David Jeremiah says it like this:
“In a world ravaged by sin, restoration and renovation are ongoing projects.”
When we make the choice to follow Jesus and accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we are restored into right relationship with God.
But restoration does not stop there.
There is ongoing restoration and renovation that needs to be done throughout our lives.
IF that is something you desire, Nehemiah shows us some ways to do that.
If we are going to continually build our spiritual lives, we need to deal with things head on. We are going to deal with people who tell you all the reasons why you can’t do something or shouldn’t do something. Instead, stand on the truth that God says about you.
Heed the word of the Lord. The definition of the word heed is to give careful attention to.
The people here are listening to the law of the Lord and allowing it to penetrate their hearts. They are realizing just how far from God they are and it is causing them to weep. That is how we should respond when we read something in God’s word that we are not following. His word is the standard and it is up to us to conform to Him, not try to change what He says to justify our own actions.
Nehemiah is like, yes, you guys have jacked this up. Yes, you have not done what you were supposed to be doing. Yes, you have some work to do. But the work you have is going to be a lot more enjoyable if you are having fun doing it. God calls us to Himself and wants deeper relationship with us and that should cause us to be overjoyed all the time. Have fun following God!
Walk in the ways of God.
Nehemiah lays out that the people of God are supposed to be those who contribute and not consume.
Are you one who tries to contribute or consume?
When you come to church is it all about what God has for you?
Is it all about who can help you?
Is it all about what someone else can do for you?
Walking in the ways of God is not this specific set of rules that you are supposed to follow so that you look like you have it all together.
Walking in the ways of God means that you do what He did.
You look to benefit everyone you come into contact with, expecting nothing in return!
Basically, there was a whole lot of worship going on.
Hallelujah translates to Praise to God.
It shows up all over the Bible, from praising God in a liturgical setting to letting it rip in an informal bout of worship. It's even used to convey praise for commendable people. It means praise or a rejoicing. It means praise but literally a "container" for praise. It means praise, song of praise or thanksgiving or adoration, or it denotes praiseworthy deeds.
It means to be insane, or rather irrational in praise.
Praising God is a way of life. It is who we are not just something we do.
We need to be real with the sin in our own lives. We need to call it what it is. And we need to put a hurting on it. We have become accustomed and comfortable with a level of sin in our own lives. We allow a level of sin to live in us and through us and we make excuses. Sin is sin and we need to do violence to it. Stop compromising. Do violence to the things that you do that are not what God wants you to do.
God is calling us to a relationship with Him. But He wants people who are His. We can be those people if we walk the way He is calling us to walk.