Sign it and seal it. Go on, you’ve seen the grace of God, you’ve experienced His mercy and undeserved goodness; so get on with it, go public and be a wholehearted disciple of God’s grace. That’s the scene, and that’s the challenge of chapter 10. And many rise to meet that challenge. Nehemiah heads the list, and priests, Levites and leaders follow on. After them come all sorts of men and women who “bind themselves with a curse and oath to follow the law of God given through Moses…” (v.29).
The way of discipleship means hard decisions, inconvenience, difficult choices. It means breaking with habits which are familiar and cherished. For these people, that means keeping marriage for the covenant people of God (v.30). It means keeping the Sabbath (v.31). It means living according to God’s Law with their money, their worship, their service, their sacrifice, their property, and in every detail of their lives, bringing wholehearted devotion to God (vv.32-39). “We will not neglect the house of our God” (V.39).
So, there is a new wall, and there is a community with a chance to start over again. In the midst, there is a God they must commit their hearts, energies, wallets, and property to. He comes first. In the New Covenant, there is no question about our loyalties. Jesus has taught us how to live, love, serve and sacrifice. He is worthy of everything. In our personal devotion to Him lies the health of our souls, and the good of our church community. If we gave in to selfishness and discipleship shortcuts, we rob Him of his glory, and do not love our neighbours as we love ourselves. But if, filled by His Spirit, we lay ourselves down to serve others, then He is glorified and many are blessed. There is no other discipleship. He wants everything, and He is certainly worthy of it.
A prayer to pray
Lord, my time, talents, gifts, days are all in Your hands. Thankyou that Your love and lordship mean that I can give every moment and every act to Your service. Empower me to do so willingly and joyfully. Amen.