Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Joy of the Lord Is Your Strength

             In our verses from Nehemiah 8:9-10 quoted below, Ezra is preaching to the returned exiles.  They are Jews, who because of their exile, knew very little about who they were or what they were about.  They had lived for many years in tradition, and now they were back under the Word of God.  Ezra tells them to have joy, and celebrate their return to God.  He also reminded them that this day is Holy to the Lord.  Every Worship Day is Holy unto God. 
              Instead of dragging out of bed on Sunday mornings, get up with the joy and knowledge that we are going to be worshipping our God.  Our Wednesday night prayer service, (where we get together and pray for one another,) is also such an important service, and in most churches, the least attended service. Why?
              Where is our “Joy of the Lord?”  We expect His strength when we are in the valleys (in which we get ourselves.)  We then want Him, as a “tow truck” to pull us out of that miry clay, and without a further thought, will put ourselves right back in.  Why do we do this?  Primarily, because we as Christians lack God’s strength and we don’t seem to know how to get His strength.  
              When was the last time you read several chapters in your Bible five days in a row, and then prayed over what you read?  (Yet, what do you ask from God? You ask for instant answers to your selfish prayers.  God told Moses many times that the Jews were a “stiff-necked and a hardhearted people.”)  I know better than to ask the next question, but here goes, “Has God considered the “necks and hearts” of us Baptists lately?”
Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
              Deuteronomy 6:5 is for ALL believers.  How do we show our love and devotion to God?  Is our love shown by faithful attendance, tithing faithfully, faithfully reading our Bible, and faithfully praying and studying to show ourselves approved?

2 Timothy 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

How much of your heart, soul, and might does God get?  Is it a trifling or a great amount?      

Bro John R. E Chastain

Nehemiah 8:9-10  And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.  (10)  Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

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