And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God onefourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God.
Does our life reflect someone who is drawing closer to Christ or one who is fading further away? Yesterday, we talked about a portion of society who sows much seed, but reaps very little crop when referring to those spinning their wheels for earthly gain. One pastor refers to it as, “working all you can, canning all you get, so you can sit on the can.” There is another group who sow very little and yet still expect a great harvest. Golf is a difficult enough game when it is practiced for hours upon hours each week. Many people fall away from the game because it is something everyone would love to be good at doing, but most give up when they can’t shoot under par after playing for only a few months. Despite better equipment and courses in pristine condition, the majority of golfers cannot break 100 on a consistent basis. The same is true with our churches and fellow believers. Many have fallen into a state of laziness and returned into the desires of the world because they are not reaping their desired harvest from their one hour with God each week. Just as today’s golf courses are well manicured to make it easy on the eyes and game, our churches are air conditioned in the summer, heated in the winter, have padded pews, and offer free coffee and donuts. Yet, the conveniences of both are not sufficient to draw frequent patronage from the average golfer and Christian. The scripture above from Nehemiah refers to a time when the children and seed of Israel segregated themselves from anyone else for a period of true confession of their inequities. The people did not just generally mumble, “Lord, please forgive me.” This group of Israelites shut themselves off from everyone and everything. The Jewish day was acknowledged to be 12 hours. The repentant people spent over 3 hours each congregating together, reading the book of law given by God, confessing their transgressions and worshiping God. We should use this model as our daily guide for not only searching our heart for sin, but also as a means to study and learn more about His word. I realize we don’t have 12 hours each day to study and pray, but we do have more than that one hour on Sunday morning. When we become more dedicated to our prayer and Bible study lives, it is guaranteed we will reap great rewards and become closer to Christ.