Highlights In Today's Reading:
At last, the wall is officially dedicated. Once again there is a song in the heart of the children of Israel and the Temple procedures are restored.
Jerusalem is the only city on earth called by God the holy city (11:18) and where our Creator chose to put His Name. Because Jerusalem still lay in ruins and was not a trading center, there was much less opportunity to have items to sell as there would be in the country near a main thoroughfare such as Beersheba, and in the villages thereof (11:27). After Nehemiah convinced the people to return to putting God first in their lives, they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off (12:43). Most people then and still today seek their own wealth, pleasure, and safety rather than the advancement of God and His Church.
Just as the Lord called His people out of Babylon (Persia) to forsake personal gain, to rebuild Jerusalem, and to be free to worship Him, so our Lord and Savior has called us to seek . . . first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things (necessities of life) shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33). Yet, still today far too many Christians are not seeking first the kingdom of God.
As Christians, our first concern in life should be to let the world know more about the One True God and eternal life as His Word says. Jesus said that the majority of people are on a broad . . . way, that leadeth to destruction (7:13) and the Lord has appointed us to let everyone on the broad way know they will soon be cast into outer darkness, torment, and eternal hell (8:12; 22:13). Yet, there are millions who have never been told that they are eternally lost.
Just as it is today, there were only a few who willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem (Nehemiah 11:1-2). Today's few willingly commit their lives to the Kingdom of God and postpone their personal interests for the best interest of the Lord their God. It is said the Israelites blessed the willing 10% for their decision. There are still many today who do not volunteer time or tithes.
It takes faith to live by the principle of those who willingly offered themselves (Nehemiah 11:1-2) and give of their time and gifts to serve the Lord. Do you think for the past 2,000 years Paul has regretted missing a few luxuries and comforts for his service to Christ?
Thought for Today:
Only a small percentage of professing Christians support the ministry of the Gospel with time and tithes. Are you one of that percentage?
By the priests and Levites who purified (sanctified) themselves and the people (Nehemiah 12:30). Christ our High Priest, through His perfect sacrifice, purified His believers by His Word. Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you (John 15:3; 17:17).
11:16 outward business => inside the Temple compound, but outside the Temple itself; 11:24 was at the king's hand => represented the king; 12:44 that waited => who served, ministered.
Pray for International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. Josephine Fusco; Arabic, English, and Spanish International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by a family's love for Jesus • Staff: Jennifer Cunningham • Government Officials: Gov. Brad Henry (OK), Rep. Bobby Jindal (LA), and Gov. Eliot Spitzer (NY) • Country: Somalia (7 million) on the Horn of Africa • Major languages: Somali and Arabic • Islam is officially favored and all other religions are opposed • 99.8% Muslim; .1% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Pray without ceasing (II Timothy 1:3).
Optional Reading: 2 Corinthians 12
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 1:7