October 12, 2018: SOAP #3235: Nehemiah 7-8; Acts 1
Scripture: Nehemiah (NIV) 8:9 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is sacred to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law. 10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” 11 The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a sacred day. Do not grieve.”
Observation: “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” This is an often quoted and sung phrase. It has meaning within its context, but it also has meaning as a stand-alone thought. “The joy of the Lord is my strength!” For me, it has two meanings.
First: I have strength in the joy the Lord gives me. The joy from the Lord gives me strength. Jesus said, “My joy I give you.” Sometimes it is a “song in the night” that imparts strength. The joy He imparts makes me want to be faithful in the hard times.
Second: I have strength when I know that something I have done brought joy to the Lord. Just knowing that I made Him smile gives me strength to press on. The joy of the Lord, His joy that He gets from me, is my strength. There is so much sin and unbelief in those He created and for whom He died, that His heart must be continually broken. There should be some people who live to bring Him joy.
Application: My goal for today—make Jesus smile. Do something that will bring joy to His heart.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, no one knows Jesus better than you. Help me not to miss any opportunities today to do things that will bring joy to His heart and a smile to His face. Amen
Making friends for time and eternity!