August 14

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“Ezra stood on the platform in full view of all the people. When they saw him open the book, they all rose to their feet. Then Ezra praised the Lord, the great God, and all the people chanted, “Amen! Amen!” as they lifted their hands. Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground” (Nehemiah 8:5-6 NLT).

From: August 14, 2019

HOW TO RESPOND TO GOD’S WORD

This is how the people of God responded to the Word of God being opened after they had rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem. How we respond to the God’s Word reveals much about our hearts. For some, the Bible is just a collection of myths and human sayings. For others, it is a good book, yet still not to be taken too literally. Yet, for others, it is the very Word of God, worthy of study, meditation, memorization and application to their lives. Does your heart stand up to hear the Word? Does your tongue utter, “Amen,” at its reading. Does your will bow down to follow its instruction?

PRAYER: Father, thank You for Your Word. We are in awe that You would write such a letter of love to Your children. Forgive us when we forget to read, or read only to serve some other purpose than to know Your will better that we might obey and follow. Give us this day our daily bread. For Your Word is food and we would be filled. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“Yet preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News!” (1 Corinthians 9:16 NLT).

From: August 14, 2018

THE CALL TO PREACH THE GOOD NEWS
When I was eight years old, my grandmother told me that she thought I was going to be a preacher when I grew up. I disagreed and insisted I was going to raise chickens with Papaw. Turns out, she was right. God called me to preach. But I do still love chicken. 🙂
 
The first time I felt the call to preach was when I was 19 years old. I was attending a Christian conference for college students and the speaker instructed anyone who felt God calling them to the ministry to stand up. I looked around to see who would stand up, when I suddenly realized that I was standing up! I seriously don’t remember telling my legs to stand. But there I was, standing with tears pouring down my face.
 
Flash forward 11 years. I was 30 years old, married with three kids, a mortgage and a good corporate job. And I still hadn’t answered the call to preach. I taught Sunday school, I sang in the choir, I served on church committees, I was a deacon… I was trying to serve without selling out completely. Yet, I knew that God wanted my all in all. I was afraid, but like Paul, I felt compelled. My misery grew so great (It’s miserable to run from God’s call. Just ask Jonah.) that I finally surrendered. I quit my job, went to seminary, and planted Wilson Community Church.
 
Like Paul, I can’t boast about this calling. Like Jonah, I tried my best to run from it. Yet now, thirty years later, I am so thankful. How terrible it would be if I didn’t preach the gospel.
 
What’s God calling you to do?

“Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, just as we hope in You” (Psalm 33:22 NKJV).

From: August 14, 2017

The psalmist asks the Lord to be merciful towards His people according to the proportion of their hope in Him. This is not a request for God’s mercy according to their works, not according to righteousness, nor lack thereof, but according to the measure of the hope they have placed in God. The psalmist’s scale is for the Lord to give them mercy in proportion to their hope. Yet, I would ask for more. I would ask that the Lord show mercy even when (and especially when) my hope is weak. And I ask that His mercy would “be upon us” for others when their hope needs encouragement too.

“They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.” (Ezra 8:8 ESV)

From: August 14, 2016

Bible reading and exposition was a central feature of the worship of the returning remnant to Jerusalem. The sense of the Word so affected them that they began to weep. This is still the calling for today, that the Word of God would be read and clearly preached with a goal of understanding. The timeless principles of the Word are to be understood in context, carried across the “Bible bridge” and applied to today’s congregation in the power of the Spirit. The New Testament preacher is to be “devoted” to the public reading and exhortation of the Word (1 Tim. 4:13). In like manner, the members of the body of Christ are to be devoted to the Word as well.

“Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:14 NKJV)

From: August 14, 2015

Being a gospel preacher or missionary is a faith venture. The call to ministry is answered with no salary guarantee. The apostle Paul had preached the gospel to the people of Corinth, yet never asked for payment. He worked night and day making tents, so he could offer the gospel freely. However, other preachers had come to Corinth claiming superior status and demanding payment. Apparently, these preachers disparaged Paul’s credibility as an apostle, so that he had to remind the Corinthians that he was the one who had first led them to faith. In America today, a very small minority of “preachers” profit from the gospel message giving a bad name to the office. However, the vast majority of true gospel preachers struggle as Paul did trying to survive on meager offerings, while at the same time trying to train up new believers to support the very ministry which led them to eternal life. Do you support those who preach the gospel?

“Ezra stood on the platform in full view of all the people. When they saw him open the book, they all rose to their feet. Then Ezra praised the Lord, the great God, and all the people chanted, “Amen! Amen!” as they lifted their hands. Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground” (Nehemiah 8:5-6 NLT)

From: August 14, 2014

This is how the people of God responded to the Word of God being opened after they had rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem. How we respond to the Book reveals much about our hearts. For some, the Bible is just a collection of myths and human sayings. For others, it is a good book, yet still not to be taken too literally. Yet, for others, it is the very Word of God, worthy of study, meditation, memorization and application to their lives. Does your heart stand up to hear the Word? Does your tongue utter, “Amen,” at its reading. Does your will bow down to follow its instruction?

“Ezra stood on the platform in full view of all the people. When they saw him open the book, they all rose to their feet.” (Nehemiah 8:5)

From: August 14, 2012

The Jews had been exiled in Babylon for 70 years. Being back in Jerusalem, gathered together for a public reading of God’s Word, they were overcome with emotion. They stood as one man with tears pouring down their faces to hear the Word. They no longer took for granted the freedom to worship their God. I suppose it’s human nature not to appreciate such freedom until it’s lost. Of all people in human history, our generation has had more access to the Bible than any other. I wonder, do we “rise to our feet” to hear it?