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Old 04-09-2015, 02:24 PM   #1
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Icon24 Weekly Spiritual Meditations - April 10

Whenever the burden seems too heavy, the way too steep, the night too dark, the pain too torturing, turn to Jesus! If He loved our souls so much that He gave His own body to rescue them for eternity, certainly He will take care of the comparatively small details of our earthly needs and use them for uplifting purposes. --Walter A. Maier

Concentrate on seeking from God the special purpose He has for you, instead of wishing you were in someone else's shoes.

When we take time for God, we will find time for what is truly important.

Our confidence comes from knowing that Christ walks beside us.

God uses us to help others find the way to Him.

Don't pray to change things, pray to change yourself.

Putting the Lord first, seeking Him first in all things, is the only real way to ever be seeking what is best for us.

I believe there is nothing lovelier, deeper, more sympathetic, and more perfect than the Savior; there is in the world only one figure of absolute beauty: Christ. --Fyodor Dostoevsky

The same God who guides the stars in their courses, who directs the earth in its orbit, who feeds the burning furnace of the sun, and keeps the stars perpetually burning with their fires--the same God has promised to supply thy strength. --Charles Spurgeon

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Becoming Like Christ in Patience and Compassion by Zondervan
We urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. — 1 Thessalonians 5:14
Jesus acted with great compassion toward many people.
With the masses of people, Jesus showed great love and concern. Even at those times when He went away for a rest and the crowds followed, Jesus was not angry or impatient. Instead, at one point, when Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So He began teaching them many things. — Mark 6:34
Jesus knew people’s needs, and He responded accordingly. At times He spoke warning to the disciples, for they would soon carry great responsibility. And He spoke the harsh truth to the Pharisees about their self-righteousness.
Paul wrote that God’s people need to care about one another. Many times compassion is the key — we need to encourage the timid and take care of the weak. We need to pray for wisdom to respond correctly with the right words at the right time.
God’s Promise to Me: You can learn to love others and have compassion just as I have compassion for those in need.
My Prayer to God: Father, give me the kind of compassion that is like Yours. When I reach out to help others, may they see You.

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Making sense of chaos in your life by Senior Living Ministries
The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. - Proverbs 16:33
In 1980, Les Henson was a 6-foot, 6-inch forward on the Virginia Tech basketball team. He’ll never forget a game against Florida State in Tallahassee when, with two seconds left and the score tied at 77, Henson grabbed the rebound off the Florida State backboard and hurled the ball toward the opposite basket.
“It was eerie,” Henson recalled later. “You couldn’t hear a thing in the arena. Then it just swished through the hoop!” From nearly 90 feet away, Henson sank what was the longest basket in college basketball history. And not only that, he had thrown the ball with his right hand even though he was left-handed!
Perhaps you’ve been in a situation like that. You have to make a decision that’s quick, so you just throw it up and hope for the best. But the reality is that however “chance” a situation may seem, God is perfectly in control. Nothing happens outside of His sovereign hand.
This is such a comforting thought, especially when things seem to be spiraling out of your control. So when things seem chaotic, remember that God has everything in His hands. Trust Him to work all things out for your good!
Prayer Challenge: Ask God to help you trust firmly in His sovereign hand when your life seems to be in chaos.
Questions for Thought: Think of a time in your past when life seemed so chaotic. Looking back, how was God working in the chaos?

