The Joy of Jerusalem Heard Far Off



As we arrive in Nehemiah chapter 12, much has happened among the exiles who returned from the Babylonian Captivity a hundred years before. Through the years, there have been hardships and heartbreaks along the way. There were threats and famine from the outside. There were pressures from the inside from faltering faith, selfishness, ceasing the restoration efforts and brothers mistreating brothers. However, much has been accomplished. The temple has been rebuilt, the sacrifices instituted, the wall built, the gates hung, the covenant signed, and the city repopulated. Now, a month after the wall was finished, it is dedicated, and “the joy of Jerusalem was heard afar off” (v43).

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Fear of God Devotional: Repentance in Marriage



What should a husband do when he has sinned against his wife?

Jeff Pollard explains in this video that after their wedding day, a husband and wife will most likely have an argument. There may be unkind words or wicked attitudes spoken towards each other. Once a husband has sinned against his wife, he must repent of his sin towards her. 

A repentant heart does not always involve the shedding of tears. It can be as simple as a husband looking his wife in the eye and saying that he has sinned against her and ask her forgiveness. If the man genuinely understands the wickedness of what he has done, there will be a desire to never do it again.

Ephesians 5:25 (NKJV) – “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.”

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Turning Away from Pagan, Pt 1



In Nehemiah 13, we encounter the final scenes of reformation among those who returned from exile in Babylon over a hundred years before. After many dramatic reformations among the people through the years, we learn that Nehemiah traveled to back to Susa for some period of time. Finally, he returns to Jerusalem only to find that the people had allowed paganism to creep in. They turned back from their original devotion and covenants in some very specific areas. This time frame corresponds with the preaching of the last prophet of the Old Testament, Malachi. In this chapter, we learn of specific ways that we too might turn away from everything pagan. This is the first part of a three-part series on turning away from everything pagan.

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Fear of God Devotional: The Power of the Gospel



What is an example that demonstrates the power of the Gospel in the life of an unbeliever?

Paul Carrington explains in this video that he became a Christian at 20 years old. His wife had just become a Christian, perhaps weeks before. Someone had lent him a Bible. He had never opened one.  

One night, while he was sitting in his room, he decided to open up the Bible. He opened to the Sermon on the Mount. He remembers sitting there and being blown away. He remembers having a desire to know who Jesus was. He went through his entire room and tossed all of his cassette tapes in the trash.

He came back to his room and began devouring the Word of God. He went to church. He could not put down the Word of God. He also desired to share what he had learned with anyone who would listen to him. 

Ezekiel 36:26 (NKJV) – “ I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

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Fear of God Devotional: How Reformation Transforms a Family



How does reformation begin in the family?

Rob Ventura explains in this video that once God starts getting a hold of the father and the mother and they realize what Scripture states about family life, a family begins to be reformed. They realize that Scripture is to be their guide for all of life.

A father begins to lead his family in accordance with Scripture. A wife realizes how she is to submit to her husband. Children understand that they are to obey their parents. There is reformation in the life of the individual, within the marriage of the husband and wife, and in the home.  

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Measuring the Quality of One’s Repentance



How can we measure the quality of someone’s repentance?

Anthony Mathenia explains in this video that measuring true repentance over a short period of time is difficult. Over a long period of time, we can begin to see the fruits of the repentance and see that there has been a change of direction. We can see that they are not giving into sin as before. 

Rather, they have turned to Christ, turned away from sin, and continue to be conformed to His image.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV) – “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

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Do You Honor the Son



In the depths of your heart, do you honor the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ? From the very beginning of the Gospel of John, it is clear that the heart of the good news is the divinity perfections of Jesus Christ. This is the central message of the gospel message and the theme of the Gospel of John. Who is Jesus Christ? This is the question John answers on every page of his Gospel. But the question we must ask is this, “do we honor the Son of God?” J.C. Ryle speaks of the importance of this passage in these words, “These verses begin one of the most deep and solemn passages in the four Gospels. They show us the Lord Jesus asserting His own Divine nature, His unity with God the Father, and the high dignity of His office. Nowhere does our Lord dwell so fully on these subjects as in the chapter before us. And nowhere, we must confess, do we find out so thoroughly the weakness of man’s understanding! In our text Jesus claims to be God in five ways:

I. He is equal with God in nature, v17-18
II. He is equal with God in works, v19-20
III. He is equal with God in authority, v21
IV. He is equal with God in judgment, v22
V. He is equal with God in honor, v23-24

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Fear of God Devotional: What Does National Repentance Look Like?



