Tuesday, August 31, 2010


When Nehemiah and the people of Israel had finished building the walls around Jerusalem, they had a worship service. They gave praise to God. Nehemiah and Ezra assigned people to be “worshippers” on the walls. They worshipped with such enthusiasm that their shouts and songs were heard from very far away.

Worship is something we give to God. Praise is an offering to God. The Bible calls it a “sacrifice of praise.” Heb. 13:15 says, Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that confess his name.


Give it joyfully
Nehemiah and the people placed the emphasis on “joyful praise.” Singing is mentioned 8 times in chapter 12, Thanksgiving 6 times, Rejoicing 7 times, and Musical Instruments 3 times. The most important part of this dedication service was not the marching around the walls; it was the “joyful praise” that came from the people. They offered their praise thankfully, joyfully, and loudly. It was accompanied by various instruments. It was not a time for muted, meditative worship. It was a time for praising the Lord with great enthusiasm.

Psa. 100:1 (NAS) Shout joyfully to the LORD,
Psa. 33:1 Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.

Give it sacrificially
In their worship service Nehemiah and the people offered sacrifices to the Lord, even though their enemies were still around.

There are times in your life when you’re going through a difficult time. You’re in the middle of a family crisis or financial struggle. And yet you choose to give praise to the Lord. That’s a “sacrifice of praise” to the Lord, because you’re praising Him anyway.

Give up territorial rights
It’s not about us; it’s about God’s glory.

When the people of Israel walked around the walls they had the opportunity to see the results of their labor and to realize that the work had not been done by one person. Various people and families had labored on different parts of the wall, but no one “owned” the part he or she worked on. The wall belonged to God.

We can expect serious problems after we build a building if individuals or groups in the church start claiming “territorial rights.” Just go ahead and pass the word, no one will be able to claim their space for themselves alone. Nothing anyone does or gives earns them the right to claim and control some area of the building. It all belongs to God and must be used for His glory. It is given to Him for His use and glory. In light of His ownership we will be flexible with our space for God’s glory and everyone must be willing to give up territorial rights.

Let’s carry the truth forward into our future to continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise.

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