This has to be one of my favourite verses and I know I say that a lot but hear me out. The people had a great celebration because they understood the words that were explained to them. Now, at first, the people mourned and wept because they saw their own sinfulness. They heard the law read to them and found they were not as well off as they had thought. That happens when we have the Word of God. It cuts right to the heart and shows us who we really are. No masks, no hiding, and no trickery. It just cuts, but the same words that break us are meant to heal us.
We too can be sad at times when we find that we do not match up to what we want to be or maybe even should be. But the same Bible that says all have fallen short of the glory of God says that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. You in yourself cannot be good enough but there is one who is. In that we rejoice and in that we celebrate! We look to the cross and rejoice that God loves us that much. That God loves us so much He took our place, He took our shame, and He gave us life. There is so much to celebrate so much love to give and it starts with understanding the word.
In Isaiah 5:11 God says that His word does not return void but it will succeed. In John 1 we read that Jesus is the Word of God. He succeeded. He accomplished His goal. He preached good news to the poor. He has proclaimed freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, and He set free the oppressed. We should rejoice and have a great celebration because of this. We live because He lives. He has won the grave.
Just a thought,
Nehemiah chapter 3 seems long and daunting when you first read it, but if you pay close attention you find that it is a recounting of everyone who put in work. That might not seem important but think about this those are real people like you and me. Their names are recorded in the Bible for us to read because they put in the work to build what God had planned. God placed a burden on Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and then he gathered people together to join in that work. They were building something great for and because of God. Who wouldn’t want to do that? I mean when God is moving and you get to be part of that why wouldn’t you want to jump on board?
Well, the nobles of the Tekoites/Tekonites did not want to help. For some reason, these nobles from the city of Tekoa had it in their head that they were above the work. Sure they wanted to enjoy the rebuilt walls but they did not want to put in the work. They thought themselves better than the work. The thing that is nagging at me is not to say “stupid nobles” but instead “God help me not become conceited.” See I have worked in almost every position you can work at in a church. Sunday school check, nursery check, youth group check, preaching check, cleaning toilets and vacuuming check, mowing the lawn no but I would. Now because of a long series of events, I am in a new church and they don’t know my history or ability so what am I doing? I am greeting at the front door. I want to preach, I want to share the Word, I want to pour into people. But none of that is happening right now so I have two choices I can either whine about it and find ways to move into something or I can just shake a hand and say “Good morning, glad to see you.” I am not going to lie it is hard to just say “Good morning, glad to see you” when I have a three-part sermon prepared on Nehemiah. But I know I am not above it (at least, I shouldn’t be), it is what needs to be done so I will bend my neck to the work.
I am still applying for every position I can for full-time work but in the meantime, I cannot become bitter or above something else. Sure there are positions I am not applying for because there are things I don’t feel called to but right now right here I am doing what I can. We cannot become so consumed with the future or ourselves that we neglect the things of now. It is not about doing everything but it is about not having an attitude of being above the work. If we start to think too highly of ourselves then we are the only ones who think that way of ourselves. Jesus said it is better to sit in a lowly place and let someone else move you forward.
Just a thought,
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