In line with what I’ve been meditating on this week [Nehemiah 8:1-12].
His Grace is amazing.
10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
I’ve been meditating on this passage this week. It’s the passage from which I’ll be sharing with to the EM this upcoming weekend. Particularly this passage, verse 10.
Just a quick background: Nehemiah after having rebuilt the walls of the city of Jerusalem turns to the people of Jerusalem, God’s Chosen People, and has Ezra read from the scrolls of the Law of Moses. There the people stood for six hours (give or take) listening to Ezra, a preacher. As the people listened, they raised their hands and shouted “amen! amen!” then they began to weep. They cried out, and as I read and meditated on this, I thought about why they were weeping, and I think it was because as the people listened to Ezra read line after line God’s commands, the people realized just how short they had come. Just how badly they had missed the mark.
For me, it’s a reminder just how powerful the Word of God is. The Israelites listened to Ezra from dawn to the afternoon. And through it God revealed to them just how much we’re unworthy, and yet just how much He loves us. They’re reminded of the millions of laws and commands broken before God, but then they’re reminded by Nehemiah that their unworthiness isn’t cause for sadness, but rather a celebration. A celebration because, it was a time of renewal, a time for them to come back to God. The Israelites were renewing their covenant with God. Just as God rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem He was also rebuilding His people.
So Nehemiah says, “Don’t weep, for the Joy of the Lord is our strength”
Chuck Smith writes in his commentary:
Oh, what joy there is in the Lord. What joy there is of the Lord. And what strength there is in that joy. God has intended that your life be filled with joy. That’s God’s will for you. God wants you to have a life full of joy. Peter speaks about the “joy that is unspeakable or indescribable and full of glory” (I Peter 1:8). Jesus said, “that your joy may be full” (John 16:24). And He was talking always about this fullness of joy. What a misconception it is of God to think that God wants to lay heavy burdens on all of us, to make us just have to grind through life and barely pull through. “I just pray God will help me to make it to the bitter end, you know. To endure.” Well, God wants you to enjoy. And the command was to enjoy. The joy of the Lord shall be your strength. And oh what joy there is in walking with Jesus [blueletterbible.org]
Today was just a blessed day. Saw some youth kids graduate high school, had food and fellowship afterwards, and then to come find this little nugget as I began preparing for the message.
I’m excited and excited, and just a tad bit nervous. But more importantly excited for this weekend.
#friedchicken and #frenchfries
Live music, food trucks, and shipping containers. #summer (at Truckeroo)
Food Truck Festival #redhooklobster #truckeroo #foodtruck #lobsterroll (at Truckeroo)
last night a couple of guys (i suddenly hear will smith in my head) and I played some basketball at the local elementary school. It was a great time of fellowship and exercise.
one thing though, I put on a shirt that I had washed a couple days ago, and went to play, and when we go to the gym, there was a weird smell. Now this smell that I’m talking about is a distinct smell. It’s not pleasant, and kind of smells like a wet rag. not just any wet rag, but a wet rag that’s been sitting in a ziploc bag underneath the sun for too long. It was some pure funk. At first I thought it was the pair of basketball I borrowed from Andrew, but then i realized that it was coming from my shirt. I definitely showered that day, and then it hit me. I left the clothes in the washer for too long, and the end result was the sick nasty wet rag smell that emanated from my aqua blue shirt. I prayed to God that no one noticed the smell, but even with all the guys drowning in sweat, I could smell my shirt.
lesson: when washing clothes, don’t forget about the drying part, or else you’ll be like me, a dude wearing a shirt that smells worse than wet dog.
but in other news, today was a great day. Finished the video I’ve been working on for the Children’s ministry for KUMC of GW. It’s a quick simple father’s day video, that we filmed using our phones, (which were surprisingly in great quality). Also finished my work on my sermon and it’s good to go. Excited for God to use me this sunday. Since it’s Father’s day and all, I thought it’d be appropriate to speak about God as the Father.
I’m reminded of His love each and every day, with each word and verse of the Bible, with each breeze that blows by, and each prayer we lift up to heaven, that God is our Father. Simply put God LOVES us, no matter what.
And in this day and age, we should continually remind ourselves this, not as an excuse to do anything and everything we want, but as a comforting thought that no matter how bad we seem, God loves us no matter what. Because if God could love a murderer like Paul, or an adulterer like David, then He can love me.
“For God so loved the world…” (John 3:16)
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors though Him who loved us. For I am sure that …[nothing] will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Romans 8:37-39)
on another note, please pray for our brother Young Yi.