September 10

Nehemiah 12:44, 46-47 (NIV) 44At that time men were appointed to be in charge of the storerooms for the contributions, firstfruits and tithes. From the fields around the towns they were to bring into the storerooms the portions required by the Law for the priests and the Levites, for Judah was pleased with the ministering priests and Levites... 46For long ago, in the days of David and Asaph, there had been directors for the singers and for the songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. 47So in the days of Zerubbabel and of Nehemiah, all Israel contributed the daily portions for the singers and gatekeepers. They also set aside the portion for the other Levites, and the Levites set aside the portion for the descendants of Aaron.

The wall was finished and the people had made an oath to be faithful to God. Now was the time to rejoice. They took a break during their repentance to celebrate the feast of booths, remembering what God had done. Now, after hearing the Law read and making an oath to keep it, they were celebrating God's current mercy and favor. We need to remember God's favor shown us in the past as well as His present mercy and goodness.

The leaders of Judah and two large choirs marched around the top of the walls of Jerusalem going in opposite directions, singing praise and thanksgiving to God. They celebrated joyfully. Our services of worship should include these times of joyful worship for present victories.

The people were pleased with the ministry of the priests and Levites, so they brought their firstfruits and tithes. When houses of worship minister according to the Word of the Lord, there should be sufficient offerings without coaxing the people to give.

Everyone was in their assigned place of service as God had intended. Directors of music and the singers, the gatekeepers and Levites who took care of the House of God, all received a portion from the tithes so that they could focus on ministering to the LORD. We think of ministry to the people, but we forget about ministry to the LORD. In our present day, this is being revived in places as songs of praise and worship are sung around the clock.

Consider: What is your ministry to the LORD? How can we see that ministry to the Lord continues?

September 10

2 Corinthians 5:7-8, 10 (NIV) 7We live by faith, not by sight. 8We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Paul was so confident of what awaited him that his daily life was focused on the unseen. He would rather have left his body behind and gone to the presence of the glorified Christ than to have remained on this earth. His daily decisions, his goals and dreams, and even his thought life were all fixed on the unseen. He lived by faith.

Why was he so fixated on what was to come, on the unseen world? He knew that every soul would have to stand before the judgment seat. Many Christians do not understand that there will be a review of their lives along with the rest of the world. The difference is that when our lives are reviewed, the sin that is covered by the blood of Christ will not come up. It is washed away. Yet, what we have done with this life will be the basis of what we receive. What we did with Christ will determine our eternal dwelling place. What we did with His life in us will determine what is due us. God keeps books. Every good work is of His Spirit, and yet, He rewards us for our cooperation.

Paul had such a treasure waiting for him that he was willing to go at anytime. He was glad to stay and continue to invest in eternity but more desirous to leave and be with Jesus.

Consider: Are you living by faith or by sight? What are your decisions, goals, dreams, and even your thoughts based on? Is it the things you can see or the eternal unseen world? Have you so invested your life that you long to go and be where your treasure is?