Strengthened by Joy (Aug 14)

August 14

Strengthened by Joy 

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 88:1-7 | Nehemiah 7:61-9:21 | 1 Corinthians 9:1-18 | Proverbs 21:11-12

Today’s Scripture Focus: Nehemiah 7:61 — 9:21

“For the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10 NIV).

“And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them” Nehemiah 8:12 (ESV).

It was quite a scene. After years and years of neglect, the scripture had been uncovered. Ezra got all the people together in one place and began to read the law. He along with some of the other priests read and explained the law to the people. How did the people react to hearing the Word of God?

They worshiped.  “All the people answered, ‘Amen, Amen,’ lifting up their hands. ‘And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground’”(8:6).

They also wept. “For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law” (8:9).  Confronted by the law, they could clearly see their disobedience and sin. Conviction of sin brought tears.

But Nehemiah encouraged the people to find joy. They were hearing the law and understanding it. This was reason for celebration. There would be a time for weeping, but this was a time for celebration: the celebration of understanding God’s word.

Each day is an opportunity for celebration as we hear and understand God’s word. Understanding it brings joy, and that “joy of the Lord is our strength” (8:12).  God teaches us principles that enable us to live “life to the full.” His promises give us hope that strengthens us through the most difficult of times.

As you spend time in His word today, look for understanding and find joy knowing that the principles will strengthen you for the day ahead.

May the Joy of the Lord be your strength! Open your heart to him and live in his joy today!

Heavenly Father, I look to you to replenish the fountain of joy in my life. Fill me with joy in your presence that I might find strength for the trials of the day. In all I do today, may I find joy in doing it for the purpose of your glory. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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