God’s Word Convicts Us of Sin
How do we respond to sin? Does it make us cry? The children of Israel lived so long in a sinful state that their love, their passion and affection were given to everything else except the LORD. Sin did not become something they did, but something they had become.
God responded to this saturation of sin by sending them into captivity. Their familiar world had been switched for the unfamiliar—the strange. They wanted to be like all the nations and God gave them the desire of their heart. Getting what you want isn’t always as good as you thought when you actually attain it.
Now, in Nehemiah 8:9, God had begun the restoration of a people to Himself. It was time to take them out of slavery and return them to God’s presence. God used Nehemiah and many others to rebuild the temple and the walls surrounding Jerusalem. The temple was the physical place where God promised to meet them. A place of forgiveness and love. It was in disrepair and destruction., but Nehemiah led the people to work hard, day and night, under much threat of death, until it was completed.
After completion, Nehemiah gathered everyone together to hear from God’s Word, the Book of the Law.
Ezra, the priest, read the words aloud from a raised platform. Throughout the crowd, others who understood what the Law meant, helped others to understand the reading. As the gathering heard the words, they were filled with sorrow.
The words stirred their hearts. The Spirit of God was in their midst and deep conviction overcame them. They were brought face to face with the fact that their sin separated them from God. A sorrow of sincerity and repentance.
Nehemiah, seeing the weeping, turned to them and gave them encouraging words. He told them not to weep, but rather celebrate. He wanted them to know that God had restored them and even though their heart was guilty, He had forgiven them.
When you realize that you have sinned against God and God alone, and you feel his love and acceptance in spite of your sinfulness—you will respond emotionally.
But don’t keep weeping, God has restored you into a right relationship with Himself. It’s time to rejoice because you were lost, but now you’ve been found.
These words of comfort from Nehemiah displays for us the overwhelming love of a gracious and holy God.
Ask yourself this question: How do I respond when the Word of God shows me the sin in my life?
For the believer, how often is this happening in your life? If it is less, is this reflective of the time you spend in God’s Word. If it is more, could sin have a strong hold on your life?
To those who have not made a commitment to live for Jesus and receiving his forgiveness, it is at this moment, while you are reading these words the Spirit of God is tugging at your heart. Is your realization of sin in your life and your distance from God creating an emotional reaction within?
If that is how you are feeling, then you can receive the same encouragement that Nehemiah gave. Jesus lived and died for your sins. He was raised from the dead as evidence that sin was forgiven and that our current life would not end, but that we would live with Him, forever.
Turn from your sin and receive God’s forgiveness. Make the decision to go a new way, the way of Jesus. Pray to God, express your heart or say something like this:
God forgive me for living my life as if it was mine to live. Please forgive me for sinning against you. I receive the forgiveness that Jesus obtained for me because of his death on the cross. I want to live a new way, learning about you, loving you, following you for the rest of my life. I believe that you have heard the cry of my heart and receive you into my life.
If you’ve prayed this prayer with a sincere heart, then you are now a child of God. You have been brought into a new family with new brothers and new sisters. There is still a lot more to learn about Jesus and you can learn all there is about him in the Bible.
Just like when Ezra read God’s Word, there are people who know more about the Bible and they are available to help you learn. We call those people, the Body of Christ or the Church. The Church is a place where believers gather together to learn about Jesus.
It is important that you get connected to this body. If you need help finding a church to attend, send us an email and we will give you some suggestions. Send an email to: email@example.com