Nehemiah 13:11 Priorities

Checklist paper

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.

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Nehemiah 10:39 Don’t Neglect God’s House

Cypress Agios

The people of Israel, including the Levites, are to bring their contributions of grain, new wine and olive oil to the storerooms, where the articles for the sanctuary and for the ministering priests, the gatekeeper and the musicians are also kept. “We will not neglect the house of our God.” Nehemiah 10:39 

Buildings are often neglected, especially when they get older. Little things start to go wrong and they are ignored. Large problems occur and people move out. They don’t want to deal with the problems and so they abandon the place and neglect its needed care.

This can happen because one believes it is someone else’s responsibility or they don’t want to take the time or resources to maintain the building. They ignore the problems, until it is too late and the building is condemned.

As the Israelites were rebuilding the temple and Jerusalem, they took an oath to not  neglect the house of God, the temple. They took an oath to bring in all the required tithes and offerings throughout the year.

While there is a physical church building today, there is still a house of God that is even greater than the building. Each and every believer is a temple of God and all believers together make up the house of God. While people often take care of the physical church building, many will neglect the house of God in themselves or in others.

They don’t take time to study His word, or pray, or be filled with His Holy Spirit and presence. They reject what God has to tell them in search for personal pleasure. They choose to not take time to have a relationship with God.

The people had to bring in: the grain, this is God’s word to feed a believer; the wine, this is the new covenant of salvation brought about by Jesus; and the olive oil, this is the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.

As a believer, you must have these things in your life. Your body is now a temple of God and must be cared for. Having these things in your life, will ensure that all is taken care of in your spiritual body, the temple of God.

Don’t neglect your spiritual body, or it will fall into ruin and bring about a spiritual death. God wants you to have life to the fullest. Accept what He has for you and don’t neglect it.

I pray today that you will know the salvation Jesus provides; that you will be filled with God’s Holy Spirit; that you will have a hunger to be fed with God’s word; and that you will not neglect God’s temple in your life or in others. 

Genesis 28:17 The Gate Of Heaven

Gate of heaven

He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” Genesis 28:17

Gates are doorways into a new place. There is always a purpose for a gate to be put into place. They are always placed somewhere along a wall or fence. The fence is to keep certain people or things out, to keep the enemy out. The gate is a pathway or doorway to allow someone in through the fence.

In most yards, there is a fence to block people with a gate to allow them in. They usually have only one main entrance. This funnels everyone that comes in through a very specific location.

Jacob had been traveling along and he stopped for the night in one location. During the night he had a vision of heaven being opened up with a staircase leading into heaven, with angels going up and down the staircase. During the vision, God spoke to him and told him that He would be with him. When Jacob awoke, he was amazed and stated that place must be the gate of heaven.

Most people want to be able to find the gate to heaven, the perfect place to be. Each one’s definition of what that perfect place is may be different, but they are searching for it. Many will say that there are many different ways into heaven, however, several thousand years after Jacob had this vision, Jesus came along and stated that He was the only door (gate) to God the Father.

In order to get into heaven, every person must enter through the right gate. That gate is Jesus. Those who follow Jesus, have the right to enter that gate. Unlike Jacob, God is with the believer everywhere he goes, so that he always has access to that gate into heaven. It is not one specific location, but wherever the believer is.

As a believer, you also have access to heaven. You can enter through the gate at any time you desire to meet with God. God is always there for you and will never leave or forsake you. He wants to spend time with you.

Take time each day to enter through the gate God has given you access to, and spend time with God. Invite others to enter into that gate with you.

Have you found the Gate to heaven?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will make God a part of your life; that you will enter the gate of Heaven to be with God; and that you will invite others to enter God’s gate to heaven. 

Haggai 1:3-4 Which House Is Being Built?

Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” Haggai 1:3-4

Israel had been destroyed and put into captivity because of their rejection of God. After 70 years in captivity, God made a way for them to return to their land. They had to rebuild everything, because everything had been destroyed in the takeover. The first thing that they built was their own homes, instead of focusing on building God’s house, the temple. God is now questioning their motives.

Building the house that a person lives in is important. Every person does need a place to live in. There are people in this world that focus on building that house as big and beautiful as possible. They spend many hours fixing the house to make it look just right. Thousands of dollars are spent on renovations and additions to make a house bigger and better.

While there is nothing wrong with fixing up a house or making it better, often there is too much focus on that house. The house of a person’s soul is often neglected as the physical house is being built up.

