We are a nation and a world desperate for men and women of God to lead. Today you begin or continue that journey. As Joshua directed the people of Israel I also direct you, “Choose this day who you will serve.” As leaders in this modern world we can be tempted to follow the latest fad or chase after money, fame or power. Will you serve those idols or will you choose to serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?
Read Nehemiah chapter 8
The theme of chapter 8 A Celebration in Unity
What astounds me the most in this passage is that the people stood and listened attentively ALL DAY. They were somehow able to stay focused and hear from God’s Word. They worked toward understanding what God was saying. This in turn gave them a common language and a common heart. It is this commonality that can bring the unity that we are seeking. We DO NOT have to agree on everything. But can we agree that the Word of God needs to be central to our Christian teaching? Can we agree that God loved us so much that He sent His only son to die on the cross for our sins? Can we admit that we need a savior and agree that Jesus is that Savior? When we get to this point we can walk together.
Enter Ezra: We see in this verse an important point. He is not standing alone. We cannot hope to defeat the enemy of our souls alone. We must establish allies and friends. The body of Christ has been too divided to really accomplish much of an impact as of late. There was a time in our world’s history where the church helped overcome slavery, lead civil rights actions, lead education and work reforms and show the way in addiction treatment. We have surrendered that power because we have tried to do this alone.
This is what our enemy really fears. He is kept awake at night trembling when he thinks of the body of Christ all working together in unity. People of God working together in love and with a focus are a real storm. People united with each other and with God is a powerful force that the gates of Hell cannot withstand.
Basic principle shown here: Some are only ready for basic teaching, others are ready for more in depth learning. Understand this, not everyone is ready for the deeper things of God.
Repentance: There is a time for repentance. This is that time! Truth, this should be painful. When we see the pain and the heartache that our sins have caused we should be filled with shame. Do not cringe away from the pain. But move through it with joy and excitement.