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Self Control: I Could Never Give Up That! by Lysa TerKeurst
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. - Galatians 5:22-23a
Thought for the Day: By God’s power, we are empowered. Humanly speaking, this is impossible. But with God, everything is possible.
Self-control is hard. We don’t like to deny ourselves. We don’t think it’s necessary. We make excuses and declare, “That’s nice for someone else, but I could never give up __________________!” (fill in the blank: soda, sugar, cupcakes, alcohol, smoking, etc.)
If we’re relying on ourselves, that excuse may be true. But there’s another level to self-control that too few of us find. Jesus says,
Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven... it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God. - Matthew 19:23-24
In other words, Jesus was saying that it’s hard for someone who is satisfied with the things of this world to deny themselves. It’s hard for someone who is rich with excess to deny themselves and be humble enough to admit, “I must give this up.” When the disciples heard this teaching, they were confused until Jesus clarified,
Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible. - Matthew 19:26b
We tend to think of this verse as saying, “With God, all good things are possible! With God, all lavish things are possible!” But if you study this verse in context, it actually means, “With human effort alone, it can seem impossible to deny yourself. With human effort alone, it can seem impossible to make sacrifices. With human effort alone, it can seem impossible to have self-control. But with God, all sacrificial things are possible. With God, all self-control is possible.”
I believe this one vital shift in our thinking can help us shift from feeling deprived to feeling empowered. Try this little exercise at home today: Open up your fridge or your pantry and look at all the options. Say to yourself, “I’m not deprived of an unhealthy option. I’m empowered to make a healthy choice.”
By God’s power, we are empowered. Humanly speaking, this is impossible. But with God, everything is possible.
Rather than giving in to the foods we crave, we can have God’s self-control to make completely different decisions — decisions for health, decisions for renewed energy, decisions for confidence and peace. Most importantly, decisions that honor both our bodies and God!
Dear Lord, I don’t want to be caught making the statement, “I could never give up that!” Instead, I want to believe that self-control is possible because of Your strength. I want each of my decisions today to be made from a heart full of confidence and peace in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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TOO BUSY TO KNOW GOD? by Our Daily Bread
She had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. Luke 10:39
One day when I was waiting to board a plane, a stranger who had overheard me mention that I was a chaplain began to describe to me his life before he met Christ. He said it was marked by “sin and self-absorption. Then I met Jesus.”
I listened with interest to a list of changes he had made to his life and good deeds he had done. But because everything he told me was about his busyness for God and not his fellowship with God, I wasn’t surprised when he added, “Frankly, chaplain, I thought I’d feel better about myself by now.”
I think the New Testament character Martha would have understood that stranger’s observation. Having invited Jesus to be a guest at her home, she set about doing what she thought were the important things. But this meant she couldn’t focus on Jesus. Because Mary wasn’t helping, Martha felt justified asking Jesus to chide her. It’s a mistake many of us make: We’re so busy doing good that we don’t spend time getting to know God better.
My advice to my new airplane friend came from the core of Jesus’ words to Martha in Luke 10:41-42. I said to him: “Slow down and invest yourself in knowing God; let His Word reveal Himself to you.” If we’re too busy to spend time with God, we’re simply too busy. (Randy Kilgore)
Savior, let me walk beside Thee,
Let me feel my hand in Thine;
Let me know the joy of walking
In Thy strength and not in mine. —Sidebotham
Our heavenly Father longs to spend time with His children.

