Ezra (the priest and scribe) and Nehemiah (the former cupbearer for the Persian king and current governor in Jerusalem) are working together for God in Nehemiah 8-10. Both men are able to follow God's purpose for their lives and make a huge difference in the lives of others.
In our reading today, all of God's people come together. Ezra reads God's Word from the Book of Law, and they worship God. Ezra reminds them of all the miraculous things God has done for His people in the past. Most importantly, God's people are called to remember God's forgiving, gracious, compassionate, and loving nature and confess their sins to one another and to God. God's Word transforms people.
Every one of us can use some spiritual revival from time to time, don't you know! This text today reminds me that the time is right now, for God's people then and for us. God wants us to hold on to our relationship with Him for dear life.
Our relationship with God is the key to real joy in the world.
I've been there, where the Israelites are today, weeping. And I struggle with focus issues day to day. I write because I know how much I need Jesus, my Savior, in my life. I am a poster child of God's grace at its best. The more I turn to God, the more He transforms me.
Nehemiah tells us not to mourn or weep as we become aware of how much we need God. As we read, we see people confessing their sins and letting go of them.
“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.”
Who doesn't need unconditional love and a whole lot of grace? When we find joy in our Lord, that's where we find our biggest strength. And once we find it, God encourages us and inspires us to celebrate by sharing it with others.
How can we celebrate our joy for the Lord today?
A prayer for today-
Thank You for this day. Thank You for the mercy and grace I have through Your Son, Jesus. Thank You for Your forgiveness and abounding love.
Show me, Lord, all the ways I need to come before You and allow You to transform my life each and every day.
I pray that by Your Spirit, You will open my heart and my eyes to those who are grieving and have "nothing prepared." I pray for ________________________.
Guide me in sharing Your grace and Your joy with those You purposefully put in my path this day.
In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit I pray,
Peace of Christ,