in God and shake off the snakes. God will receive the glory when we remain calm and stay focused on the Lord. Click below and listen to some important insight through the Holy Spirit.
Shake It Off! – Pastor David Ham – Times Square Church – 02.19.2017
Now when they had escaped, they then found out that the island was called Malta. And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold. But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand. So when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live.” But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. However, they were expecting that he would swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had looked for a long time and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.