Jesus, Me, and Nehemiah- It’s a Heart Thing!
I have been here in our camper for the last four days.
Just me…ALONE, me and Jesus that is. And we have been working. Yesterday I began reading a PDF book I received in my Ultimate Homemaking Bundle a few months back. The title is Revival by Christi Gee. She walks you through portions of the book of Nehemiah where Israel is transformed. One of her thoughts really struck me and got me thinking…
Christi Says about Nehemiah 8 & 9:
Israel went through a process to experience confession and repentance. In that process the Israelites spent THREE HOURS listening to the law being read and the history of Israel’s failures and sins by Ezra and that brought them to their knees crying out, confessing to their God for repentance for ANOTHER THREE HOURS! (paraphrased from Revival)
It took Israel concentrated and extended time in God’s Word to experience growth and yet in today’s American churches we complain, moan and groan if the pastor goes over his “allotted” 30 minutes by 15. I have even read discussions from pastors on reducing preaching to 15 min total. We as Americans have lost sight as to why we NEED church (Church is for the teaching of believers. Instruction in how to live the Christian life and encouragement to keep fighting the hard Battle for Jesus!). It’s become a deed we check off our “good Christian checklist” so we can get on with our week.
There are People groups in this world who “count it all joy” to be taught God’s word for hours at a time, there are even churches (though they are few and far between) in this country that still sit and listen to their pastor teach from God’s word for an hour or more. We sit in churches week after week and we say to ourselves “I’m so thankful we live in a Christian nation,” when in reality we lie to ourselves, not only about being a Christian Nation BUT being in a Christian Church. Let’s be honest with ourselves. Churches today look more like social gatherings than sitting at the feet of our teachers soaking up truth because we need it to thrive in our daily walk as believers of Jesus. It was their fuel that kept them motivated to keep walking forward rather than running and hiding in fear of persecution. Yes our country was founded on Christian principles, but our forefathers sat in church each week from about 9 in the morning til noon. They then took a break for lunch and came back for another 2-3 hours of teaching depending on the pastor and time of year. That is what a Christian nation was built on. That was the foundation that was laid.
(Did I mention that in many of those churches the people stood all of that time and others sat on hard wooden benches with no backs- thats dedication)