From My Devotion - 2/8/12a
Nehemiah and the people are of one mind and spirit. It’s been a long, hard-fought road. Most of the roads worth traveling are hard-fought. Finally the people had gathered together, and they were ready to receive the law. Ezra the priest comes out to a place of promimence, and he begins to read the ancient scrolls. Here’s where things get good: the people rejoiced.
According to the scripture, they people started having CHURCH. They shouted “amen,” they lifted their hands, and they bowed down to God in reverence. Who said the church in Acts 2 were the first pentecostals! When we truly see God for who He is and when we receive His word, this seems like a natural response. It seems like the intention of God as expressed by Christ in John 4. The people in Jerusalem were worshipping in Spirit and Truth. I love this biblical model. (verse 8:8)
We also see that the priest taught the people “verse by verse.” The best preaching is verse by verse! Again, we see such a beautiful response. Not only did the people hear the Word, they immediately began to respond in obedience. They put aside their comfort and convenience and sought desperately after the Lord. There is freedom in this level of sacrifice.
The leaders were drawn in to study the word on a deeper level. “God, may this always be true of my ministry. I pray that I don’t just focus on gimmicks and incentives. Lord, let me press in with my leaders to study your scripture more carefully.”
When you reflect on the law, you respond to the victories in the past. For the children of Israel, a constant reference point is their exodus from Egypt. In the new covenant, ours is the Cross.