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There Is Always Hope by Joel Jongkind
Romans 12:12 – Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (NIV)
Here in southern Ontario, Canada, we have had a very severe winter. It started somewhat late, but when it came, it came with a vengeance. We had temperatures of -25 to -30 degrees Celsius many nights in a row. February was the coldest month on record in this area since 1934. We had lots of snow, too. All over our yard, there was a cover of at least three feet (one metre). Our flowerbeds were hidden, well protected from the extreme cold. By the end of March, most of the snow was gone and the bulbs were starting to show just a little bit.
When the residents at the Long Term Care Centre were wondering how long the cold weather would last and I was leading a worship service there, they would almost always ask me if we could sing "Hymn of Promise". They like it for the words as well as the message.
In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree;
In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter there's a spring that waits to be,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
Natalie Sleeth (1930-1992)
This hymn speaks to so much of life. So many residents feel at loose ends at times. Some are struggling in a physical way, others mentally. Some are frustrated with the situation that they find themselves in, and they have different ways of coping. There are some who come to every activity going on every day, while others stay in their rooms and do not take part in anything. They feel that there is no hope in their situation. Those who come to the worship services and the Bible discussions talk to me (and to the staff, as well as to the volunteers who take them to the various activities) about what a joy it is for them to be able to come and listen to God's Word and sing praises to His name.
Over the years, as long as I have been going there for the Bible-related activities, I have received such encouragement from a great number of people. One lady told me that if it weren't for the fact that she talks to God every day, she would not be able to cope. Someone else told me that she asked Jesus to walk with her every day. It gave her strength to carry on. Some are less poetic. One fellow tells me every time when I am there, "I love coming to the Bible discussions." I have also been told by various people that they were down in the dumps in the morning, but after the worship service or Bible discussion, they felt better. To be honest, I myself have had that same experience at times.
Through their words, actions, and presence, they reaffirm the words of some of the Bible passages that we have looked at in the past:
Isaiah 41:10 – Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (NKJV)
Psalm 39:7 – And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You. (NKJV)
Psalm 71:14 – But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more. (NKJV)
There are times when we despair, when we feel that there is no hope of things improving. And then, when we gather for worship or Bible study, when we read our daily devotional or read the Bible, then we see that God is with us, and there is peace in our hearts. We see that our hope is in the Lord.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we admit that there are times when we are discouraged, and we ask that when we are, You will speak to our hearts. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

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Lord, this cat you gave me... she just doesn't listen.
I told her the rains were coming...she goes out anyway and comes back soaked.
I told her not to lay in weeds...yet everyday she comes in and expects me to pull all the stickers out of her fur....from laying in the weeds.
I told her that as much as it's up to her to be at peace with all cats...yet she expects me to tend to her wounds from the fights she is always in.
She embarrasses me in front of the neighbors by instigating disputes with their cats...she thinks she owns the whole block.
She is constantly doing what she ought not to do and suffering the consequences.
Worse, she seems to blame all her misfortunes on least she expects me to deal with all the results of her disobedience.
I always do, but she never seems to learn.
Furthermore, Lord...she has never missed a meal, but when she's hungry she yowls as if she hasn't had a meal in weeks.
She makes it sound as if I'm a negligent and cruel father.
The truth is that I always feed her and even give her treats.
Just wanted you to know...
To top it all off, she is often distant and ignores me until she wants attention or me to provide something.
This cat makes me feel used.
Sometimes I wonder if she loves me, or just loves what I can give her.
It's a pretty one sided relationship.
Despite all of this, I love the cat and I've chosen to keep her.
Lord, that makes no sense, but I know you'll understand…
Michael Newnham
It's a well-written piece to remind us that the things which our cats (or people around us) do that make us feel unappreciated are the same sorts of things we do to God on a regular basis. God is so gracious and giving, even when we are unappreciative, but we dare not take his kindness for granted. May we praise our God every morning that we are able to rise from bed! May we praise our God for every bit of food that we enjoy! May we praise our God for his continual grace in our lives!
"To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever." (Psalm 30:12)
Have a great day! Alan Smith

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Count On God’s Forgiveness by Mrs. P's Devotional
What are you more conscious of today? Your sins or the fact that you have been forgiven? Don’t be conscious of your sins. Be conscious instead of Jesus and His finished work. The Lamb of God has taken away all your sins at the cross, so count on the fact that you are a forgiven child of God!
No matter what has happened or what you have done, God wants you to know that because of His Son’s finished work, He will be merciful to your unrighteousness, and your sins and lawless deeds He will remember no more. (Hebrews 8:12)
That is why you should not be conscious of your sins. In fact, when you are sin-conscious, the devil brings in condemnation, and the more you receive it and condemn yourself, the more you will find yourself unforgiving toward yourself and even others.
I was told by a pastor friend that when a lady, who had cancer on her face, asked for prayer for healing, the Lord revealed to him that it was self-hatred that was keeping her from receiving her healing. She could not forgive herself and was full of self-condemnation.
When she realized her problem, she counted on the fact that God was merciful to her unrighteousness and that she was already forgiven. She received the love of God. Then, right before the pastor’s eyes, her whole face changed—she received her healing that very moment!
Something happens when you believe that you are forgiven. That is why God says to you, “I want you to believe that all your sins I will remember no more. I want you to believe that you are My child enjoying My mercy and that you can always count on My forgiveness.”
Remember that all your sins have already been paid for by Jesus on the cross. And the more you count on the fact that you have the Father’s forgiveness and that He does not condemn you because of Jesus’ finished work, the more sin and its effects—sickness, hatred, lack and so on—will lose their grip on you. You will find yourself walking in a greater measure of God’s grace and blessings!
Hebrews 10:2 For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.

