Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
“Now in mid-autumn, when the Israelites had settled in their towns, all the people assembled together as one person at the square just inside the Water Gate. They asked Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had given Israel to obey.” — Nehemiah 8:1
The Lord blesses my heart as I read this verse. Think about it. The people had come together, on their own, and as one, they asked Ezra to bring out the Word of God to read to them.
I really like the fact that people had gathered voluntarily to come and hear from God. Worship should never be out of duty. It should never be self-centered. It should also not be divided. Here were a people who were as one before the Lord.
It is never good for the people of God to have different agendas. It is not good for them to insist on having things done their way. It is not good for worship to be anything but Christ-centered. Our differences must always be set aside so that we can focus on what God is saying.
It is never good for the people of God to be at odds with each other in worship. Personal issues should be set aside when worshipping the Lord. If you are hindered in worship because of someone in your midst, you should first go and be reconciled with him or her before you try to tune into God.
You will never know the peace of God in worship while you are not at peace with your brother or sister in Christ. Sometimes peace with others just is not going to happen, but don’t let it be without doing at least all you can do to be reconciled. Regardless of the response of others, you can forgive them in your heart.
The focus of all worship should be to hear from God through His word. There is no room ever in worship for any teaching from anywhere except the word of God. It alone is our authority for living. It is good to have the word in your hands and opened up to meditate upon it when it is being proclaimed. Hearing is done as much with our eyes as our ears in worship.
Let the longing of your heart always be to hear from God in His word. Daily keep His word open, meditate upon it, and God will speak.