Every week people spend 40+ hours working to make money in order to build a better house. While that is happening, they only spend 2 hours, at best, on building up their spiritual house, their soul. They go to church Sunday morning and do nothing else with God.

The Israelites had to build a physical house for God. Today, you must build a spiritual one. The house of God today is your soul, your life.

Building your spiritual house for God takes time and work, just as building a physical house does. You must spend time with Jesus, your foundation. Study His Word and know how to build that house correctly. Allow the Master Carpenter, Jesus, in to show the way to build the house. He will make the correct changes in your life.

There will be some rooms that need to be removed, while others need to be added. Walls need to be moved down, while some need to be put up. The power of the Holy Spirit needs to be flowing through your house to empower everything.

Today take a look at your life. Which house are you focused on building?

Yours?

Or God’s?

I pray today that you will allow Jesus to build your life His way; that you will place your main focus on being more like Jesus; that you will build your temple for God’s glory; and that God will be welcome in your life.

Psalm 5:7 In His House

But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple. Psalm 5:7

David could see all of his enemies around him. He knew that they did not follow God and asked God to destroy them because of their wickedness. David recognized that it was only by God’s great love that he had the ability to enter His temple, God’s house.

There are two places mentioned in the Bible where God makes it His home or place of dwelling. The physical one is the temple or church building. The other is in the heart’s of believers. As David wrote this passage, he was talking about the physical temple, where God dwelt. It was symbolic of meeting with God directly.

Entering the house of God was not something that David took lightly. It was considered a holy place, only for those who are holy. He also knew that he did not deserve to be allowed to enter it.

Many people go to church, just because they are supposed to do it. They see going to church as just another thing to check off on their “being good” list in life. Seldom is it recognized as a place to meet God in as a group.

As a believer, any place that you meet God can be considered His house. It is not just the church building. Regardless of where it is at, it must be seen as a privilege granted only by the great love and grace of God.

God does not have to allow anyone into His place. By all rights, you and everyone else should be killed by God, because of sin.

Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God provided a way into His house. Never forget the price that was paid in order for  you to enter God’s house.

Do not take entering His house lightly. Enter with reverence to God. Worship God as you enter His house. Serve God with everything in you as you enter His house.

God will make His dwelling place, house, anywhere He is welcomed. Are you allowing God to make His house in your life?

Do you know the great love and mercy God had on you in order for you to enter His house?

Give God praise and honor today.

I pray today that you will know God’s love and mercy on you; that you will know the presence of God in your life; and that you will worship God all the days of your life.

Nehemiah 10:39 Do Not Neglect God’s House

The people of Israel, including the Levites, are to bring their contributions of grain, new wine and olive oil to the storerooms, where the articles for the sanctuary and for the ministering priests, the gatekeepers and the musicians are also kept. “We will not neglect the house of our God.” Nehemiah 10:39

All of the Israelites had recommitted their lives back to God. They agreed to not doing various sins that they had previously committed and agreed to provide for the temple of God. The said that they would no longer neglect the house of God.

The needs of the house of God during Nehemiah’s time, were grain, new wine, and olive oil. These were needed to make the bread and keep the lamps burning continually. The people were to provide these needed supplies on a regular basis.

In today’s society the needs of the house of God, physical building, is often being neglected. The needs are different then they were for Nehemiah. Now maintenance of the building, electricity, and gas are the needed supplies. Some of these needs are met by people physically helping with the repairs. Many are met by supplying the money needed to pay the various bills. These needs are met through offerings being given on a regular basis.

However, there is another house of God that is often neglected. This house of God is the individual. The needs here are not the physical needs, but the spiritual needs that are being neglected.

Many believers do not take time each day to read and study God’s Word. They do not take time to hide His Word in their heart. They do not take time to pray continually. They do not strive to resist the devil and flee from all sin.

Today, as a believer, you are God’s temple. You are the new sanctuary where God can dwell here on this earth.

As a human being, you are careful not to neglect the physical needs of your body–food, clothing and shelter. However, are you guilty of neglecting the spiritual needs of your soul?

It is the spiritual side of your life that is the temple of God. You must not neglect the needs of your spirit. God’s Holy Spirit will guide you in this. God will take care of those needs if you allow Him too by staying in His Word, praying daily and fleeing sin.

Are you going to neglect His house today?

I pray today that you will have a hunger for knowing God’s Word; that you will pray to God continually; that you will not neglect His house; and that you will be His witness in this world.