Time to Celebrate

Quote from Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

August 17

Time to Celebrate 

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 89:14-37 | Nehemiah 12:27-13:31 | 1 Cor. 11:3-16 | Proverbs 21:17-18

Today’s Scripture Focus: Nehemiah 12:27-13:31

“The singers, directed by Jezrahiah, made the rafters ring.  That day they offered great sacrifices, an exuberant celebration because God had filled them with great joy. The women and children raised their happy voices with all the rest. Jerusalem’s jubilation heard far and wide” (Nehemiah 12:41-42, The Message).

A major work has been completed. The walls have been rebuilt. Despite opposition and numerous setbacks, the job has been completed.  It was time to celebrate.

They gathered the choirs and “made the rafters ring.” They had an exuberant celebration.  They were filled with great joy.

Notice that it was God who filled them with joy. He had worked behind the scenes moving on the hearts of pagan kings and officials. He had chosen the leaders and given them direction. He had been there to give them the strength to complete the project. From first to last, God made a way for the impossible to be done.  He had shown himself faithful again and again. As they remembered his goodness, they were filled with joy.

In a similar way, we are able to find joy in the Lord.“Rejoice in the Lord and again I say it: Rejoice!” says Paul in Philippians. As we grow in our relationship with Christ, as we walk with him through the trials of life, he produces joy in the most unusual places and at the most unexpected times. As we begin to see his hand at work in our lives, our hearts are filled with joy.

God is faithful; He is good. His love endures forever. He is with us through it all, loving us always. Sounds like a reason for joy–sounds like a reason to celebrate!

Father, help me to complete the tasks you have given me for this day. Help me to celebrate their completion with great joy and bring you praise and 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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