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The Joy of the Lord

Image of hands holding a Bible open by a window with the words "the joy of the Lord, December 4, 2022, Nehemiah 8:10"

December 4, 2022

Using the BLESS method, our B for Bible verse today is Nehemiah 8:10. The L for listen for God’s Voice  Lord give me wisdom and discernment for this day. 

Nehemiah 8:10 - Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Nehemiah was a Jewish leader who supervised the rebuilding of walls of Jerusalem as many Israelites returned to their homeland after being exiled in Babylon for 70 years.  Today’s verse tells how this was the first day of their new year and everyone was standing in the city square listening to Ezra the priest reading the Word of the Lord. 

As the people continued to listen to God’s Word, they started to rejoice and cried out Amen, Amen! But as Ezra continued, they started to realize how they had fallen deeply into sin and wandered further and further away from their God. So they began to cry and weep. 

But Nehemiah stood up and reminded them that this was the first day of the new year and was to be a special day for the Lord, and told them not to grieve but to celebrate God’s Holiness and remember that the Lord is their strength.

Wow, how powerful to know that even when we wander away from God, and fall into sin, or live our lives selfishly, every day is a new day, and is a day to remember that Jesus Christ has redeemed us by His blood. We need to read and listen to the Word of God because faith comes by the Word. And like Israel, we need to confess our sins and turn our eyes on Jesus. No more crying over past sins. We need to remember that the joy of the Lord is indeed our strength. 

God’s joy is what we need to strengthen us every day. It’s not dependent on external circumstances, but it’s that internal assurance that God is with us all the time. 

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