Daily Bible Reading
1 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.
6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.
7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.
12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, the Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
19 The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
20 The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.
21 He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.
22 Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.
23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
24 The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly.
25 A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.
26 In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
28 In the multitude of people is the king’s honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.
29 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.
30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.
31 He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
32 The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.
33 Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.
34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
35 The king’s favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame.
1 On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever;
2 Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing.
3 Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.
4 And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah:
5 And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.
6 But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon came I unto the king, and after certain days obtained I leave of the king:
7 And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.
8 And it grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff to Tobiah out of the chamber.
9 Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.
10 And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.
11 Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place.
12 Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries.
13 And I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah: and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah: for they were counted faithful, and their office was to distribute unto their brethren.
14 Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof.
15 In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals.
16 There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.
17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day?
18 Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.
19 And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day.
20 So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.
21 Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath.
22 And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.
23 In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab:
24 And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews’ language, but according to the language of each people.
25 And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves.
26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.
27 Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives?
28 And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.
29 Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites.
30 Thus cleansed I them from all strangers, and appointed the wards of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business;
31 And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.
The Bible tells us there is nothing new that mankind has experienced that has not happened before. That concept is hard to understand at times. Sin has been amplified in recent years, and the closer we get to the end, the harder our enemy works. And he most assuredly has more people to work with, and for him, due to popularity of “sin” and the world’s population. What is good is now called evil and vice versa. At least it is by man, yet in God’s eye, sin will always be sin.
Nehemiah the thirteenth chapter tells of a man called Tobiah that was given room in the house of God. He didn’t force his way in. The door to this chamber or room was granted by the priest. They had an understanding of some sorts. Tobiah was setting up house (shows a possible longevity of the stay, not a short visit).
“And it grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber. “ Nehemiah 13:8
Nehemiah saw something that did not belong in the house of the Lord. When we realize that our house, whether it be the four walls we live in, or the body that God has given us breath for, has something that does not belong, do we cast it out? The entire reason we are in existence is to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. That relationship is not always pure and holy. It is not always cold or hot. Unfortunately for some, it will never happen. Yet God keeps calling to us, encouraging us, forgiving us. His mercy is new every morning, the blood of forgiveness can be applied over and over again.
On our own, we choose sin. The door is open for deceit, sarcasm, bullying, traitors, murders, etc. All these and more can not coexist with the Spirit of God peacefully. When darkness meets light, the darkness should shrink. Can we do it on our own? Nope. But we do need to recognize that it does not belong in our house. We do need to take action. We do need to replace it with God items.
Sin has always been sin. I am thankful I won’t be stoned for mine. I won’t be banished from society, and as of yet not be thrown in jail for my belief and values. Yet if I don’t cast the sin out of my house, I will be chained by my guilt, tied up with my secrets and weighed down by my conscience.
As for me and my house, I truly want to live for God. If that means I have to get rid of “stuff” then open the front door!!