I had the leaders of Judah go up on top of the wall. I also assigned two large choirs to give thanks. One was to proceed on top of the wall to the right, toward the Dung Gate. Nehemiah 12:31
When something great happens, there is usually some type of celebration. People are excited when a great thing is accomplished or finished. At the point of finishing building a large building, there is usually a grand ceremony celebrating its completion.
People are always excited to see something finished. One of the ways that people celebrate things is with music. If something is large enough, bands or singers may be brought in for the celebration. Music is one thing that will bring a lot of people together. Very few people do not like to listen to music, though the types of music listened to may vary a lot.
As the people had finished re-building the walls around Jerusalem, they were excited. Nehemiah had two choirs put together for the celebration. They were to sings songs of thanks and praise to God. They were grateful for God’s great mercy, protection and provision in re-building the wall. It had taken a lot of work with a lot of pressure to stop and give up building the wall.
In the life of every believer there will be times when something has to be done that will take a lot of work and time. There will be a lot of pressure to give up. People may not want it to happen.
But if it is what God wants done, one should not give up. One should do what God wants done and not quit until it is done. However, once it is done, one must give God thanks. This can be done with words or with music and words. It is the first thing to be done in celebrating the completion of some great project or any project. Giving God thanks for what He allowed to be done.
You may be in some great project for God or it may be a small one. Either way it takes God’s favor and provision to accomplish it. Trust in Him as you do the work. And when you are finished, give Him thanks and praise in song for using you and giving you provision and strength to complete the task. Sing a new song of praise and thanks to God.
I pray today that you will give thanks to God for all things; that you will give God credit for work He allowed you to do; that you will know God’s power and provision in your life; and that God will do great things through you.
The LORD said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD’s Festival of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work.” Leviticus 23:34-35
Celebrations is something that people do all over the world. There are hundreds, even thousands of different reasons to celebrate. These can be from someone’s birthday all the way up to world events being celebrated.
As a celebration is going on, people are excited and happy. They rejoice over something that had happened in the past as they remember what occurred, the reason for the celebration. Their focus is on the previous event. For many different types of celebrations there is a day of no work, it gives rest from the work day and allows a person to focus on the celebration.
While the Israelites were in the wilderness, God set up a regular, annual celebration to be done. It was called the Festival of Tabernacles. This celebration was to remember that they had traveled around the wilderness for forty years in tents. At the end of that time, God brought them out of the tents and gave them their own towns and homes. During this celebration, no work was to be done, the entire focus was upon celebrating what God has done.
Today Israelites still celebrate that festival, only it is now called Sukkot.
Although Christian believers do not celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles, they can celebrate where God has taken them from. Every believer lived in captivity of Egypt at some point in their life. As they were removed from Egypt, they may have gone through a wilderness for a time. Today they can celebrate what God has brought them through.
Every believer needs to stop working and remember what God has done in his life. They are to give God praise and celebrate God’s great work in their lives.
Take a moment to remember where God has brought you from. Think about what God has brought you through. Think about how God has provided for you.
Now take time to celebrate these things. If you can remember the day or even the month these things occurred, set those days aside to celebrate and remember as you give God thanks.
Do not let these events just become some event that happened in the past with no purpose. Celebrate God’s work!
I pray today that you will see what God has done in your life; that you will give God praise for what He has done for you; that you will praise God for His provision over the years of your life; and that you will regularly celebrate God’s work in your life.
He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’ ” Matthew 26:18
Jesus had already predicted His death. As the time for it was drawing closer, the time for the Passover was also arriving. He had determined to celebrate the Passover with the disciples, despite the extreme torture and death He was about to go through immediately afterwards.
Often in life people do not really know what is next in their life. Things come up in their life unexpectedly. One area that does come up unexpectedly, but then becomes a known thing is disease that will lead to death.
Cancer hits a lot of people. At the beginning of it there is a hope of healing and recovery. When the cancer hits stage four, most people lose all hope and are just waiting for death to occur.
At that level, most people give up on life. They shut down and just wait for the unwanted event to occur. All they see is the death that will occur and they no longer live in the joy of the life they still have.
Jesus knew that an extremely painful death was coming for Him. But He also knew that after that time of persecution and death, there would be eternal life. He knew that His death would also bring about life for many. So He continued forward with what needed to be done.
Believers have something to look forward too, even in death. They can look forward to eternal life. Until that death occurs, every believer has a work to do on this earth. There are always more people to be a witness too. There is always the ability to praise and worship God.
You may or may not be going through a life threatening sickness. You may or may not be facing death directly. However, there may be some other large disastrous event you are facing in your life.
If this is the case, do not shut down in fear or despair. Keep going forward worshipping and serving God with all of your life. God is with you and will give you the needed strength to do what needs to be done. Look forward to the hope you have once you are through the situation in this life.
I pray today that you will know the hope you have in Jesus; that you will know the joy you can have in God; that you will always move forward in God; and that you will do the work God has for you to do.
Kayla Ann has written a guest post for my blog. Many people have dreams, and she writes about a couple that had a dream that God placed on their hearts and how it had blossomed over the years. I trust you will enjoy this post as well as I have and that you will also check out her blog afterwards. Thank you for reading.
What’s your dream?
On October 22, 2017, Sandals Church celebrated their 20th anniversary in the Inland Empire.
In 1997, Pastor Matthew Brown and his wife, Tammy Brown, began a new church named Sandals with a little girl on the way. They had decided to leave their church down by the beach in order to start a new church in the Inland Empire because they believed that was were God called them to go.
They had little support from the surrounding churches and Tammy worked full-time as a teacher in order to support her husband who was fully invested in planning and preaching sermons. Their first church meeting took place in the living room of their home with only a handful of friends present.
However, both Matt and Tammy felt that this was what God was telling them to do and so they held on to their faith and over time, their congregation grew. Pastor Greg Laurie was one of the first pastors to congratulate Matt and Tammy once their congregation reached 100 people.
Over the years, Sandals church as gone from meeting in the small living room of a home, to renting out spaces at other churches or colleges, to finally being able to purchase their own building a few years back which houses 4,000. Today, Pastor Matt and Tammy celebrated 20 years of hard work and wonderful results with the church. Sandals has grown to encompass five different locations within the Inland Empire.
After service, members were encouraged to leave behind a note in response to the following question:
On this anniversary, Pastor Matt Brown talked about “How to Make Your Dreams Come True”
“The key to any dream is not just seeing where you want to go, but being honest about where you are. The bigger the dream the bigger the team.” – Pastor Matt Brown
Make sure the dream comes from God
God’s dream for your life takes honesty with yourself
God Dreams take teams
Never Give up on God’s Dream for your life
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
“Don’t copy the behavior and the customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” – Romans 12:2 NLT
Pastor Matt’s dream for Sandals church has been realized with God’s help and the church’s faith.
Written by Kayla Ann
You can check out Kayla’s blog at: Kayla Ann Author
You can check out the Sandals Church website at: Sandals Church