Nehemiah 3:5 Who’s Watching?

Nehemiah 3:5 (KJV)
And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord.

In this exceptional chapter of unity cooperation and sacrifice one group stands out for their lack of participation. The nobles of Tekoa, a city of Judah, “put not their necks to the work“.

  • There were priests at work
  • There were goldsmiths at work
  • There were apothecaries at work
  • There were rulers at work
  • There were merchants at work
  • There was even a man with his daughters at work

But these nobles, for whatever reason, chose not to join in the work.

And Nehemiah saw it.

Could Nehemiah be a picture here of God, who knows and sees all and is keeping a record of our works? The Bible says of the Christian that “every man’s work shall be made manifest … of what sort it is.”[1]

Imagine the judgment seat of Christ where we are all judged and rewarded for our service as believers. People of all ranks and races stand before the Lord to receive their rewards. But then it comes to you. The only remark is, “He put not his neck to the work.” No wonder God wipes away tears in heaven.

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others

Nehemiah 3:5 Who’s Watching?

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free. Email me for a free one month VIP membership.

[1] 1 Corinthians 3:13

1 Corinthians 8:13 I Can, But I Won’t

1 Corinthians 8:1 (KJV)
Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

1 Corinthians 8:13 (KJV)
Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

The student of the Bible ought to bear in mind that the church in Corinth had stretched grace to the point of abuse.

  • They knew that God is forgiving
  • They knew that salvation is forever
  • They knew that idols were nothing
  • They therefore behaved presumptuously.

This chapter addresses that presumption of grace. The Apostle began by first acknowledging their understanding concerning things offered to idols. Truly they are nothing. Then he inserts a contrast; “knowledge puffeth up but charity edifieth.”

The chapter progresses along the line of that contrast until it arrives at the conclusion in verse thirteen. I think the chapter might be summarized by a single statement, “I can but I won’t. ” That, I believe, is a quality that Christians should strive to possess; the awareness that in Christ we are perfectly free coupled with a heart that places boundaries around us for the sake of others.

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others

1 Corinthians 8:13 I Can, But I Won’t

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free. Email me for a free one month VIP membership.

Ezra 7:15-18 When We Give

Ezra 7:15-18 (KJV)
And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem,
And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem:
That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.
And whatsoever shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God.

The king’s offerings were to be used:

To speedily buy
The purpose was so there would be no hindrance in buying and doing what ought to be done in the house of the Lord. They had already waited. This offering was meant that no delays should continue.

To provide offerings of all sorts in God’s house
The work of God has many facets. We:

  • Preach
  • Sing
  • Worship
  • Evangelize
  • Welcome
  • Encourage
  • Assist

All of these in alignment with our commission. All of them require financial resources. All of them are to be supported by the freewill offerings of God’s people.

To do what seemed good
The king’s offering was generous and would certainly cover the necessary things. It was anticipated that it was also generous enough that there would be money enough for things that were unanticipated. In that case it had been released to be used at the discretion of Ezra.

See here lessons in our own offerings to God. We have been made not only priests, but kings. We give not of necessity but freely. When we give generously as we ought, our offerings are meant to meet the needs of the house of God and the rest to be used at the discretion of our preacher for the good of the ministry.

(More applications are found throughout the rest of the chapter)

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others

Ezra 7:15-18 When We Give

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free. Email me for a free one month VIP membership.

1 Corinthians 4:5-6 The Most Disobeyed Passage in the Bible?

1 Corinthians 4:5-6 (KJV)
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

These may be some of the most disobeyed verses of the Bible.

Paul urges us, with respect to those ministers of Christ we have come to admire, not to judge anything “before the time”. We tend to disregard this.

  • We judge which pastors are successful and which are not
  • We judge which preachers have the anointing of God and which do not
  • We judge which preachers are effective in the pulpit and which are not
  • We judge who is worthwhile to follow and who is not

We have all sorts of ways to justify this behavior; we aren’t, in our minds, calling one better than the other. We are only identifying which ones to follow. After all Paul said to follow him as he followed Christ.

