Nehemiah 8:10 (NKJV) Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Most of us postpone the prospect of making an honest self-examination. We can often make excuses for taking the necessary and humbling assessment of ourselves. The bottom line is this: we know that many times there is an enormous amount of pain awaiting us we look at ourselves. And we fear the pain that facing the ourselves can often create.

After rebuilding the city walls and the temple, the priests gathered the people together to read the Book of the Law. The people were overwhelmed with grief and began sobbing, because their lives in no way measured up. The priests said to them, “Don’t mourn or weep on such a day as this!

For today is a sacred day before the LORD your God, Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. For the Word the of the Lord says “for the joy of the LORD is your strength!” (Nehemiah 8:9-10).

That day marked the beginning of Sukkotor the Festival of Tabernacles, a required Jewish feast which celebrated their escape from bondage in Egypt and God’s care for them while they wandered in the wilderness. What do you need to celebrate that you have escaped?

When we set out to face the pain and hurt of taking a self-examination, we will need the “joy of the Lord” to give us strength. This joy comes from recognizing, even celebrating, and God’s ability to bring us out of bondage and to care for us as we pass through the pain toward a new way of life.

Point to ponder- Our joy in the Lord helps us to face the pain within ourselves.

Our Leadership team is especially thankful for those of you who provided financial donations and support in the month of February 2018 by partnering with us in efforts to advance the kingdom of God in this 21st century season: Special thanks to Mr. William Wilson, Ms. Annette Straker, Mr. Kenneth Washington, Ms. Gloria Teel, and Gertrude Scott. Why don’t you take the opportunity to write us on our blog and let us know how we are doing in serving you Great people, we’d love to hear from you!

Follow me on Twitter @Elder James Baker, as I endeavor to encourage and empower leaders of today and tomorrow!

Kingdom Blessings,

Pastor James Baker, Jr.

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