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Work-Wrought Worship

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Nehemiah 3:1
Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel.

The focus of a Christian’s work, in the Kingdom of God, is to enable the Worship of God. Led by Eliashib, the High-Priest, the first group to start working on the Wall was the priests. And the first part of the wall that they built was the Sheep Gate.

“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” ~John 10:9

Before entering the Temple to worship God, the Jews would carry the animals they brought for sacrifice to the Sheep Gate where the priests would then take them into the Temple for sacrifice. Unacceptable (i.e., blemished) animals were to be turned back at the Sheep Gate, only acceptable (unblemished) animals were allowed in. If the sacrifice was accepted, then the offerer would go to the Temple to worship. The Sheep Gate then was symbolic as a point of repentance and forgiveness. An accepted sacrifice confirmed that forgiveness was given and worship was now possible.

However, the sacrifices could never pay the real price for man’s rebellion against The Holy God. And they could never effect true change in the heart of the sinner. So the separation between God and man remained.

“For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” ~Psalm 51:16-17

“Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” ~Micah 6:6-8

“Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work… behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” ~John 4:34-36

Jesus came as the ONLY sacrifice valuable enough to pay the price of sin and the ONLY sacrifice powerful enough to able to change the sin-stained heart of a sinner. Hence, as the priests in Christ’s Kingdom today, Christians must have the same approach to doing the Work of God as Eliashib and the priests did. ALL of Christian work is to be focused on enabling the genuine worship of God. Our job/work is to get the message out that The Sacrifice has been accepted by God and is available for all. So, the only thing one needs to bring to the ‘Sheep Gate’ now is a repentant heart.

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” ~Acts 3:19

First we bring our repentant hearts to our High Priest, Jesus, and then we will be ready to worship God, in Spirit and in truth.

Therefore, everything a Christian does, each facet of our lives, every fiber of our being must be focused on delivering, to the people around us, the truth of salvation through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.

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  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Reflections in Nehemiah: WORK WROUGHT WORSHIP « Reflections in the WORD --

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