Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Obedience To God Brings Joy

Good Morning: Some days are better than others. This is one of those days when I probably should have stayed in bed. I’m angry and snapping at everyone and I don’t understand why. Being a male, I compartmentalize feelings. This is both a God created strength so that I can function, but it is also weakness because I now suffer from internal strife and confusion. So, I have to take some time to think through what’s triggering this selfish, childish behavior. Whenever I stray from the path of righteousness, I desperately need the Holy Spirit to stop me from causing harm to others. Today’s Bible study passage only proves to me that I am a frail human who has great difficulty obeying what I know is God’s revealed will for my life. I am so glad that He loves me and that He understands my failures. I also know that He will not leave me in this state, and that He will encourage me to live in obedience to His Word.

Bible Study, Nehemiah 8:13-18
What is the main point? The reading of God’s Word continued to bring about behavioral changes in the Children of Israel. As they examined His Word, they concluded that it was time for the annual festival of Succoth (Booths), which God commanded to commemorate the fact that God sustained the Children of Israel as they wandered through the desert for forty years.
What does God reveal about Himself? He blessed His people with joy as they obeyed His Word. He does this for anyone today.
What insights into my life? I witnessed a very similar thing happen Saturday evening as I taught our community outreach about Passover and took the people through a Seder service. As we praised the Lord, many saw how God used this ancient meal with all its symbols to point the way to Jesus. The joyous celebration touched the hearts of every participant. Remembering this is helping me know that Jesus still wants to use me, and that is encouraging. I would have fired me long ago. I wonder just how does one get fired from a volunteer job?
How can I honor God with this information? Obedient behavior results from hearing, embracing, and trusting God’s Holy Word. This generates true faith. I want to resemble His life. I must let His Word penetrate. His words of life can and do calm me. Once I submit to His way, then His life can radiate from me.
Where is God working today? These passed few days have drained me physically, emotionally, and mentally. I have new customers visiting today. I need His strength to make it through this day. Obedience to His Word brings His joy. The joy of the Lord brings strength. I pray that I live and work obediently to what I know to be His truth. Hopefully, I won’t harm anyone as God takes me through this growth process.

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