Show me the Joy!
Sermon shared by K. Edward "ed" Skidmore
Summary: Sermon #4 in the Nehemiah series from chapters 8-9 focus on how responding properly to the word of God brings us great joy.
Denomination: Christian/Church of Christ
Audience: Believer adults
About Sermon Contributor
#4 in the Nehemiah series: Nehemiah chapters 8-9
Show me the JOY!
CHCC: May 25, 2008
Nehemiah is not the best known book of the Bible by any means. One of the reasons weíre studying it right now is that itís one of the parts of the Bible I never preached from in the 36 years Iíve been in ministry. Iím enjoying the chance to take a look at this interesting bit of history Ö and getting to know what an admirable leader Nehemiah was.
The book Nehemiah wrote may not be that well-known, but it has one famous verse in itÖ and itís found in the chapters weíre going to look at this week Nehemiah 8:10 says this: The joy of the Lord is your strength.
No wonder that verse is popular. Who wouldnít want JOY? People try to find JOY in all kinds of ways. But if you want the kind of JOY that gives you STRENGTH, you can find it in only one place. According to Nehemiah chapter 8, the Joy of the Lord comes from hearing the Word of the Lord.
1. Hear Godís Word
When we get to chapter 8, the Jewish exiles had already built a new Temple in Jerusalem. The people who came out of their captivity in Babylon had already settled in their homes and started building a new economic system in the city. Now, thanks to Nehemiahís leadership, the walls of Jerusalem had been completely rebuilt.
But Nehemiah knew that the Holy City was not just made out of wood and bricks and stones. Jerusalem would never be the true ďHoly CityĒ until it was filled with Holy People. So Nehemiah called for Ezra the Priest, and hereís what they did:
On the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand.
Notice who came to this assembly to hear Godís word: both men and women --- all who were able to understand. In other words, anyone who was old enough to get the meaning of the words, they ALL came.
Thereís something wonderful that happens when we ALL congregate to hear Godís word together. Thatís one reason itís important that everyone in our church family makes it a habit to meet together regularly. This wasnít an easy thing for them to do. And itís not always that easy for any of us to get to church on time. It makes me so happy to see some of our older folks who make worship a priority. We see them every Sunday, rain or shine Ö whether their health is good or not Ö theyíre going to be in Godís house.
And I feel the same way when I see our young couples with kids at home. Itís not easy to get a house full of people up and ready for church every week. Sometimes I have trouble getting my SELF moving Ö and Iím the preacher! But have you noticed how much better you feel when you start your week with worship? When we ALL get together it increases everyoneís JOY.
Besides our Church Services, we have all kinds of opportunity to HEAR Godís word in our daily routines. Last week Susan and I rode to our Pueblo Group with George and Sandy. (They moved into our neighborhood about a year ago, so now weíre neighbors.) I noticed they had Christian music playing in the car. I was glad to know that they find it important to listen to Christian music. Perhaps they have learned, as we have, that it makes a huge difference what you expose your eyes and ears to.
Verse 3 goes on to say, He read it aloud
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