Hello family! I always say the word family because we share sonship through Christ, but we also have in common a fierce devotion to follow our Lord. Being devoted means we made a choice to pattern our lives after Christ’s at the expense of pretty much anything else. So when the Spirit convicts us through the Word, we generally try to swallow our pride and quickly make corrections. 

In chapter 9 of Nehemiah, we see a devoted Israel taking part in a beautiful prayer summarizing  the entire old testament. God’s perfect faithfulness was an indictment against the people’s constant failures. The people wanted to walk with God, so they were quick to repent and obey.

In contrast, the high priests definitely did not respond appropriately when Stephen confronted them in Acts 7. He similarly recounted God’s faithfulness through history and challenged them to change their ways, in fact, some of the phrases he used are here in Nehemiah 9. The high priests and others there took the confrontation so poorly that they stoned him to death.

Obviously, this is an example of confrontation going explosively wrong! It does show us however, what devotion to one’s arrogance can drive people to do. We are warned of such backlash from the world in scriptures.

If you’re wrestling with something God wants you to do and you just really don’t want to let it go, this is a call to you to examine your devotion. We are all right there with you, constantly extending our devotion’s bounds in the exact way we least want to.We know God is good and the only one truly worthy of all of our devotion.

Jonathan Duncan

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