12 October 2013

Be of Good Cheer!

Scripture: Nehemiah 8:9-12 NKJV

And Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn nor weep.” For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, “Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved.” And all the people went their way to eat and drink, to send portions and rejoice greatly, because they understood the words that were declared to them.

Observation: The people's natural/fleshly response to fully understanding the Law was to mourn for their transgressions of it.  But that's not what God has in mind for them, or us. They had just finished rebuilding Jerusalem's wall, and the city was once again secure.  God had work for them to do, and He wanted them to rejoice, to look ahead to the blessings to come, to firmly plant in their minds the fact that understanding the Law is a reason to celebrate, big time.

Application: How about me? Do I celebrate when I learn more of what God wants me to do, or do I fall prey to a spirit of helplessness and defeat? Do I take courage in Christ's loving victory (oh, how wonderful that is!!!), or do I turn from His love in betrayal of all He offers me?

Prayer: Oh God of Heaven and Earth and all that IS--how great and glorious and supreme you ARE. :o) You are above all things, in all things, through all things, by the shining might of your glory and Your Spirit. I praise You for Who You Are. There isn't anything good which isn't part of You--no love nor sweetness in all of creation that can't be traced back to You. And likewise, there is no dark thing in all of creation which comes from You. You are the King, the one who offers light and life to ALL. I want to walk in Your light, to reflect it, to noise it abroad in all the land. Lord, please show me where I still falter, where I harbor tares in the fields of my mind, body and soul. I rejoice that, in Your mercy, You will not require me to gather them faster than I can withstand their pulling, and that Your love heals and restores the disturbed ground left behind by the cleansing. Let me rejoice in Your plans for me, and all around me. Let me rejoice in Your word, Your law, Your love, in Jesus' name, so be it. :o)

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!