Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 15, 2016

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

Today’s devotion comes from Nehemiah chapter 13.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Nehemiah+13&version=NASB

I quote only the folowing verses.

“10 I also discovered that the portions of the Levites had not been given them, so that the Levites and the singers who performed the service had gone away, each to his own field. 11 So I reprimanded the officials and said, “Why is the house of God forsaken?”  Then I gathered them together and restored them to their posts.  12 All Judah then brought the tithe of the grain, wine and oil into the storehouses.  13 In charge of the storehouses I appointed Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah of the Levites, and in addition to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah;  for they were considered reliable, and it was their task to distribute to their kinsmen.  14 Remember me for this, O my God, and do not blot out my loyal deeds which I have performed for the house of my God and its services.

15 In those days I saw in Judah some who were treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sacks of grain and loading them on donkeys, as well as wine, grapes, figs and all kinds of loads, and they brought them into Jerusalem on the sabbath day.  So I admonished them on the day they sold food.  16 Also men of Tyre were living there who imported fish and all kinds of merchandise, and sold them to the sons of Judah on the sabbath, even in Jerusalem.  17 Then I reprimanded the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing you are doing, by profaning the sabbath day?  18 Did not your fathers do the same, so that our God brought on us and on this city all this trouble?  Yet you are adding to the wrath on Israel by profaning the sabbath.”

19 It came about that just as it grew dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and that they should not open them until after the sabbath.  Then I stationed some of my servants at the gates so that no load would enter on the sabbath day.  20 Once or twice the traders and merchants of every kind of merchandise spent the night outside Jerusalem.  21 Then I warned them and said to them, “Why do you spend the night in front of the wall?  If you do so again, I will use force against you.”  From that time on they did not come on the sabbath.  22 And I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come as gatekeepers to sanctify the sabbath day.  For this also remember me, O my God, and have compassion on me according to the greatness of Your lovingkindness.

23 In those days I also saw that the Jews had married women from Ashdod, Ammon and Moab.  24 As for their children, half spoke in the language of Ashdod, and none of them was able to speak the language of Judah, but the language of his own people.  25 So I contended with them and cursed them and struck some of them and pulled out their hair, and made them swear by God, “You shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor take of their daughters for your sons or for yourselves.  26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin regarding these things?  Yet among the many nations there was no king like him, and he was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel;  nevertheless the foreign women caused even him to sin.  27 Do we then hear about you that you have committed all this great evil by acting unfaithfully against our God by marrying foreign women?”  28 Even one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was a son-in-law of Sanballat the Horonite, so I drove him away from me.  29 Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood and the Levites.

30 Thus I purified them from everything foreign and appointed duties for the priests and the Levites, each in his task, 31 and I arranged for the supply of wood at appointed times and for the first fruits.  Remember me, O my God, for good.”  Nehemiah 13:10-31.

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Nehemiah did good, and three times, he asked God to remember him for the good that he did.  Verses 14, 22, and 31.

In verses 10-14, Nehemiah restored the tithes (portions given to the Levites and others serving in the house of God) and restored their positions to mantain the house of God and its services.

In verses 15-22, Nehemiah honored the Sabbath day by preventing the sale of food and all kinds of merchandise during the Sabbath.

In verses 23-31, Nehemiah contended with those who had married foreign women.

“With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.”  Ephesians 6:7-8.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”  2 Corinthians 5:10.

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked;  for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”  Galatians 6:7.

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.”  Revelations 22:12.

Who can do the good that he should do?  Who can avoid doing the bad that he should not do?
 
But, there is hope!

“Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.”  Romans 7:4.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature;  the old things passed away;  behold, new things have come.”  2 Corinthians 5:17.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10.

for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13.

“So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.”  Matthew 7:17-18.

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