Good morning!

Text:  Nehemiah 8-10; Psalm 119:17-32
When the Book of the Law is read aloud in the presence of the assembly of all Israel, it has a profound effect.  It launches God’s people into a lengthy time of worship and repentance.  The Word does that – it stirs God’s people to get right with Him, to worship Him, and to serve Him.  The Word speaks with great power to the hearts for the people – and as they feel the weight of their sin they weep.  Nehemiah, the leader speaks:

And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and 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 or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law.  Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:9-10)

I love those final words – “the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  Our strength is not in our grief over sin, it is not in our suffering, and it is not in our level of commitment to serve the Lord.  No, our strength is in the joy of the Lord.  So, how are you this day? Sad and grim over the mistakes you have made or in the lousy circumstances you are in?  Resting on your recent good behavior or finding confidence in your piety?  If so, seek His joy, receive His joy, choose His joy.  Celebrate the Lord this Lord’s day and you will find strength.

in Him,  Mike