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Archive for November, 2016

Understanding Sin

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“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’ ” (Nehemiah 8:10 NIV).

Ezra the prophet went to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. At the same time Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem. When all the work was done, Ezra read the Book of the Law of Moses to the people. We call it the Book of Deuteronomy in our Bible today. It’s the book that contains the Ten Commandments. Ezra read aloud from this book from daybreak until noon. He stood on a high platform so everyone could see him and when he opened the Book, all the people stood up.

The people praised God for His Word. And when Ezra read from the Book, God made it clear and gave it meaning, so the people understood what they were hearing. The people wept as they listened. Why do you think the people wept?
When the Word was made clear to them, they were so overcome by their own sin that they could not hold back the tears. When they understood how holy their God is, and how far they were from His holiness; they grieved.

Nehemiah told them not to grieve, but to rejoice that God had revealed their weaknesses. For if one is not aware of their faults, how can they change? So the people changed their attitude to rejoicing and committed to living a life of obedience. They extended the invitation to celebrate with those that had nothing prepared, and shared what they had with them. Sharing is something we teach our children when they are little, but as adults in an adult world, we often forget to share with fellow believers who have less.

This is an excellent example of how one can decide to change their attitude. Remember this when you are grieved by your own sin or the sin of the nation. Confess the sin to God. Repent. Trust Him and rejoice in the hope of holiness. Now you can focus on helping others.

Part of Nehemiah’s celebration involved generosity. Generosity is not limited to material things such as food and bread for a joyful celebration. Something inside us happens when we generously share. The Israelites’ sorrow at falling short and disappointing God turned into a day filled with joy as they celebrated finding His Word and discovering His desires for them. They had been given a second chance to please Him.

We can do the same thing. Rejoice when God gives you another chance. It could be your second chance, or your tenth, or even your twentieth — rejoice! He is for you. Remember ― rejoicing alone is not true rejoicing. Your gift of another chance must be shared with fellow believers like your Bible study group, your prayer partner, or your small group from church.

Let me rejoice in You, Lord. Through Your written Word, You have given me the proper path to follow. I repent of my past sins and humbly accept Your forgiveness. Now I walk a new path, one of obedience. Your joy is my strength. Amen.

This is an excerpt from the forty-day devotional, “Attitude Matters”. Click here to order.

Click here to check out my website!

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The Best of Times

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“How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light” (Psalm 36:7-9 NIV).

So many times we turn to God when in despair. When those most trying times of our lives occur, we cry out for God’s protection and deliverance. When we see our loved ones suffering or when we ourselves are sick or in pain, we want God to fix it. We run to Him because we know He is in control and that nothing is impossible with God.

Unfortunately, we often forget to thank Him when He does come to our aid. He solves our problem and life goes on. The incident is forgotten, along with the answered prayer. Things get better and soon you are flourishing. Do you stop to thank Him in your success? When the waters of life are calm, do you remember the One who calmed the sea? In your prosperity, do you continually thank the God who provides all things in your life?

God sustains us through our tough times. He also walks with us through our most successful days. More than that, He gives over and above what we need. He is constantly pouring blessings down on us that exceed our expectations, sometimes even our rich imaginations. He is mighty and He is loving beyond what our finite minds can comprehend.
He remains faithful throughout the generations. That is priceless.

Another priceless gift is how He knows our hearts in every situation. When we thirst for peace and refreshment, He provides living water from His river of delights. What an awesome God we serve! He knows our needs before we do, and often answers prayers before they are out of our mouths.

Psalm 91:1 offers another promise from our God. It says, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

He’s right there beside you. Why not take a moment and say “Thank You”?
The Lord deserves an attitude of gratitude at all times.

Most Gracious Father in Heaven, I am overwhelmed by Your generosity in every area of my life. Thank You for Your provision in all things. Most of all, I thank You for constantly and faithfully being with me every day, every hour, every moment, every second, of my life. Amen.

This is an excerpt from the forty-day devotional, “Attitude Matters”. Click here to order.

Click here to check out my website!

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