Seeking the Blessing of God

From Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

August 9

Seeking the Blessing of God

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 85:1-7 | Ezra 8:21 – 9:15 | 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 | Proverbs 21:1-2

Today’s Scripture Focus: Ezra 8:21 – 9:15

“‘The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.’ So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.” (Ezra 8:22-23 NIV)

Yesterday we saw that the blessing of God was upon Ezra because he studied and obeyed the word of God. He was devoted to the word of the Lord and it brought the blessing (the hand) of God. 

Today we see that the blessing of God (his gracious hand) comes through prayer—intense prayer (such as fasting and prayer). God was showing his blessing in many ways, but there was continued need for the blessing of God. So Ezra and the people began to fast and pray for more of his blessing.

When Ezra saw the compromise of the people, it brought him to his knees. When Ezra saw the incredible job ahead of him—rebuilding the temple—it brought him to his knees. They needed “some reviving to set up the house of God, to repair its ruins…” (9:10 ESV). God had been faithful to bless, but the continued hand of the Lord was needed.

The Psalmist echoes the cry for the blessing of God: “Will you not revive us again, so that your people may rejoice in you?” (Psalm 85:6).

We all stand in need of the hand of the Lord (his blessing) each and every day. We just can’t do it alone. Therefore we go to him daily in prayer seeking his blessing as we pray, and as we hear and obey his word.

Open up your heart to him today. Share your concerns, your frustrations and your needs; look for the gracious hand of the Lord to bless you.

Father, I open my heart to you, freely sharing my concerns and needs. I look to you for your provision. I look to you today, that your gracious hand would be upon me. Oh that I might walk in your blessing today. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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