Monday, January 13, 2014

Joy and Strength

I love it when God brings a certain theme into my life.  This morning I was reading Nehemiah Chapter 8.  In this passage Ezra was reading to the people from the law of Moses and as he read (all day!) the people began to mourn and weep when they realized they had not been obedient.

Then Nehemiah said (vs. 10) "Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord.  Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

Strength.  How I need and want that.

I love that Nehemiah called the people to celebration of God's goodness.  And he called them to share with those who had nothing.  And he called them to find strength in joy.

This afternoon I went to the Operation Christmas Child volunteer website to read the latest devotional there.  Interestingly, the devotional theme was the same verse: Nehemiah 8:10.

God is calling me anew to learn to rejoice throughout my day and find strength in that joy.  Even as I grieve over my sin, my leadership shortcomings, or my unmet goals, I can rejoice that Jesus' blood covers all those failures.

Operation Christmas Child gives us a chance to share with those who have nothing and to find the joy of the Lord in that.  And in that joy we will find the strength to do this again in 2014.

New year.  New Joy.  New Strength.

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