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Your Strength

November 28, 2014

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Your Strength

When Israel fell  into all sorts  of sins  and refused  to repent,  even though God sent many preachers  to them,  God finally punished them  by allowing their enemies  to totally defeat them  and take them  into exile.

In the same way  our heavenly Father  will guide us  with various kinds  of discipline  to help us  realize  that there is a consequence  for our sins.     We do need  to straighten out  before it is too late.

Although  it is necessary  for God  to discipline us,  He is also our loving Father,  full of mercy  and forgiveness.     And that’s how  He was  with the Israelites.     After they had been  in exile  for many years  under the Persians,  God started  arranging events  so that they were able  to return  to Israel  and set up their homes again.

In that time,  Nehemiah  got permission  from the Persian king  to return  to Jerusalem  to rebuild the city walls  that had been broken down  and burned.     Nehemiah organized  the Israelites  so that they got  the walls rebuilt,  even though enemies  opposed them  all the way.

When they finished  the walls,  Nehemiah gathered  all the people  so that they could renew  their covenant  with the LORD.     When they got together,  Ezra read  the Book  of the Law  of Moses  and it was explained  to the people.

Just hearing  the word  of God  like that  for the first time  in years  brought the people  to tears  of repentance.     They realized  how far  they had fallen away  from the LORD.

Here’s the beautiful part  of the story.     As Nehemiah saw  their repentance  and weeping,  he said,  “This day  is holy  to the LORD  your God;  do not mourn  or weep.”     And after instructing them  to prepare  a feast,  Nehemiah said  what is vital  for all  repentant children  of God.     He said  in Nehemiah 8:10,

Do not be grieved,  for the joy  of the LORD  is your strength.

And that is how  it is  for us also.     As we read  God’s word  and see  our sinful condition,  and repent  because we are so pitifully gross,  we are not  to grieve  too long.     Instead,  God wants us  to receive  the joy  of His forgiveness  because  it is real  and powerfully true.

If we mourn  and grieve  over our sins  too long,  it means  we are not trusting  in the love  and forgiveness  of God.     Yes,  God wants us  to repent  and change  our ways.     But,  then it is  most necessary  to thankfully accept  the gift  of forgiveness.

When we have accepted  that gift,  then we must take it all in  and rejoice  in this forgiveness.     That is the only way  to remain strong  in the LORD  —  trust  in His love  and obey  with joy.

As we accept  our forgiveness,  we can joyfully say,  “Hallelujah!     The LORD  truly is  my strength!”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

A 2.67 year old says  I Pledge Allegiance

Pray for our country.

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Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect, but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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