Nehemiah 11:1-12:26 ~ 1 Corinthians 10:14-33 ~ Psalm 34:11-22 ~ Proverbs 21:14-16
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Old Testament - Today in Nehemiah chapter 11 we read about the people of Israel occupying Jerusalem - and not necessarily by their own choice! Lots had to be thrown to determine which 1 out of every 10 people in rural areas would move to Jerusalem. Verses 1 & 2 tell us: "Now the leaders of the people were living in Jerusalem, the holy city, at this time. A tenth of the people from the other towns of Judah and Benjamin were chosen by sacred lots to live there, too, while the rest stayed where they were. And the people commended everyone who volunteered to resettle in Jerusalem." I read an interesting commentary that speculated that some people did not want to move to Jerusalem from the countryside because it would mean they would have to more stringently follow God with their lives. This would be due to social pressures of living in Jerusalem and proximity to the Temple. And this made me wonder - are we like this in our lives today too? Maybe we go through periods of time where we don't go to church because it means we might have to actually start living our lives like Christians due to the community that church provides? I am always worried when I get to points in my life where I don't feel like going to church. It is in those moments that I realize how desperately I need church - and yet how I'm trying to avoid going. I don't want to change some behavior. I don't want people to see me for who I really am. I don't want to be too close to the "Temple"... How about you. If you're called to "move to Jerusalem" by God, will you move? In the words of a famous Switchfoot song, "I dare you to move." Below is a nice map of Jerusalem in Nehemiah's time:
New Testament - Great great unselfish words from Paul today in First Corinthians 10 verses 31 through 33! "Whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, you must do all for the glory of God. Don't give offense to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God. That is the plan I follow, too. I try to please everyone in everything I do. I don't just do what I like or what is best for me, but what is best for them so they may be saved." How powerful is that? Paul states that he doesn't just do what is best for him - what is most comfortable for him - but he does what is best for others so that they may be saved! Beautiful. I am afraid that all too often we get "comfortably numb" in our lives and basically end up looking out for our own needs and desires and wants - even if we love Jesus. We become a bit lazy in our Christianity. We need to remember that there is a world out there that is dying. Literally. Dying. They need the love, healing, grace, peace, and salvation of Jesus in their lives! We must accept some level of discomfort in our own lives so that others may be saved. How about you today? Are you allowing there to be some discomfort in your life so that others may be saved? Are you being discomforted by sacrificially giving to your church and to ministries that serve the poor? Are you being discomforted by volunteering on a very regular basis? Are you being discomforted by supporting a missionary? Are you comfortable with being discomforted so that others may be saved? Will you bend over backwards for others so that they may be saved?
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in First Corinthians titled "Table Talk" is at this link. Below is a great image for First Corinthians chapter 10 verse 16 -
Psalms - I love Psalm 34 verses 17 & 18 today: "The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit." I am sure all of us have moments of needing help. Moments of trouble. Moments of being brokenhearted. Moments of being crushed in spirit. The big question is what do we do in those moments? Or, who do we turn to? Do you call to God in those moments? Do you know that he will help you? Do you know that he will rescue you? Do you know that he is close to you? Do you know that He is near?
Proverbs - Well... it doesn't get much more straightforward than Proverb 21 verse 16 today: "The person who strays from common sense will end up in the company of the dead." Do you believe this Proverb is true? If we stray from common sense, will we end up in the company of the dead? How do you define what is common sense in your life? Do you believe that the Bible is common sense? Can you learn common sense from the Bible? Is there any better source of common sense out there? Will you not stray from this True source of common sense?
Worship God: Okay, so I'm starting to realize not everyone that reads this blog has the same tastes in music that I do. :) I honestly have a very wide range of tastes - most all of it in the Christian realm. On occasion I'll post up a Christian rock song like this one from Switchfoot called "Dare You to Move," which I referenced above.
Are you moving with God? Click here - I dare you to move!
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!