What does national repentance look like?

Sam Waldron explains in this video that to explain what national repentance would look like, he would take people to the book of Jonah and see what Nineveh did. They genuinely repented of their sin. They recognized the evilness of their sin. They humbled themselves because of their sin. They sought after the things of God. 

Revelations 2:5 (NKJV) – “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: How Repentance Changes Every Relationship



How does repentance towards God affect our relationships with others?

Anthony Mathenia explains in this video that because repentance is towards God from the individual, it will affect every part of our lives. As husbands, it will affect how we treat our wives. Living a life of constant repentance will affect the individuals we interact with at our jobs and to all situations that we find ourselves in. 

If we are living a life of repentance that involves turning away from a life of sin and turning towards Christ, the relationships that we have will be sanctified.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

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I Have No One to Put Me In



The healing of the lame man at the Pool of Bethesda marks the third miracle recorded in the Gospel of John. These miracles always have a double meaning… They speak of power of Jesus to heal physically as well as spiritually. In the healing of the lame man, we learn that Jesus cures our lame lives and we walk where we never walked before, we see things we’ve never seen before and do things we’ve never done before. Jesus question is, “do you want to be made wellThis miracle was so offensive to the Jews, they wanted to kill Him. Why? Two reasons: Because the miracle confronted their dead legalistic church, and Jesus healed the lame man to declare that He was equal with God.

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Fear of God Devotional: What Would National Repentance Look Like?



What would repentance on a national scale look like?

Rob Ventura explains in this video that the fruits of repentance on a national scale would look like a return back to Scripture and the commandments of God. It would involve people repenting and confessing their sin. People of all ages would repent. That would be a beautiful thing.

We need to pray for our leaders and for repentance to happen here. We ought to pray believing that God can do anything. He can make any person a child of God.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) – “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

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Fear of God Devotional: We Distance Ourselves from People Who Call for Repentance



Why do people oppose calls to repentance?

Kevin Swanson explains in this video that America is an example of a nation that has rejected God and doesn’t want to repent. It is a nation that hears a message of repentance and refuses to listen.

Very rarely will one will stand with a person who calls a nation to repentance. Many people will not speak out on these issues because of fear of retaliation or shaming. This is a nation that has rejected God and His ways. There are no tears of repentance. Men do not gather and cry out for God’s mercy.

John 3:19 (NKJV) – “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Repenting of Educational Practices



What is repentance and what is one practice that many of us need to repent of?

Gary Powers explains in this video that repentance is a change in mind first and the change in mind leads to a change of direction. The source of repentance is the grace of God. When a man sees himself for who he truly is and sees who God is, it is coming into an agreement of how God sees us and how we see God.

One of the most dangerous culturally-acceptable norms that we need to repent of is allowing unbelievers to educate our children and sending them off to public schools to be indoctrinated. Until the church at large finally realizes and wakes up and realizes that they’re losing their children, it is a serious problem.

Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV) – “Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.” 

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Fear of God Devotional: The Importance of the Regulative Principle



How should the church apply the Regulative Principle?

Sam Waldron explains in this video that churches need to come back to Scripture alone as the regulative principle for the church. 

The worship, government, doctrine, and our understanding of the church all must be governed by the Word of God and the regulative principle. Simply put, if God has not commanded it, it should not occur within the church.

2 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV) – “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

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The Thieves of Sabbath Delight



In Nehemiah 13, we observe seven ways Nehemiah confronts the thieves of delight. In this scene, we observe that Nehemiah has been away from Judah for a number of years. He has now returned only to find that the people have drifted back into some of their old ways of disobedience. He sets himself to cleanse them “from everything pagan” (v30). This message is the second part of a three-part series on turning away from everything pagan. In the first part, 13:1-14, we see Nehemiah confronting worldly, “Ammonite” compromises in worship. In this second part, 13:15-22, we see Nehemiah confronting the nobles and the people for “profaning” Sabbath. In the third, part, Nehemiah confronts marriages not formed for the glory of God. From this chapter, we learn of specific ways that we too may have drifted, and might again, turn away from everything pagan – particularly in our observance of Sabbath joy. Following are seven ways Nehemiah confronts the thieves of Sabbath delight.

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