Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, the Lord stirred up the spirit of King Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put in writing, saying:
"Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, the Lord the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all His people, may His God be with him! Let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel; He is the God who is in Jerusalem."

The greatest history book there is in existence is the Bible. This occurrence was prophesied by Jeremiah 200 years before in the book of Jeremiah 25:12-38. True prophets of God speak only His words given to them by God, not visions of words from their own hearts and imaginations. God always fulfills His Word. You will find that throughout the Bible if you read it for yourself. When God wants something done, it will be done. The Bible tells us God stirred up the spirit of King Cyrus to build the temple. Notice this was not a work of the flesh, but of the spirit. God cannot use the flesh; He will work through the spirit of man that is eternal. This is the only way we can perform the will of God, rather than our own, with His name stamped on it.

There is no evidence that Cyrus was a child of God. He believed in God’s existence, but He was not His God. Notice how He says if you are His people then may your God be with you. He makes no claim of belonging to the God of Israel.Yet prior to this he acknowledges before the Jews the Lord the God of heaven has given him all the kingdoms of this earth and appointed Him to build Him a house in Jerusalem. God is God, and we will never be able to figure Him out. That is why He is God. We cannot bring Him down to our level of understanding. We will never tame the Lion of Judah.

If you read the Bible for yourself there will be no doubt in your mind the Jews are, and will forever be God’s chosen people. They didn’t earn it. It is the sovereignty of God. What anyone else thinks about that truth matters very little. God is God. Our small feeble opinions matter very little, and will never change truth from God’s Word. Ephesians 4:17-18 declares:

"So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart…"

All the thoughts we have apart from the truth of God’s Word is futile thinking. I think the Bible clearly describes our nation and the world today. All the talking heads and voices we are bombarded with in the churches and the media are talking from the futility of their own minds instead of the truth of the Word of God. The Bible tells us we can do nothing against the truth. It will stand in the end forever and ever. Everything is going to play out as it always has just as the Bible prophesies and we have seen fulfilled. Most haven’t read the Bible for themselves, so they are anxiously running here and there trying to find the truth from man rather than God Himself. The remainder of prophecy will be fulfilled exactly as it reads from cover to cover.

Notice Cyrus declares the temple is being built for the Jews
: "rebuild the house of the Lord the God of Israel; He is the God who is in Jerusalem."

However we know that God sent His only son, Jesus Christ, so that we all might become the adopted sons of God and be totally reconciled to Him receiving the inheritance of the Jews through the blood of Jesus. Even though the Jews will always be God’s chosen people, they have to receive their salvation the same way we do through their promised Messiah, Jesus Christ. He was prophesied to them through their prophets and yet many refuse as the Gentiles do the only Way, Truth, and the Life.
In John 14:6-7 we hear Jesus declaring to Thomas:

"I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him."

Jesus was sent to manifest God the Father to all of mankind. He did not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. Jesus declares in:
Matthew 5:17-20:

"Do not think I came to abolish the law or the prophets. I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven

There we have it from the highest authority, the Son of God Himself. I pray this devotional will inspire you to gain a knowledge of the Word of God, so you will know what is happening in our world according to scripture. There you will find peace and comfort if you have accepted the Son of God as Savior and made Him the Lord of your life. It is not enough just to believe God exists. James tells us even the demons believe and shudder at His name.
Again in Ezra 5 we read of God stirring up the spirit of men:

"Then the heads of fathers’ households of Judah and Benjamin and the priests and the Levites arose, even everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up and rebuild the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem. "

Then he said, "This is God’s message to Zerubabel:
Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of host. "
Zechariah 4:6

Zerubabel was influenced by the prophets Haggai and Zecharaiah, and was chosen to rebuild the temple. Truly when God has a work to be done of Him, He will now speak through the Holy Spirit living inside of us. It will not be a work any man can claim glory from. It will be a work of the Spirit, and not our flesh with goals and achievements from selfish ambition and empty conceit for our glory, with His name slandered. If we would live the truth in the Bible the lost world would see the glory of the one true God as they did when this temple was built miraculously in 52 months!

Study the book of Nehemiah! The opposition of the enemy was fierce. But Nehemiah demonstrated unmatched skills in leadership and organization. He also exhibited as governor of Judah humility, integrity, and patriotism, energy, piety, and unselfishness. This is the fruit of the spirit. The motives behind the action must be of the Holy Spirit and not of our flesh. You won’t question that as you read what transpired.

Firstly, they daily devoured reading from the Word of God a half day publcly with all families assembled. As they heard the Word and were given understanding they realized how they had sinned and disobeyed God. There was an exhibition of great repentance, sincere and from their hearts. That enabled God to bless them as He desired, and to restore all that had been taken from them in captivity from the Babylonians.

That is always God’s desire for His own. He is a God of compassion and loving kindness, quick to forgive and cleanse us from all our unrighteousness through His Son, whether Jew or Gentile. Allow Him to do the same for you. Cry out to Him to stir your spirit to come to Him, and to fulfill your calling and purpose you have in His kingdom. These small men who embraced our great God did, and reaped the results along with their families. May we do the same!
In His love.

Teresa Roberts

Masterpiece Fitness


An early morning view from my bedroom window my first morning home from vacation at Hilton Head Island. I loved my time there, but I know where I belong. I love springtime in the mountains! The mountain laurel is just coming into bloom!