Paul warns that the danger is that we would get puffed up; not in ourselves but in our favorite preacher. Tell me it isn’t true that whole fellowships of churches have been built around a favorite preacher. Tell me that those fellowships of pastors and churches have not engaged in thinking their leader (or leaders) is better than some other group’s leader (or leaders). Tell me that no one has ever been puffed up against another believer because they think the guy they follow is more of a man of God than the guy this other group follows.

I realize that false doctrine exists. I say we should carefully judge doctrine and denominations. We should and we must. However, within the ranks of sound Baptist churches, no one should ever judge one man’s ministry over another.

We do not know how the Lord will judge them in His time.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others

1 Corinthians 4:5-6 The Most Disobeyed Passage in the Bible?

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free. Email me for a free one month VIP membership.

1 Corinthians 1:12-13 Case Closed

1 Corinthians 1:12-13 (KJV)
Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

I think too many forget that this passage is written to a single local church. To apply it to an imaginary invisible universal church may seem to be the easiest, but it is by no means the most accurate interpretation. This church was facing division. These people within it were claiming unholy loyalties. Paul meant to put an end to it.

Paul’s central argument was this, “…was Paul Crucified for you?” Paul had come to Corinth to establish that church. He had preached the gospel that led to their salvation. He had taught and trained them in the truths associated with their faith but he was not the One who had died, was buried and rose again for them.

And neither were any of their other heroes.

  • Case closed
  • Slammed shut
  • No more argument

Jesus Christ alone was their Saviour and to Christ alone they must give allegiance.

Interestingly, there was a dividing faction in the church that did claim, “I am of Christ”. The context demands that this group, though sounding holy, were equally in the wrong.

John Gill writes concerning those who claimed “I am of Christ“,
“They were for Christ without his ministers; they were wiser than their teachers; they were above being under any ministrations and ordinances; as the others attributed too much to the ministers of the Gospel, these detracted too much from them, and denied them to be of any use and service. Some persons may be, in such sense, for Christ, as to be blame worthy; as when they use his name to deceive men, or divide his interest.”

Our loyalties belong strictly to Christ who will always lead us to,

Hebrews 13:17 (KJV)
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others

1 Corinthians 1:12-13 Case Closed

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free. Email me for a free one month VIP membership.

2 Chronicles 19:4 How to Handle Rebuke

2 Chronicles 19:4 (KJV)
And Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem: and he went out again through the people from Beersheba to mount Ephraim, and brought them back unto the LORD God of their fathers.

King Jehoshaphat appears to me to be an incredibly good guy who had trouble saying “No” to people he was afraid to offend. He made affinity with Israel at least twice and was rebuked of the Lord each time because of it.

In our text, he had just been sternly but graciously rebuked for his first act of affinity. What is significant and what I want to meditate on is what Jehoshaphat did not do:

He did not lash out at the prophet
Others would do that. He had witnessed Ahab do it. Not Jehoshaphat. He took his rebuke maturely.

He did not turn against God
His own father had been similarly rebuked and grew angry at the seer and then turned his anger at the people (I believe that supported the prophet’s rebuke). Asa got mad at the preacher and then lashed out at God. Not so Jehoshaphat.

He did not pout and shrink into inactivity
The very next verse after the preacher’s rebuke has Jehoshaphat out among the people, bringing them back to the Lord. When a battle with Moab and Ammon was imminent, we find Jehoshaphat appealing to God in prayer, leading others to do the same and singing in worship to the Lord.

Jehoshaphat was by no means perfect but this is certain of him, he stayed true to God.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others

2 Chronicles 19:4 How to Handle Rebuke

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free. Email me for a free one month VIP membership

2 Chronicles 11:4 When We Are In The Right

2 Chronicles 11:4 (KJV)
Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren: return every man to his house: for this thing is done of me. And they obeyed the words of the LORD, and returned from going against Jeroboam.

