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Feb 28, 2016
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The Cultivate Challenge – Rejoice Sunday
In Nehemiah 8, the people are gathering to hear “what’s next”. They had returned from Babylonian exile and have rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem. As Ezra reads from the Book of the Law, the people are wailing because:
1. They had been away for 70 years
2. God’s grace brought them home
3. They are remembering and grieving the sins of their fathers
Nehemiah tells the people that they are to stop mourning, for this is a Holy day to the Lord your God. Eat, drink, and be generous. Verse 12 is the pivot point…”BECAUSE they had understood the words that were declared to them.” They understood who God is, and that this day is the Day of the Lord. When we see this, then “the joy of the Lord is my strength.”
Who is He?
1 Chron 16:27 says, “Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place.” His place is His presence.
-Creator of your life. He made you.
-Sustainer of your life
-Emmanuel – the present One
-Faithful – even when we are not
-Redeemer – Savior and Lord
-Pursuer of your soul
-Regenerator of your soul – you were dead but are now alive
-Adopter – We were all orphans in need of a Father
-Sanctifier – who helps you grow in your holiness
-Baptizer – and filler of the Holy Spirit
-Glorifier of your life when you need a new body
Who He is becomes your identity! He is the immutable unchanging One. He doesn’t need to because “you don’t change perfection”! Psalm 16:11
This Holy Day
This is the day that the LORD has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it. We don’t know what tomorrow brings. Nehemiah reminds the people that all we are guaranteed is today. Live well…today!
Cultivate Challenge
609 families have pledged 5.6 million! We are well on our way, but have work to do. Of the 1984 families that have not yet made a pledge, consider this… If every one of those families gave $58/month for the next 3 years, then we could build the Student Discipleship Center totally with cash!
To discuss today
1. What would your life look like if you woke up remembering who God is and that today is a holy day?
2. Think about all the things that have changed in your lifetime. List them out. Now consider how much joy you can have in knowing that He never changes. How does that bring joy?
3. What is something different you will do this week knowing that you have 960 minutes each day to love God back and love people well?
4. Have you committed to the Cultivate Challenge? You still can here.
Father, you are awesome, awesome, awesome. Forgive me for the times that I take my eyes off of you. I know that in You, I find joy. Thank you for this day. This Holy day. I choose to live my life differently remembering that each day is a gift. Knowing that You are unchanging brings me great comfort. Thank you for reminding me of that today.