“Ouch! My tummy hurts!” My friend’s son was not his usual energetic self. His eyes drooped and he lay on her sofa for most of the weekend. The problem? He’s a picky eater and his diet had finally caught up with him. You see, he had packed in what he wanted to eat, but nothing was coming out (Get my drift?). His little tummy was round and tight. Nothing she tried worked, so off they went to a local hospital. Two hours later Timmy bounced out of the building, surely two pounds lighter, and giggled as he and his mom headed back home. A warm bag of water did the trick and he was as good as new. Water! How powerful is that? He needed the cleansing power of water to get rid of energy-sapping toxins. What about us?
We’ve come to the last chapter in the book of Nehemiah, and we find God’s people still dealing with an assortment of toxins, which were clearly forbidden by the Book of the Law. Here’s a brief summary:
1. Marriage to foreigners and worshipping their gods
2. Dishonoring the temple of God
3. Failure to provide for those ministering in the temple
4. Failure to respect the Sabbath
5. Having leaders under the influence of their enemies.
So what did Nehemiah when he saw the build-up of so many toxic behaviors?
1. Confronted the people, reminding them of God’s expectations.
2. Drove a wicked leader away.
3. Called for purification and a return to holiness.
4. Reminded them to take care of those laboring for the Lord.
5. Asked God to remember him with favor.
As believers, we are no longer under the law. Hallelujah! Jesus paid the price for our salvation and we are brand new creatures, washed by His blood. Now we must wash in the water of His Word daily. We must read God’s Word and let Him rid us of toxins we pick up in our daily walk. That may include things like fear, disappointment, anger, apathy, hopelessness, bitterness, or the like.
1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (NIV).”
1 John 4:16, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.”
Hebrews 10:22, “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”
We have GOOD NEWS! As we trust in God’s Word, let us freely allow the Father to use us to draw others into this great family of believers! Father, enlarge our territory! Thy kingdom come! Through me (and you)!