‘May God, who has caused his Name to dwell there, overthrow any king or people who lifts a hand to change this decree or to destroy this temple in Jerusalem. I Darius have decreed it. Let it be carried out with diligence.’ Ezra 6.12
In the book of Ezra, we read of the people returning from exile and beginning to
rebuild the Temple. Not everyone was keen on this idea and there was opposition in the form of, ‘Who said you could do this anyway?’ To settle the matter, an appeal was made to the King to ascertain whether or not the people had authority to rebuild the Temple. After a search through all the records, a command from the King himself was discovered, stating that the work should be undertaken. Armed with this, the work continued with renewed confidence.
As you read the Bible today, consider this: ‘What does the passage I am reading give me authority to do?’ The words of Jesus express the heart of God for us, so when you read his words you are reading the very heart of God. When Jesus asks you to do something, you have his authority to do it. So, for example, you have his authority to remain within the love of God, to be kind, to bless others and to see yourself as someone within whom the presence of God dwells. Such things are not just for others; they are for you - and for all of us. The King has spoken!
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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