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Small Straws In A Soft Wind by Marsha Burns
For those of you, My people, who are stressed because of your work load or circumstances, take a deep breath. I tell you truthfully that everything is going to be all right. No need to worry. Take every opportunity to relax even if it is for a few minutes, and re-focus on knowing you have My Spirit to comfort you and lead you to peace and safety, says the Lord. You are not alone. Psalms 31:3 For You are my rock and my fortress; therefore, for Your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.

Rise up from the depths of discouragement and despair. Regardless of difficult situations or the fierceness of the storms in your life, I am still with you. You can trust Me to bring you through to victory. Remember that the purpose of a storm is for you to seek Me, find Me, and trust Me. You live in an imperfect world, but you serve a perfect God. Live as though you believe that, says the Lord. 2 Samuel 22:31 As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

Regardless of what you have to endure in this life, you must keep in mind that I am your Savior, your Deliverer, and your Safe Haven. In this world you will have trouble, but I will help you and bring you through to victory, says the Lord. Have faith in Me. 2 Corinthians 4:6-9 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

Get ready to emerge from a transitional time when progression seemed to have stalled. It's not that you haven't accomplished what was necessary, but forward motion was difficult and hindered at best--almost like walking through mud. You will soon sense a time of release as you move with less restriction and greater freedom, says the Lord. Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.

I see those whose hearts have become dull or even dead to life in the Spirit. I call you forth from being spiritually deaf to hearing My voice again. I call you forth from spiritual death to live in the Spirit again. Shake yourself awake and rise up to be alert and vibrant. These are times that require your alertness and attention, says the Lord. Come forth! John 11:43-44 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!" And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go."

You must learn to protect your own spiritual and natural space, especially as chaos, confusion, and division continue to get worse. Come into My place of safety for you and refuse to get entangled with situations that steal your peace, says the Lord. Make a conscious effort to maintain a strong connection with Me. 2 Peter 2:20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.

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The Trumpet by Bill Burns
"Set the trumpet to your mouth!" Hosea 8:1
The value of My life in you is underestimated. When My life flows in you, you can be who you have been called to be. And, you will be equipped by My word to become the kings of the age--those who rule and reign with Me as joint heirs forevermore. But, do not undervalue My love for you or the fact that I want to empower you. No matter what happens in your life I am with you to bring you through to victory, says the Lord.

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I Refuse To Be Discouraged Author Unknown
I refuse to be discouraged,
To be sad, or to cry;
I refuse to be downhearted,
and here's the reason why...
I have a God who's mighty,
Who's sovereign and supreme;
I have a God who loves me,
and I am on His team.
He is all wise and powerful,
Jesus is His name;
Though everything is changeable,
My God remains the same.
My God knows all that's happening;
Beginning to the end,
His presence is my comfort,
He is my dearest friend.
When sickness comes to weaken me,
To bring my head down low,
I call upon my mighty God;
Into His arms I go.
When circumstances threaten
to rob me from my peace;
He draws me close unto His breast,
Where all my strivings cease.
And when my heart melts within me,
and weakness takes control;
He gathers me into His arms,
He soothes my heart and soul.
The great "I AM" is with me,
My life is in His hand,
The "Son of God" is my hope,
It's in His strength I stand.
I refuse to be defeated,
My eyes are on my God;
He has promised to be with me,
as through this life I trod.
I'm looking past all my circumstances,
To Heaven's throne above;
My prayers have reached the heart of God,
I'm resting in His love.
I give God thanks in everything,
My eyes are on His face;
The battle's His, the victory is mine;
He'll help me win the race.

