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Archive for August, 2018

“For seven days they celebrated with joy the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because the Lord had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the king of Assyria so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel” (Ezra 6:22 NIV).

When Zerubbabel and the prophets of God attempted to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, the governor of the province questioned them. “Who authorized you to rebuild this temple and restore this structure? What are the names of the men working here?”

The Assyrian government was asking questions and taking names. The Israelites were tolerated, certainly not loved or respected. Those who had returned to their broken Jerusalem were considered suspect. And when officials saw the temple was being rebuilt, red flags went up. The officials sent a letter to King Darius trying to stop the rebuilding the temple, but when the king read that Cyrus, king of Babylon had issued a decree to rebuild the temple many years prior, he set about to find the aged decree.

King Darius discovered the decree and immediately exhibited an attitude of obedience ― probably because King Cyrus was very respected as a former leader. King Darius immediately took steps to make sure the temple was rebuilt. This action, caused by a change in his attitude toward the Israelites, called for a celebration praising the Lord.
You are only one person in your family, but your attitude can affect the entire family. In this case the King’s attitude affected the whole nation. Just the very idea that you can change a person or nation simply by your attitude is worth thinking about. As we talked about before, you can change your attitude in an instant.
Countries are like people. The attitude of the leader can revolutionize the attitude of a nation. When their attitude changes, it affects many people. In the case of King Darius, when God changed his attitude, the whole nation of Israel rejoiced!

You may never know when a simple act of kindness will change someone’s attitude and cause them to praise the Lord. I remember one Friday night we were coming home exhausted from a long trip. We stopped at a grocery store to pick up some bananas for breakfast because we knew there was nothing to eat at home. My husband, David, dragged himself into the store. I felt bad for him because he was so tired. He came out a few minutes later with a big smile.
It turned out that there was only one cashier and a woman with a big cart of groceries waiting in the line in front of him. The lady with the big cart said, “Is that all you have? Then why don’t you go ahead of me?”
That simple act of kindness changed his attitude from exhaustion to amazement and it showed all over his face. He talked about it and praised God all the way home.

When you get up in the morning your attitude can set the tone for the day. A positive attitude makes the day go smoother. If you have a family, your attitude can affect everyone in that family for the entire day. Let this be a reminder for you to purposefully decide to have a sunny disposition every morning. It will not only bless the people around you, but your day will go better. Attitude is powerful. Use it to bless people.

Father, God, Your joy is my strength. Make me aware that each time I exhibit a positive attitude, it spreads throughout the people around me. Thank You for giving me a free will and the ability to change my attitude from bad to good. Let me exude joy and compassion. Amen.

This is an excerpt from the forty-day devotional, “Attitude Matters”. Click here to order.

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