So I rebuked the officials and asked them, “Why is the house of God neglected?” Then I called them together and stationed them at their posts. Nehemiah 13:11
Living life gives a person many different choices to make. There are a thousand different things that need to be done on a regular basis. Life calls a person in a thousand different ways every day.
Choosing which thing to do is done by making priorities. Which thing is the most important to do and continuing down the list of priorities. Most people do not have a problem making a choice as to what they want to do first, however, what most people see as the highest priority is not always the highest, but on the lower end.
Nehemiah had went back to Jerusalem and found that many of the priests were neglecting their duties as priest. They had chosen to go back home to their own fields and work their fields, rather than do their duties in God’s house. God’s house was being neglected.
People are very quick to find time to work and earn money or to take some free time to play or watch a game. While working a job and providing an income for the family is important, it is not the most important thing to do. Relaxing while playing or watching a game can be a good thing, but, again, it is not the highest priority in life.
The first and highest priority has to deal with eternal matters, not just a temporary thing. While work and relaxing is good, they are temporary. God’s house is eternal.
There are two parts of God’s house, one’s own life and all believers together. Neither need to be neglected. One must make sure his own life is in line with God’s will. One must also strive to build others up in Christ in order to build God’s house larger.
Each and every day you must stop and take time to spend some time with God. Spend it in prayer, praise, worship, reading His word and listening to Him. This builds you up and allows God to guide you in what to do for the day, what your priorities should be.
Then spend time building others up, starting with family, then those closest to you, then every one else. There is always someone who needs to be built up in Jesus. Don’t neglect God’s house for a temporary fix. Go for the eternal.
I pray today that you will have a hunger to know God more; that you will allow God to guide your priorities in life; that you will never neglect God’s house for the temporary; and that God will use you to build His house larger.
I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. Romans 1:14
Paul talks about he is striving come and see the Romans. He wants to bring the gospel message to them in person. He then tells them that he has an obligation to everyone.
In this world people do not like to have an obligation to someone else. An obligation is a requirement of a person to do something to, for, or with someone else. Each person wants to be his own person and free to do what he wants, when he wants on his own, thus does not like having an obligation.
Obligations are often seen in contracts. People do not want to be tied to a binding contract with another person. They want their freedom. They want a contract with no requirements or obligations for in the future.
When a person is obligated to another person, he may feel tied to him. People do not want to be tied down and required to do something.
Believers often have the same feelings. There are times that they are obligated to do something in or outside the church and they don’t want to do it.
One area that every believer has an obligation in is to tell others about Jesus. Jesus gave that command to every person who follows Him. Paul had shown this by his statement. Every person on this earth is either a Greek or a non-Greek, wise or foolish. Paul felt the responsibility to every person.
Believers have the responsibility to tell others about Jesus. This responsibility is their obligation to every person. Some of those people will be wise and listen. Others will be foolish and reject listening. Yet, the obligation to tell them about Jesus remains the same.
You have the same obligation as Paul did. Every person you meet is either a Greek or a non-Greek, a wise or foolish person. You have a duty to tell that person about Jesus. Give every person you meet a chance to accept or reject Jesus. Do not make the decision for them.
You also have the obligation to follow the commands of Jesus–go and tell the gospel to all of the world. You may not have to travel around the world, but you can travel around your community. Fulfill your obligation.
I pray today that you will find people to tell about Jesus; that you will tell everyone you can about Jesus; that you will fulfill your obligation to others and God; and that many will believe in Jesus through your message.
“I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.” John 17:4
Jesus was praying for Himself. He wanted to be able to bring God glory. He points out that God gave Him the authority to give eternal life to all who believe in Him. Now Jesus states that He is bringing God the Father glory by His finishing the work that God had given Him to do. That work was to make salvation available to the people.
Jesus came to this earth with a set purpose. The purpose was to fulfill the desires of His Father. God wanted to save the world so much that He sent His Son to do so. In order to save the world, Jesus had to go through a series of steps: be born as a baby, grow up as a human, and die a painful death on a cross.
These steps were not easy ones for Jesus to do, but He did them because of His love for His Father and for the people of this world. Imagine how hard it had to be for Jesus. He was the Almighty, Infinite God that created everything, and now He has to die a painful death for someone who did not love Him at all. Yet, Jesus does it because of His great love for His Father and for you.
God has you on this earth also to do a work for Him. Sometimes that work will be simple, like Jesus going to eat with a tax-collector. Other times it could be glorious, like Jesus healing a blind man. Yet, other times it could be extremely painful, like Jesus going to the cross to save all men.
No one knows how long you will live on this earth except God. You cannot know how long you have to do the works that God has for you to do.
What you do know is that you have today. You need to ask God what work He has for you to do today. Be willing to do that work, regardless of how easy or hard it is. Your work today may be the one that brings someone else to Jesus.
Are you willing to do the work He has for you? Are you finishing the work Jesus has already given you to do?
I pray today that you will know the works God has planned for you; that God will give you the strength to do His work; that God will use you to draw many to Jesus; and that you will finish the work that He has given you to do.