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The Elements of True Worship, Part 1 - (The Element of Continuity: True Worship is Ongoing)

Rev. Charles Oppong-Poku | January 5, 2024 | Nehemiah 12:1-26



KEY VERSE:

“Now these are the priests and the Levites who came up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, … Nehemiah 12:1 (NIV)


MESSAGE:

Nehemiah chapter 12 focuses on the dedication of the rebuilt wall of Jerusalem. The chapter also emphasises the role of priests and Levites in the dedication ceremony, underlining the spiritual significance of the event. Overall, it conveys some elements of true worship. The passage for today’s devotional reveals “continuity” as an element of true worship: that true worship is ongoing and not limited to positive events.


Nehemiah listed the priests and Levities who served from the time of the first returning immigrants until this celebration to show that the priests led each generation of Jews in ongoing praise and worship, to observe that the Levites had faithfully led “songs of thanksgiving” since the first immigrants under Zerubbabel (Neh. 12:1-11), till the time of the celebration at Jerusalem’s walls (Neh. 12:22-26). For a church to succeed and grow, it requires dedicated worship leaders. If you have a gift of singing or playing musical instruments, use them to benefit the faith community and the glory of the Lord. This detailed list was therefore meant to stress that God values each contribution and that each person in the community is important and must be an integral part of the community’s activities.


In a time when self-centeredness seems to dominate church lifestyles, the Word of God calls us to work and live together as a community, to be dependent upon one another. Let's help each other in accomplishing the task that God has set before us.


FEET AND HANDS FOR THE MESSAGE:

Make your worship life ongoing and not limited to great events. Don’t wait for the positive news before giving thanks. True worshippers in the Bible praised God in both good and bad times. Are you worshipping God in both good and bad times?


PRAYER:

Dear Lord, thank you for your goodness and mercies towards me. Please grant me the strength, compassion, and commitment to continually worship you, not only in the good times but also in the bad times. May my worship be ongoing, steadfast, and reflective of my deep connection with You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSING.

SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!! DAILY word study: ZERUBABEL THE SON OF SHEALTIEL


Zerubbabel - זְרֻבָּבֶל: "Seed of Babylon" or "Sown in Babylon."

Zerubbabel is a significant figure in the Bible, who was a governor of Judah and played a key role in the early stages of the post-exilic period, leading the first group of exiles back to Jerusalem.


Biblical Appearances:

  • Genealogies (Matthew 1:12, Luke 3:27): Zerubbabel is highlighted in the genealogies of Jesus, connecting him to the Messianic lineage.

  • Book of Ezra: Zerubbabel is a central figure in the book of Ezra, leading the return from Babylon and overseeing the construction of the Second Temple (Ezra 3-6).

  • Book of Haggai and Zechariah: The prophets Haggai and Zechariah convey messages to Zerubbabel, emphasizing the divine support for the rebuilding of the Temple (Haggai 1:1-2:9; Zechariah 4:6-10).



Drawing parallels between the dedication ceremony in Nehemiah 12 and our worship practices today reveals a striking similarity — the importance of continuity in worship. Just as the priests and Levites, led by Zerubbabel, maintained an unbroken chain of praise from one generation to the next, our worship too should transcend the peaks and valleys of life.

The detailed list of priests and Levites in Nehemiah's time serves as a reminder that each person's contribution, each voice lifted in song, is vital. In the same vein, our worship leaders today, gifted with musical talents, play a crucial role in ensuring a sense of unity and continuity in the church. Reflections: Considering the ongoing worship in Nehemiah's time, how can we, as a community, ensure that our worship is not confined to special occasions but becomes a continuous, heartfelt expression of our faith? How can our gifts and contributions enrich the collective worship experience?


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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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