The Covenant

Preached by

Have you ever felt lost and disoriented, wandering through life without a clear sense of purpose or direction? Many of us can relate to that experience of inner restlessness, longing for something greater but unsure of where to find it. This was the situation God’s people found themselves in after rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem – the outward works were complete, but inwardly they still felt adrift.

Today we will explore how Nehemiah led them to rediscover their spiritual bearings through an extraordinary encounter with Scripture. In chapter 8, as they listened attentively for hours on end, something remarkable began to happen. Lives were transformed as unity, worship, understanding and grace flooded their hearts. We will learn that when God’s people look to his Word with “longing attentiveness,” profound blessings always follow – blessings we all deeply need in these uncertain times.

If you find yourself feeling lost today or wondering “where am I headed?”, take heart. God wants to speak purpose and direction over your life as well. Through attending closely to his unchanging message of hope, you too can be reoriented and renewed.

  • Nehemiah and the people have rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, but the city is still mostly empty and vulnerable. They are wondering “where are we?” and “what’s next?”
  • Nehemiah looks back to the genealogical records in Scripture to get perspective on where the people have come from.
  • In chapter 8, the people gather and listen attentively to Scripture being read for hours. This attentiveness is evidence of the Holy Spirit at work among them.
  • From this passage, we see 6 blessings that come from a “longing attentiveness” to God’s Word:
    1. Unity
    2. Worship
    3. Understanding
    4. Grace
    5. Obedience
    6. Renewal
  • Ultimately, God’s Word is the fixed reference point that shows us where we are in relation to God. Jesus as the Word made flesh is the ultimate sign of where we are – he is with us.
  • The hope is that through attentiveness to Scripture, we can experience revival and become buoyant people with eyes fixed on God’s Word.

The story of Nehemiah and God’s people inspires believers to seek the Lord with renewed expectancy through his Word. When we elevate Scripture above all else and listen with open, longing hearts, amazing things can happen – our lives can be powerfully reshaped by grace, empowering us for obedience.

Turn toward attentiveness to God’s nurturing voice. Choose to gather with fellow believers regularly in open study of scripture. Make room daily for listening prayer with the Bible. And watch as clarity of purpose and strength of character arise from living waters within.

Though outward circumstances may fluctuate wildly, fix your gaze on the unfailing support and guidance of the Author of life himself. In him you will discover unshakable identity and purpose for each new day. God wants to guide your steps and gladden your heart. Will you commit to walking closely with him? The blessings are too sweet and the needs around us too great for anything less than our utmost devotion to the living Word.


Nehemiah 8

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