Day 280 October 7
11 This is a copy of the letter that Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest and scribe, a scholar of the text of the Lord’s commandments and his requirements for Israel: 12 Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, the scribe of the Instruction from the God of heaven. Peace!
And now 13 I decree that any of the people of Israel or their priests or Levites in my kingdom who volunteer to go to Jerusalem with you may go. 14 You are sent by the king and his seven counselors to investigate Judah and Jerusalem according to the Instruction from your God, which is in your hand.
15 You should bring the silver and gold that the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose dwelling is in Jerusalem, 16 together with any of the silver and gold that you find in the entire province of Babylonia. You should also bring the spontaneous gifts of the people and the priests, given freely for God’s house in Jerusalem. 17 With this money you will be careful to buy bulls, rams, and lambs, as well as their grain offerings and their drink offerings. And you will offer them on the altar of God’s house in Jerusalem. 18 As long as it is God’s will, you and your colleagues may do what you think best with the rest of the silver and gold. 19 You will deliver the equipment that has been given to you for the service of God’s house to the God of Jerusalem. 20 If anything else is required for God’s house that you are responsible to provide, you may provide it from the royal treasury.
20 Some Pharisees asked Jesus when the Kingdom of God would come. His answer was, “The Kingdom of God does not come in such a way as to be seen. 21 No one will say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’; because the Kingdom of God is within you.”
22 Then he said to the disciples, “The time will come when you will wish you could see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. 23 There will be those who will say to you, ‘Look, over there!’ or, ‘Look, over here!’ But don’t go out looking for it. 24 As the lightning flashes across the sky and lights it up from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. 25 But first he must suffer much and be rejected by the people of this day. 26 As it was in the time of Noah so shall it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 Everybody kept on eating and drinking, and men and women married, up to the very day Noah went into the boat and the flood came and killed them all. 28 It will be as it was in the time of Lot. Everybody kept on eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 On the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and killed them all. 30 That is how it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
12 Most important, my brothers and sisters, never make a solemn pledge—neither by heaven nor earth, nor by anything else. Instead, speak with a simple “Yes” or “No,” or else you may fall under judgment.
13 If any of you are suffering, they should pray. If any of you are happy, they should sing. 14 If any of you are sick, they should call for the elders of the church, and the elders should pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 Prayer that comes from faith will heal the sick, for the Lord will restore them to health. And if they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 For this reason, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous person is powerful in what it can achieve. 17 Elijah was a person just like us. When he earnestly prayed that it wouldn’t rain, no rain fell for three and a half years. 18 He prayed again, God sent rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
19 My brothers and sisters, if any of you wander from the truth and someone turns back the wanderer, 20 recognize that whoever brings a sinner back from the wrong path will save them from death and will bring about the forgiveness of many sins.
Prayer: may the light of your love shine in our hearts today. Amen.