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Eagles by Irene Bedard Martin
Lord, help me to soar like an eagle,
strong and true,
steadfast in my faith of you.
Lord, help me to soar like an eagle.
Let me fly with the angels.
Let me soar with the joy of knowing you.
Let each heart beat bring me closer to you.
In the wind I hear your voice whispering my name.
Higher and higher I go,
I'll never be the same,
Your love has changed me.
No longer tethered,
instead set free,
To soar.

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"A Lovely Day To Praise The Lord" by Helen Gleason - 1999
It's a lovely day to praise the Lord
For a day that's fresh and new,
That's filled with nature's beauty,
Created just for you.
It's a lovely day to look, to see,
The flowers, the trees, the birds,
The music of their voices rings,
None sweeter can be heard.
It's a lovely day to thank the Lord,
As all around we see
The vastness of blue skies above,
and feel the summer breeze.
It's a lovely day to think of how
He cares for us each day.
As we journey in this life,
He's there to lead the way.

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Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2)

22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. Mark 11:24

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Ephesians 4:31

The peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

"The eternal God is your refuge, and His everlasting arms are under you..." Deuteronomy 33:27

"One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." Proverbs 11:24-25

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:16-17

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Follow Me by Mrs. P's Devotional
Follow Me, and I will lead you to the wells of life. I will give the living water to you abundantly . And, I will also feed you with the hidden manna. Not only will I feed you with that which has not been revealed, for it shall indeed become revelation to you, but I shall also walk with you in fellowship.
You will know Me even more intimately than you know Me today and understand by way of revelation My purposes for this season. I am about to bring you higher than ever you have been before.
Come to Me, walk with Me, be one with Me, and drink the waters that I give to you and eat the manna that I feed you. In the days ahead, you will realize what a great treasure is given to you at this time. Follow Me now.
Come on, let's go on a journey, you and I together; a journey of joy in which you will experience the power of the kingdom of God; a journey in which your righteousness will be elevated and thus the power of it shall flow out before you; a journey in which you will have victory over all the works of the enemy, says the Lord Almighty.
Pay attention and be aware. I am releasing new insights into your spiritual progression so that you can see more completely how to cooperate with the work that I am doing in your life, says the Lord. This may not be an easy journey, but it will be fruitful if you stay on course. Take every step in faith that I am with you and completing the good work I have begun.
Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

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On This Day by Tom Norvell
FATHER, on this day...
help me to allow the wisdom You have given me to make, not only right choices, but choices that demonstrate spiritual wisdom and choices that will produce spiritual fruit! me to surrender my will to Your will that Your will is done in my life as it is in Heaven! me to allow Your Spirit to guide me to resist temptation! me to seek Your Kingdom first and trust that You will provide for all my needs! me to trust that You will give me the strength to do all the things that I need to do today! me to know that You are aware of everything that is going on in my life! me to receive all the gifts You will make available to me with a grateful heart! me to keep Your teachings on love, compassion, kindness and gentleness in the forefront of my mind as I interact with people!
Father, on this day...
help me to rejoice with those who rejoice! me to mourn with those who mourn. me to receive any attacks that may be aimed toward me without retaliation! me to ignore comments and criticisms that are spoken to harm and discourage me! me to reject the lies that the enemy whispers in my ear or tries to plant in my mind! me to sense Your constant and abiding Presence in every circumstance! me to speak when I need to speak! me to be silent when I need to be silent! me to simply listen to those who need to be heard without instruction or correction or judgment! me to forgive anyone who has harmed me! me to release any ill will toward another human being that I may be holding on to! me to express my gratitude to every person who does a good deed to me or around me! me to look for opportunities to do good and ask for nothing in return! me to hear Your voice above all other voices so I will hear, and heed what You say! me to think not only of my own interests but also the interests of others!
Father, on this day...
help me to think on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy! me to let Your gentleness be evident to all so they will know that You are near! me to overlook little and insignificant things that people do that annoy me...remembering that I do little and insignificant things that probably annoy them as well! :)
Father, on this day...
help me to be a person that people enjoy spending time with! me to be the husband (wife), the father (mother), the father-in-law (mother-in-law), the grandfather (grandmother), the brother (sister), the friend, the teacher, the preacher, the counselor, the writer that You created and gifted me to be! me to follow You in such a way that when others see me, they will see You!
Father, on this day...
when I fail to do any one or all of these things may I remember that You still love me, to ask for Your forgiveness, to accept Your forgiveness, and to know that if I wake up tomorrow You will give me the opportunity to start over and hopefully do better than I did today!

