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11-20-10 HighQuest Nehemiah 9:16-25

November 22, 2010

The passage I read was Nehemiah 9:16-25
You can find that passage here:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Nehemiah%209:16-25&version=NIV

My summary of the passage is this:
Nehemiah speaks of the “stiff-necked” people (the Israelites that refused to follow God and kept turning from his commands to worship others). He says they forgot miracles, refused to listen, rebelled, but that God is forgiving, gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in love. Because of this, the Lord gave them great love and took care of them anyway giving them kingdoms and nations and countries. Verse 25 says, “They captured fortified cities and fertile land; they took possession of houses filled with all kinds of good things, wells already dug, vineyards, olive groves and fruit trees in abundance. They ate to the full and were well-nourished; they reveled in your great goodness.

As I reflect:
I am all that I am because of God’s great love for me. In comparing the great change in all of my characteristics, friends, connections, material possessions, emotional and spiritual growths and breakthroughs to those of the past, I can think of nowhere else for the glory to go but God. He is completely responsible for molding me in every way. I (like the Israelites) didn’t earn any of the abundant blessings the Lord has poured out in my life. I’d like to think I haven’t made a golden cow and had sex with it or worshiped it like the Israelites in the desert, but still, I know I have defiled his creation in despicable ways in my past and that I still occasionally fall into some of Satan’s traps. Don’t hate…They aren’t all as obvious as one might expect. Lol. Anyhow, I don’t have to feel guilt or fear of retaliation from God for those things. Because I, like the Israelites children, am inheriting His blessings not because of my merit, but rather because I chose to fall on the mercy and merit of One whose sandals I am not fit to carry. I am not chosen to be a child of God because I am qualified to serve this glorious Master. I am a child of God because this glorious Master purchased me and chose to qualify me for His will. Just as He alone is to be glorified for all that He did through the Israelites throughout history, He is to be glorified in and through me as well.

Even when I fail and when I fall flat on my face, there is glory to be had that God will pick me back up. Even when the Israelites fell into sin and turned away from God, He was glorified in that after a period of accountability for their sin God was always willing to rebuild them bigger and stronger for His glory. He would let other nations see it too. It’s almost as if He’d wait and watch Israel headed into complete sin and turning away from Him like a train wreck, just so that He could show all of the other nations after there was nothing left and Israel was totally smite and left to rubble, that God could not only rebuild this fallen people, but He’d make em bigger and better each time. (I know this isn’t quite the way it worked….I mean He always gave them ample warning). It seems this way in my life as well. I thought I was “the stuff” in my youth. I was wrong. I thought I was the epitome of cool when I had my leather jacket and muscle car and combat boots stage. I was a moron. I thought I was all big and bad as a gangsta. Pathetic is more like it. A martial artist, a drug addict, and the many stages of my spiral of what I though in my lost mind was greatness all lead me to being broken down for a rebuild. And God allowed me to fall into the accountability for my sins. I ended up homeless and trying to make the best of that as I pondered on the mysteries of the world as a (ya ready for this?….) “philosopher”. LOL. Wow right! Even at rock bottom I wasn’t ready to submit to the authority of God. But when family was ripped away from me; when I had no one left to share philosophy with; when I realized my physical, emotional, and spiritual condition; when I finally pondered on what was left in my life that was real, that’s when I knew I needed God. And I can look back and say that He honestly rebuilt me better than I had ever been, for all that is good in my life has come from Him and exist to glorify Him. All that I relied on in me is gone. Now Christ is the center, and like Israel, if I will keep Him in the center, then and only then may my weakness become a strength.

My response to the Lord:
Lord, you are worthy of all of the glory and honor forever. You are worthy of more than I give even now. May you take all of me and always use me to your glory Father. I know because I have read and believed in your word that Israel many times turned away from you. I know that you warned them through many prophets that you sent throughout history and that they usually ignored the warnings and were broken down to be rebuilt as a result. Father, let me not ever turn away from you. May I never break your heart or cause you to break me for a rebuild. Please continue the work you began and mold me into the very thing that gives purpose to my creation. May I never turn to other gods. May I not be lead astray by the world and their lust to put things before you. God, I am wholly yours. May I always revel in your great goodness. In Jesus Name

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