THE JOY OF THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH

NehemiahWall

“Then he said to them, “Go eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our LORD.  Do not be grieved, for the Joy of the LORD is your strength.”” (Nehemiah 8:10, NASB)

The book of Nehemiah talks to a spectacular time in the history of the nation of Israel.  The Israelites had been in captivity and GOD was fulfilling HIS promise and bringing them back to the land.    Nehemiah was allowed to return to Jerusalem to help rebuild the wall around the city.   Scripture tells us in Nehemiah 6:15, that the wall was completely rebuilt in 52 days!  Even though the wall was now completed…God’s work within HIS people was not.

The verse from Nehemiah 8 is taken from the reading from the Word of GOD that was led by Ezra the scribe.  He read the words of the law of Moses aloud to the crowd from the morning until midday!

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Can you imagine a church service like that?

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The Word of GOD must have brought such conviction on the crowd that day that they began to mourn and weep.

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When we realize how far we have strayed from GOD’s will mourning and weeping is a normal response, right?   Have you ever been convicted by the Word of GOD?

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However on this day, Nehemiah reminded the crowd that it was not a day for mourning, but a day of celebration.   He told the crowd that the JOY OF THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH!  Basically, in ourselves we can do nothing, but the LORD is our strength!!!!

Aren’t you glad that the JOY OF THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH!  When we are convicted by the Word of GOD and realize how far we have strayed from HIS will, we are to repent with tears, but we are not to stay in that mournful condition.   We are to realize that in ourselves we will never be perfect, but through the sacrifice that JESUS made – taking on our sins – we are made clean through the blood of the LAMB!   TODAY IS A DAY TO REJOICE BECAUSE THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH!

In Christ,

Stephen and Mary

On Behalf of True Hope Ministries

 

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NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to WithTrueHope and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of WithTrueHope.  Thank you.

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Few and Far

Dear Readers,

You have not been forgotten!  I know that posts these days have been few and far between.  I apologize.  Keeping up with the responsibilities of being both a teacher and a student has removed the term “spare time” from my vocabulary.  But as it is Spring Break this week, I have gained some much needed time to sit and share with you once again!

The Scripture I would like to share with you comes from Psalm 26.  Psalm 26:1-3 in the Message says, “(1) Clear my name, God; I’ve kept an honest shop.  I’ve thrown in my lot with You, God, and I’m not budging.  (2)  Examine me, God, from head to foot, order Your battery of tests.  Make sure I’m fit inside and out  (3)  so I never lose sight of Your love, but keep in step with You, never missing a beat.

The thought I would like to center on is what is said in the third verse about never losing sight and never missing a beat.  I don’t know about you but I find it all too easy TO lose sight and TO miss a beat, especially when there is a lot going on in my surroundings to distract me.

Imagine for a moment that you are driving on the road and on the side of the road fire hydrants are exploding water out into the air and there are gigantic flashing neon signs on the other side of the road, your cell phone is ringing, your coffee spills all over the place, other drivers on the road are speeding and swerving in every which direction, up ahead a family of ducks is crossing the road, alpacas are being lifted by helicopter out of the middle of the road, and meanwhile you are being chased by an ANGRY politician and his party of ex-convicts who have a bounty on your head.  Who would remain calm, remember to use signals when changing lanes, stay within the speed limit, and follow the GPS’s directions in the midst of all that? 

Sounds absurd, I know!  But how many of us can feel like that driver– tying to never lose sight, trying to keep in step, and trying to never miss a beat– in the midst of a barrage of relentless and ridiculous distractions?

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What threatens to distract you?

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The rest of Psalm 26 talks about a barrage of threatening distractions…

– deceitful men (Ps. 26:4)

– pretenders (Ps. 26:4)

– evildoers (Ps. 26:5)

– wicked (Ps. 26:5)

– sinners (Ps. 26:9)

– murderers (Ps. 26:9)

– schemers (Ps. 26:10)

– bribers (Ps. 26:10)

…but it also talks about how the barrage of threatening distractions CAN BE WITHSTOOD!  That’s found in the third verse.  Never lose sight of God’s love, keep in step with Him, never missing a beat! 

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What does never losing sight, keeping in step, and never missing a beat mean?

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It means…

Trusting God.  “And I have trusted in the LORD without wavering” (Ps. 26:1, NASB95).

Fearing God.  “Examine me, O LORD, and try me; test my mind and my heart” (Ps. 26:2, NASB95).

Remembering God.  “For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, and I have walked in Your truth” (Ps. 26:3, NASB95).

Avoiding Compromising Situations.  “I do not sit with deceitful men, nor will I go with pretenders.  I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked” (Ps. 26:4-5, NASB95).

Keeping Turned Toward God.  “I shall wash my hands in innocence, and I will go about Your altar, O LORD” (Ps. 26:6, NASB95).

Being Thankful God Works.  “That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving and declare all Your wonders” (Ps. 26:7, NASB95).

Spending Time in God’s Presence and With His People.  “O LORD, I love the habitation of Your house
and the place where Your glory dwells” (Ps. 26:8, NASB95).

Knowing that God Redeems.  “But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me” (Ps. 26:11, NASB95).

Being An Example.  “In the congregations I shall bless the Lord” (Ps. 26:12, NASB95).

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“If we set God’s loving-kindness before us as our pattern, to which we endeavor to conform ourselves, being followers of Him that is good, in His goodness…if we set it before us as our great engagement and encouragement to our duty, and are afraid of doing anything to forfeit God’s favor and in care by all means to keep ourselves in His love…this will not only be a good evidence of our integrity, but will have a great influence upon our perseverance in it” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary On The Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume, New Modern Edition Database, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., p. 778, Psalm 26).

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Never Lose Sight.  Keep In Step.  Never Miss A Beat.

Victoria

 

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NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to WithTrueHope and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of WithTrueHope.  Thank you.