Welcome to Day One of our study! I’m so glad you are joining me. I’m praying that this study changes our hearts and gives us a deeper understanding of how God loves us.
Let’s jump right in!
2 Corinthians 5:17-19 NIV says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”
The process of reconciliation begins at salvation. Salvation is defined as the act of saving someone from sin. The truth is we are a sinful people created by a sinless God. He couldn’t be near sin, but desperately wanted to be close to us. God loved each of us so much that He couldn’t stand being parted from us by sin. He created you for companionship with himself. Companionship is the good feeling that comes from being with someone else. Isn’t that precious? He wanted an object of His affection, and darling, it was you. I love the book of Nehemiah because it is a beautiful picture of restoration and hope. Nehemiah is called by God to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. A wall is symbolic of salvation, and as I read Nehemiah it is so clear that it is about so much more than a physical wall. Nehemiah rebuilds the wall, and then sets out to encourage and rebuild the people of Israel. Nehemiah 9 is one of my favorite parts of the story because it talks about the continuous rebellion of God’s people. It’s so relatable to my life, and if I had to guess, I’d say it’s relatable to yours as well.
Read Nehemiah 9:17-19 NIV Below.
“They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them, even when they cast for themselves an image of a calf and said, ‘This is your god, who brought you up out of Egypt,’ or when they committed awful blasphemies. Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the wilderness. By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take.“
We have continuously turned back to slavery.. We have been stiff-necked and rebellious… We have worshiped idol after idol without a thought about the God that will forever be thinking about us. Maybe you grew up in church and you’ve always done the church thing, maybe you know about God but you stay away from church because you’ve done too much and those church people wouldn’t understand, or maybe you haven’t heard of Him at all, but the theme is the same… we are all a stiff-necked, rebellious people. We set up idols (figuratively) and we worship other gods.. We worship the god of pride, the god of fear, the god of money, the god of self-gratification, the god of addiction, the god of bitterness… the list goes on and on.
You may have seen his miracles. Like the children of Israel, He may have performed miracle after miracle for you, but when it comes down to it, it’s easier to walk in the slavery that you’re familiar with, then to step out into the freedom that is unknown.
The Israelites wanted to go back to Egypt the moment they were uncomfortable. They couldn’t see the promised land; it seemed far away and vague. They knew what to expect in Egypt. Sure, they would be enslaved, but they would have familiarities and they thought that is what they needed. The reality was that the promised land may have been unknown territory, but it was the place of freedom, freedom that they had been needing for far too long. God constantly protected and pursued his people during their journey from slavery to freedom, and he will constantly protect and pursue you in your journey as well.
Because of His great love, you can come back to your first love, or meet your first love for the first time. I don’t know your background, I have no idea where you’ve been or what you’ve done, but I do know that you are not alone. I stand beside you and declare that I am a stiff-necked, rebellious person in need of a forgiving, compassionate Savior. I want to pose the question, Have you met Jesus? Not religion.. Not a mentality of right and wrong.. Not a system… but have you truly met the person of Jesus? It changes everything. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal if you
have been saved by the blood of Jesus. If you have been, then take some time today to thank God for the gift of salvation and ask him to constantly remind you of his love towards you. If you haven’t, then I invite you to meet him… Because salvation is simple.. salvation is free.. salvation is Jesus. Talk to him. Confess that you are a stiff-necked, rebellious sinner and you’re desperately in need of a Savior. Repent of your sins and tell him that you believe in the finished work of the cross of Jesus Christ and then accept the free gift
of salvation. Invite him to come into your heart and change everything.. Because rebellion is okay for a little while, until you end up broken, bruised, and empty, but freedom in Jesus is more than enough for forever.
Thoughts to ponder for today:
What does Nehemiah 9:17-19 say about us?
What does Nehemiah 9:17-19 say about God?
*Leave a comment below sharing your thoughts on Nehemiah 9:17-19. I’d love to hear from you. Until tomorrow…