There is no question that Jeroboam rebelled and was in the wrong. The frustration that Israel had with Rehoboam had been an undercurrent ever since David replaced Saul. Saul’s jealousy of David had become their own and, though submissive to David when they had to be, they always sought opportunity to break free of the Davidic rule.

Jeroboam and the issue of taxes became their opportunity.

However, when Rehoboam set out to squash their rebellion (and could likely have done it) he was prevented by the Word of God. Jeroboam and Israel were their brethren and this whole thing was of God. God would use their rebellion for His own purposes (it is a picture of the sin nature that turns from God) and He would judge it in His own time.

We are often hurt by those we call brethren in the faith. Many are the times we feel we are in the right to go after them and force their compliance to what we believe is right. I do not believe we should do so. These things are in the hand of God. Let them go their way. He will:

  • Use it for our learning
  • Strengthen us in grace and
  • Judge it as necessary in His time

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others

2 Chronicles 11:4 When We Are In The Right

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free. Email me for a free one month VIP membership

2 Chronicles 2:6 Come to Church

2 Chronicles 2:6 (KJV)
But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?

The temple Solomon desired to build was meant to represent the greatness of God but not to contain it. It was a representative for the sake of man and not God. God did not need it nor could He truly dwell in it. Man, on the other hand, needs somewhere to make his conscious and purposeful worship toward God. That place should rightfully command the respect we have for God.

It is with fair regularity I meet up with someone who has abandoned (or never embraced in the first place) the practice of regular organized “religion”.  They claim they worship God at a lake or in the mountains and that God does not need churches. It is true that God is everywhere and could be worshipped anywhere. But honestly, does anybody really do it? On top of that it was Jesus, not the apostles, who said He would build His church.

God does not need a church building. But He does expect Christians to assemble there.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others

2 Chronicles 2:6 Come to Church

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free. Email me for a free one month VIP membership.

1 Chronicles 28:5 Children Given of God

1 Chronicles 28:5 (KJV)
And of all my sons, (for the LORD hath given me many sons,) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel.

David had a challenged family situation. Having many wives, he had sons and daughters aplenty. These children were unruly, had little regard for one another. They were:

  • Immoral
  • Rebellious
  • Treacherous and
  • Murderous

Yet David’s testimony is that the Lord had given him every one of them.

We might perform as better parents if we viewed every one of our children as being a gift from God.

My concern in this writing has to with the modern practice of aborting children who, for whatever reason, are unwanted:

  • Perhaps it was conceived in promiscuity
  • Perhaps the young mother and father see the baby as hindering their opportunities for life in the future

Very common among arguments in favor of abortion is that the baby may be terminated if it was conceived from a rape or other wicked act. Another permissible abortion scenario (of course the most modern view is that abortion is permissible for any reason and at any time the mother may choose) is if the baby will be born handicapped. My point is that David viewed all of his children as being given by God.

So should we.

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others

1 Chronicles 28:5 Children Given of God

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free. Email me for a free one month VIP membership.

Acts 16:1-5 Disagreement Does Not Equal Hatred

Acts 16:1-5 (KJV)
Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:
Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.
Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.
And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.
And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.

We tend to think nothing good can ever come from dissension and disputation but that is not always the case. The United States of America is the result of decades of dissension that led to a revolution that forged in the minds of her founders certain principles that, though not accepted worldwide, have worldwide influence today.

The previous chapter begins with a dispute Paul and Barnabas had with certain men … From Judea and ends with a dispute Paul and Barnabas had with each other. The contention was so sharp that Barnabas and Paul parted ways never, so far as the Bible records, to come together again. However, Paul’s most notable pupil, Timothy, is discovered and recruited in the very next episode of Paul’s life.

Disputation is never pleasant but its results are not always negative.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others

Acts 16:1-5 Disagreement Does Not Equal Hatred

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free. Email me for a free one month VIP membership.