Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny
You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, along with all their multitude of stars, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You impart life to them all, and the multitudes of heaven worship you. Nehemiah 9.6
This verse is at the beginning of a prayer that was prayed by the remnant of Levites that were in Jerusalem at the time of Nehemiah. Nehemiah had gone to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall that had been destroyed by a conquering nation which had led most of the people away into captivity. Now, many years later, he had returned to Jerusalem and had led the efforts to rebuild the wall.
Upon completing the wall, the people asked Ezra, the scribe, to read the book of the law of Moses. From dawn until noon, he read from the scroll to the men, women and children who were old enough to understand, Nehemiah 8.3. The people were eager to hear the book of the law. Ezra stood on a towering wooden platform to read from the book. When he opened the book to read, the people stood up and remained standing, Nehemiah 8.5. There were other Levites present who also read from the book of God’s law, explaining it and imparting insight so the people could have an understanding of what was being read, Nehemiah 8.7, 8.
It makes one wonder if the same enthusiasm can be found today among God’s people. Would it be considered tiresome to stand for literally hours to hear God’s word read? Christians are blessed to have the word of God readily available. They can read it comfortably sitting in their own home. How enthusiastic are you about reading God’s word?
#risingjoy #Nehemiah #enthusiasm
A brother in Florida mentioned Saturday that the electricity in his home was supposed to be restored in a few hours, after Hurricane Matthew swiped the Atlantic coast headed north. A person asked, “Does the church have electricity?”
The person was referring, of course, to the building where the church met. That’s unfortunately language, but you figure out how to get people to change their vocabulary.
Her question, however, invites reflection on the state of our congregations. Continue reading
A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one.
—Mary Kay Ash, Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics
What a man accomplishes in a day depends upon the way in which he approaches his tasks. When we accept tough jobs as a challenge…and wade into them with joy and enthusiasm, miracles can happen. When we do our work with a dynamic conquering spirit, we get things done.
Pardon my tardiness on responding to the daily nudge, “What needs to be restored?” I’ve been on business travel, but did want to respond. I think this is a very important question and one we should be constantly asking ourselves. After all, we are commanded to examine ourselves.
I believe one of the biggest things that needs to be restored is zeal and enthusiasm for Christ, His church, and His mission. It has been said that 80% of the work in any congregation is done by 20% of the members. Sadly, this does seem to be the norm. So many seem to think that showing up when the doors are open (or worse, once a week to take the Lord’s supper) is all that is required of them. Zealous people are not pew-warmers. Zealous people will be as the early church, teaching everywhere they go. If we are on fire for the Lord, then the church WILL grow. I fear we as God’s people are very much lukewarm and complacent. That needs to change, or the Lord will spew us out of His mouth!