6/17 Acts 21, 22 - In chapter 21 you will read of Paul coming back to Jerusalem. He will be warned not to go because of impending persecution, but he is determined to do whatever God wants no matter what the cost. You will see how "false accusation" will put Paul in trouble, but this will actually open a new "door" of opportunity for him. That will be seen in chapter 25. In chapter 22 Paul is given a wonderful chance to share his testimony before an angry crowd.
6/18 Ezra 5-7 - The prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, the ones who wrote the books named after them near the end of the Old Testament, challenge the people to go ahead and continue rebuilding the Temple no matter what opposition they face. A letter is written to the Persian king Darius, seeking him to find out whether the Jews were really given permission to do this work. Chapter 6 shows that the proof of that permission being given is absolute and Darius, therefore, gives his wholehearted approval as well and warns the non-Jewish residents to withdraw any opposition to the Jews! In chapter 7 we finally see Ezra preparing to arrive to give his support to the builders. Please note verse 10 where Ezra shows the right way to handle God's Word: He prepared his heart to read and seek God's guidance from the Word; he made sure he was "a doer of the Word and not just a hearer"; and he then taught others what he read.
6/19 Ezra 8-10 - In chapter 8 Ezra encourages other Levites to join and they pray seeking God's protection as they make their journey to Jerusalem. In chapter 9 you will read that even in the midst of this building process some of the Jews get entangled with the ungodly women of the land. This infuriates Ezra and he calls for confession and turning away from this evil. In chapter 10 the people confess their sin and a list of the offenders is given as this book comes to a close.
6/20 Acts 23, 24 - The opposition to Paul continues but he uses this to given him a way to preach the resurrection of Christ by pitting the Pharisees who believe in resurrection against the Sadducees who deny it. This causes an uproar and a threat is made against Paul's life. God uses Paul's nephew, verse 16, to warn the Roman soldiers who, in turn, transport Paul safely to Caesarea. In chapter 24 Paul is placed on trial before the governor, Felix. Paul is held in custody but Felix still takes time to listen to him.
6/21 Nehemiah 1-4 - In chapter 1 you will read of Nehemiah being informed of trouble in Jerusalem and his prayer and desire to go to help the people. He prays for God's guidance and intervention with the king. In chapter 2 King Artaxerxes gives his approval to let Nehemiah go. What he gets to Jerusalem he takes time to inspect the damage to the walls and he encourages the Jews to begin rebuilding them. In chapter 3 Nehemiah gets the people organized so that every section of the wall is worked on simultaneously. In chapter 4 you will read that, once again, the non-Jews of the city rise up in opposition to the building project.
6/22 Nehemiah 5-7 - In chapter 5 we find that even the Jews are treating one another with disrespect and oppression. Nehemiah shows his anger and the people repent. In chapter 6 Nehemiah faces other opposition but he uses his many courage to stand strong. By the end of the chapter the walls are completed! In chapter 7 a list is given of those Jews who returned from Babylon. In chapter 8 Ezra ministers to the Jews in teaching the word of God and causes them to rejoice, verse 10. They celebrate with a great feast.
6/23 Acts 25, 26 - As Paul is examined again, this time before the new governor, Festus, he is constrained to "appeal to Caesar." The declaration is made that if he appealed to Caesar, then to Caesar he shall go, verse 12. Festus then makes appeal to King Agrippa to hear Paul so that he could help Festus understand what charges he should place against him. In chapter 26 Paul has the opportunity to give his testimony to Agrippa and even call for him to come to Christ, verse 27,28. Agrippa is surprised but finally gives approval for Paul to be sent to Rome.