Monday, June 28, 2010


When we drift away from loving, reading, and obeying God’s Word, we lose God’s blessing.

Psa. 1:2-3 (NIV) His delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

If we want to be productive and produce the life of Christ and the fruit of the Spirit, then we must delight in God’s Word.


The Bible doesn’t automatically change someone or circumstances just because we read it or recite it. It must be “understood” before it can enter the heart and release its transforming power.

Jesus points out the significance of “understanding God’s Word” in Matthew 13 with the “parable of the soils”. We can choose to be more responsive to God’s Word. Ask yourself, “Will I be the Roadside Soil that forgets God’s Word? Or Will I be the Rocky Soil that gets emotional about God’s Word but then I lose my motivation when I don’t feel emotional about it? Or Will I be the Weedy Soil which allows the things of the world to choke out the effectiveness of God’s Word in my life? Or Will I be the Good Soil that takes God’s Word to heart and applies it to my life, and it produces great things in my life?”

When Ezra read and explained God’s Word, the people’s first response was one of “conviction and grief”. They mourned over their sins and observed “The Day of Atonement” and how God had dealt with their sins. The “Feast of Tabernacles” followed “The Day of Atonement”, giving the people an entire week of happy celebration. And so they rejoiced in God’s Law.

The secret of Christian joy is to believe what God says in His Word and act on it. Joy that’s not the result of faith in God’s Word is not joy at all; it’s only a good feeling that soon disappears. Live by obedience in God’s Word and God gives you a joy that the world can’t give. Your emotions will be trained by your obedience to His truth.

Psa. 119:162 (NLT) I rejoice in your word like one who finds a great treasure.
Psa. 112:1 (NIV) Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands.

When we obey what the Lord says and serve Him because we “rejoice in Him”, then our serving will be a delight to us and not a drudgery. To the believer without joy, the will of God is grueling, but to the believer who is happy in the Lord, the will of God is nourishment. John 4:34 (NIV) “My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”

Obey God’s Word enthusiastically.
Psa. 100:2 (GW) Serve the LORD cheerfully. Come into his presence with a joyful song.
Rom. 12:11 (NLT) Serve the Lord enthusiastically.

Take delight in following His instructions. Enjoy God. The Holy Spirit uses God’s Word to cleanse and revive the hearts of God’s people. Respond positively to God’s Word, and God will work in you and through you for His glory and your good.

Monday, June 14, 2010


No, I’m not thinking about food… well… yes I am, but that’s not what I want to talk about here. When I say “Dig In” I’m using those words in a military way – “to dig trenches in order to defend a position in battle.”

The Bible says in Ephesians 6:13 (NIV) … after you have done everything, to stand. After Nehemiah and the people had completed rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem, they had to be steadfast in consolidating and conserving what they had gained, and strengthen their community. God had great things in store for Jerusalem. One day His Son would walk the city streets, teach in the temple, and die outside the city walls. God would fulfill His purpose.

1 John 8 (NAS) Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.

To live the life the God wants us to live and to do the work He wants us to do, we must do what we can to “guard” what has been accomplished for the Lord. Dig in.


- The leader develops the leadership.
Nehemiah chose the leaders. He figured out who would be best for the tasks. Paul told Titus in Titus 1:5, 2:15 (Mes) I left you in charge in Crete so you could complete what I left half-done. Appoint leaders in every town according to my instructions. … Tell them all this. Build up their courage, and discipline them if they get out of line. You're in charge. Don't let anyone put you down.

- Help them get the job done right.
God is looking for faithful, God-honoring people who will have the courage and conviction to obey Him and serve Him, come what may.


Nehemiah wanted to populate Jerusalem with citizens who knew they were Jews and were committed to who they were. Deepen community and fellowship with those believers who are committed to following Jesus. They’re sincere. They mean business with God. They’re willing to sacrifice. Nehemiah and the people laid their lives on the line and risked everything to obey the Lord and restore the Jewish nation. Romans 12:1 (NIV) …offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship.


- God works through ordinary people to get His work done.

- What’s been torn down can be rebuilt.
If you think the Enemy’s victory is final in your life, then you’ve forgotten God’s promises. There is always a new beginning for those who are willing to take the risky steps of faith and pay the price.

- God keeps accounts of His servants.
Romans 14:7, 12 (NIV) For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. When we stand before the Lord one day, we will each give an account of our lives before we can receive our rewards.

- The Lord is able to keep His work going.
The 1st group of Jewish exiles came and rebuilt the temple and restored worship in spite of difficulties and delays. 80 years later Ezra led another group who continued the building. 14 years after that, Nehemiah led another group to rebuild the walls and gates.

No matter how discouraging the circumstances may be, God is able to accomplish His plans in your life and through your life if you will trust Him and do what He says. When the circumstances are discouraging we need not be. God is at work fulfilling His purpose in your life and He will be faithful to finish it.

Monday, June 7, 2010


When you’re moving forward for the Lord, the Enemy will try to stop you. He doesn’t want to see the work of the Lord progress. Opposition from the enemy not only shows evidence that God is leading and blessing, but it is also an opportunity to grow. Satan wants to use problems as weapons to defeat and destroy what God is doing, but God uses them as tools to build us up.

One of the tactics of the enemy is to “insult” the servants of God. Goliath ridiculed David. Jesus was mocked by the soldiers during His trial. The heroes of faith had to endure mocking. Heb. 11:36 (NLT) Some were mocked, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in dungeons.

When Nehemiah was rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem he prayed and asked God to fight the enemy for him. He didn’t allow himself to get detoured from his work by taking time to reply to their words.

The words people say may “hurt” us, but they can never “harm” us, unless we let them get into our system and poison us. If you spend time dwelling on the Enemy’s words, you give Satan a foothold from which he can launch another attack closer to home. Anything that keeps you from doing what God wants you to do helps Satan.

The enemies of Nehemiah completely surrounded the city of Jerusalem. What do you do when your enemies intimidate you?

As believers our battle is not against people, but against Satan and his demonic forces. He uses people to oppose the Lord’s work, but the real war is spiritual. Suit up with the spiritual armor of God. Eph. 6:10-11 Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. Take your thoughts captive to be obedient to Christ. 2 Cor. 10:5 (NCV) We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ. If you focus only on the “visible” enemy and forget the “invisible” Enemy, you will begin trusting in your own resources and that will lead to defeat.

Pressures from the outside can create problems on the inside. If you become discouraged, you defeat yourself. Discouragement is a key weapon in Satan’s arsenal. When your commitment to anything else or anyone else is stronger than your commitment to the Lord, you will get discouraged. James 1:6-8 (NIV) He who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. A double-minded person is unbelieving, not really trusting in the Lord, and consequently he will be unstable.

If you take time away from serving the Lord, doing what He’s called you to do, to listen to everybody who wants to complain and bend your ear – you will never get anything done for the Lord.

The Jews in the outlying villages kept bringing reports that the enemy was planning a surprise attack on Nehemiah and his people. How do you deal with the tactic of fear?

When a situation creates fear in your heart, remind yourself of the “greatness of God.” If we view God from the perspective of our problems, we will fail. If we view our problems from the perspective of the greatness of God, we will have confidence and succeed. 1 Cor. 15:58 (Amp) Therefore, … be firm (steadfast), immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord [always excelling, doing more than enough in the service of the Lord.]