Today’s Scripture: Nehemiah 11-13
“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.” – John 13:13
Back in Nehemiah 9:38, we find a group of people who made a binding agreement and put in writing their intention to keep the Law of the Lord. They had searched God’s Law to find out what it taught, then searched their own hearts to discover where they were falling short. After listing a number of things that were examples of their failures, they put in writing exactly what they were going to do about it.
Written applications should be part of every Bible study. As we see where we fall short or receive a new challenge in following the Lord, we should write down what we plan to do about it. But that’s not enough. In Nehemiah 13, we see that the people got off to a great start by putting their intentions in writing, but stumbled in putting them into practice.
When Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem after being gone for awhile, he discovered the people had broken every promise they had made. They were giving their sons and daughters in marriage to the pagans around them; they were conducting business on the Sabbath; they had failed to give their tithes and offerings to the house of God; and they were not maintaining regular worship.
You know, sin dies hard. It can rear its ugly head at the most unexpected times and in the most unexpected places. It begins with little sparks that seem so insignificant, and then the fire grows quickly out of control before we realize it. If we’re to make progress in the Christian life, we must deal with sin quickly and forcefully. When we study the Word, we are challenged and encouraged. But we make progress by application and obedience.
Lord, as I read Your Word and learn Your will, help me turn my good intentions into obedience. Amen.
What good intention have you been meaning to carry out?