• Russ Jones


Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Sorry for the delay. I suspect that your life is just a confusing as mine right now. Betty and I have been moving the church offices and her business to our house. I can't decide if I am living in a home or a storage unit right now. Normal is being redefined for all of us.

God dropped Nehemiah 8:10 into my heart the other day, and I wanted to share this with you. The city of Jerusalem has been in ruins for decades. Life there was one of survival. They were living at the mercy of the cruel neighbors while eeking out a meager existence.

God calls Nehemiah to go and lead the people to rebuild the walls. Walls not only provided personal security from the cruel neighbors, but it also provided economic security (business could be done safely).

There were many obstacles to overcome, but Nehemiah believed that God had called him to the task.

As we face Covid-19 together, one might compare the Jew's cruel neighbors to the virus. The economic devastation to the stock market. The overall depression all of us face together. Nope, not very joyful.

In Chapter 7, the walls are finished. But Nehemiah knew that everything hadn't been repaired. While they would be happy about their walls, he knew it would be short-lived unless they discovered real joy.

So Nehemiah orders the priests to read the Law of Moses and explain it to the people. Their response was overwhelming, with no finger-pointing or blaming. They didn't use situational ethics to excuse themselves.

So, where can you find joy? Read God's Word. It will inspire you and bring you closer to God.

Let it change you. Forget about "feeling better." Set your sights higher. Go for joy!

Humble yourself. As my favorite author, Mark Batterson, likes to say, "Pray like everything depends on God and work as if everything depends on you."

Nehemiah knew the people were headed in the right direction. He knew that joy was in their future, and He could tell them with confidence. Joy would be a source of strength.

PRAY: Dear Jesus, let your Word come into my heart, and may my heart respond with total submission to your will. Only then do I realize that joy will be my strength. AMEN.

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Russ Jones - Palm City - Florida - United States

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