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Read Through The Bible
Esther 9
The Jews Destroy Their Tormentors
1 Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day, the time came for the king’s command and his decree to be executed. On the day that the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, the opposite occurred, in that the Jews themselves overpowered those who hated them. 2 The Jews gathered together in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could withstand them, because fear of them fell upon all people. 3 And all the officials of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and all those doing the king’s work, helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them. 4 For Mordecai was great in the king’s palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces; for this man Mordecai became increasingly prominent. 5 Thus the Jews defeated all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, with slaughter and destruction, and did what they pleased with those who hated them. 6 And in Shushan the citadel the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men. 7 Also Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, 8 Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, 9 Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vajezatha— 10 the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews—they killed; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder. 11 On that day the number of those who were killed in Shushan the citadel was brought to the king. 12 And the king said to Queen Esther, “The Jews have killed and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the citadel, and the ten sons of Haman. What have they done in the rest of the king’s provinces? Now what is your petition? It shall be granted to you. Or what is your further request? It shall be done.” 13 Then Esther said, “If it pleases the king, let it be granted to the Jews who are in Shushan to do again tomorrow according to today’s decree, and let Haman’s ten sons be hanged on the gallows.” 14 So the king commanded this to be done; the decree was issued in Shushan, and they hanged Haman’s ten sons. 15 And the Jews who were in Shushan gathered together again on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and killed three hundred men at Shushan; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder. 16 The remainder of the Jews in the king’s provinces gathered together and protected their lives, had rest from their enemies, and killed seventy-five thousand of their enemies; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder. 17 This was on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar. And on the fourteenth of the month they rested and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
The Feast of Purim
18 But the Jews who were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day, as well as on the fourteenth; and on the fifteenth of the month they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness. 19 Therefore the Jews of the villages who dwelt in the unwalled towns celebrated the fourteenth day of the month of Adar with gladness and feasting, as a holiday, and for sending presents to one another. 20 And Mordecai wrote these things and sent letters to all the Jews, near and far, who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, 21 to establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar, 22 as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor. 23 So the Jews accepted the custom which they had begun, as Mordecai had written to them, 24 because Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to annihilate them, and had cast Pur (that is, the lot), to consume them and destroy them; 25 but when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letter that this wicked plot which Haman had devised against the Jews should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows. 26 So they called these days Purim, after the name Pur. Therefore, because of all the words of this letter, what they had seen concerning this matter, and what had happened to them, 27 the Jews established and imposed it upon themselves and their descendants and all who would join them, that without fail they should celebrate these two days every year, according to the written instructions and according to the prescribed time, 28 that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city, that these days of Purim should not fail to be observed among the Jews, and that the memory of them should not perish among their descendants. 29 Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter about Purim. 30 And Mordecai sent letters to all the Jews, to the one hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth, 31 to confirm these days of Purim at their appointed time, as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had prescribed for them, and as they had decreed for themselves and their descendants concerning matters of their fasting and lamenting. 32 So the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim, and it was written in the book.

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