Nehemiah 9:5-6 ESV
Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, “Stand up and bless the LORD your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.  “You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.
Nehemiah is one of my favorite books of the Bible. We see Restoration, Rebuilding and Revival. One of the things that we need to remember about Revival it is not for those who are not following Christ, but it is to revive the people of Christ. Have you lost your first love? People get busy and allow things in there life that pulls us from our first love, Christ.
Revelation 2:4-5 ESV
But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.
When we look at Nehemiah we see four key essentials as they come together after the wall is built in 52 days. Worship, Word, Confession and Prayer. Just looking at these four, is there one that you have neglected? It is so easy to get distracted in these crazy world we are living in today but God is still in control. When the people of God are revived it overflows out of our houses, into our church and then into our cities, states and nation. It changes everything. Let us focus on "Worship & Confession" this week in this devotional.
Worship & Confession: Chapter Nine is beautiful chapter to read. They have spent time daily in the word of God and brings them to a place of Worship but draws them to confess of the nation of Israel and their sin. Hebrew word for “Confess” means to cast out and praise, to confess and profess. You see the connection of worship and confession. See sin separates us from God. Why? God is Holy. God always draws a clear line. Yet we want to blur the line or try to get as close to the line as we can before we know it, we are over it and in sin. Holy Spirit convicts us of the sin. We need to repent. The beauty of it is we are in agreement with God. Our heart is acknowledging to God we have sinned.
Nehemiah 9:2 ESV
And the Israelites separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.
They separated themselves from the world, they are acknowledging in agreement with God they that have sinned. You have lost your first love and what was told them "Repent". As you read further into the Nehemiah 9 you see the word "You" (Represents the Lord) 34 times and "They" (Nation of Israel & People of Nehemiah) as they confess their sins.
Just look at the worship.
Nehemiah 9:6 ESV
“You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.
You have made.
You preserve them.
Heaven worship you.
It is an amazing portion of scripture that worships God. It is also one of the longest prayers in the bible. Yet it is tying in story of God's faithfulness and Israel's sin. Then they confess their sin and repent.
Nehemiah 9:33 ESV
Yet you have been righteous in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly.
YOU were Righteous, YOU have dealt with us Faithfully and we have acted wickedly.
They didn't shift blame like everyone does in our society today. They owned their sin. I mean Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent. Revival does not start until the person in the mirror is ready to be revived. We can not shift blame or try to make ourselves look holy by pointing out others sin. Confess it and He is faithful to forgive us our sins.
1 John 1:8-10 ESV
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
We worship God. God is omniscient, meaning He knows the past, present, and future, including what we are thinking at any given moment. In Nehemiah 9:10 “performed signs and wonders” God is omnipotent; He is all-powerful and can do anything that pleases Him, but His actions will always be in accord with the rest of His character, plus in Nehemiah 9:11 His mercy speaks of his deliverance. But also, his righteousness & God is righteous, meaning that God cannot and will not pass over wrongdoing. We confess and acknowledge God your right I need to repent.
You have made.
You preserve them.
Heaven worship you.
You found and made a covenant.
You kept your promise.
You are Righteous.
You cared and heard.
We serve a mighty merciful and loving God that wants us to return to our first love, just as the people of Nehemiah did. We can cry out in prayer for revival but it begins with the people of the church first and the person in mirror. You want to see change, live for Christ. Put a priority on Worship, Word, Confession and Prayer daily. Be like Christ, that is what Devine needs and our Nation.
1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 "Act Like Men, Be a Godly Father." Calvary Chapel Devine Devotional with Pastor Michael Petit
Looking back as father I really regret the time; I was not following Christ. I was living for the world, and I was a bad example to my kids. I learned there was a big difference between being a Godly Father or just a father living for the world. One of the verses I loved when coming to Christ was in the Book of 1 Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
Be Watchful: Dad’s need to understand the devil has released a full-on assault to destroy the family and trap your kids in sin. Schools, Celebrities, Musicians and even some politicians are trying to indoctrinate your kids to the celebrate sin. If they do not, they get cancelled, called racist, bigot, bullied on social networks and they deal with it daily. You would think the church would be safe from this, but some American pastors and churches are pushing progressive Christianity. They dive into political, social, gender and world issues that go directly against the word of God with the intent to seem woke. Dad you to need tell them about the culture (the sin in it) and answer questions they may have. But answer it with God’s word. I can not even imagine how hard it is to be a kid today.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Be vigilant, the devil will come to steal, kill, and destroy your family if your asleep on guard duty. Wake-up to the Word and lead them with the sword God’s word. Also do not just yell at them when you disagree. Remove the emotions and feelings, be a good listener and answers their questions, but with a biblical view and truth. One thing that breaks my heart when reading this verse in the Book of Colossians is I sinned, before Christ I would provoke my kids, destroy their self-esteem, and then discouraged them.
Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
It is so easy for a child to be discouraged today, so be watchful encourage them to use the bible to apply in their life. The Bible should be the lens that we use to see the world. They may have viewpoint or different way of seeing something in the world and they may have questions. Answer them, do not bend on the word of God, but give it to them with love and truth. Remember, rules without relationship lead to rebellion.
Stand Firm in the Faith: I think many dads’ today are on shaky ground and having trouble standing. Why? Many have neglected their relationship with Christ. They are too busy to spend time in the word, prayer, or fellowship. Cannot stand firm. In the Book of Nehemiah we the Nation of Israel being revived and the Stand up and worship God.
Stand up and bless the LORD your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.
We also need to Stand in obedience to His word.
Psalm 119:41-44 ESV
Let your steadfast love come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise;  then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me, for I trust in your word.  And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your rules.  I will keep your law continually, forever and ever.
The world is coming not to just knock you down but knock you out. We can stand firm in His steadfast love and abiding in Him. We set the tone for the house. We need to be men of God that put our relationship with Christ first. Keeping the faith, persevere and be persistent understand it is God that keeps us standing.
Act Like Men: You know I could write a devotional just on this one thing topic (Act Like Men). The media, Hollywood and even the politicians are doing everything to destroy masculinity. Throughout the Bible we see men that lead and are great warriors, but God is first in their life. Our example is Christ. Jesus was teacher and preacher. Jesus was dedicated to prayer, obedience, love, mercy and not a wimpy man. Jesus confronted injustice, hypocrites, and demons.
Mark 1:13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.
Your wife and kids are looking to you to be the example of Christ, how is that going? Do they see Christ in you or more of the world? Godly Man need to love sacrificially. Be servants but stand upright and lead. Be strong, wash them with the word and be an example of Jesus Christ.
Be Strong: Most dad’s think their strong physically, but we are talking spiritually. Be strong in your faith with Christ but is being made stronger continually. Be strong in worship, word, prayer and confessing sin. I love in the Book of Nehemiah we see a revival. We see men returning to Worship, Word, Prayer and Confession. Strong men desire the word.
Nehemiah 8:13 ESV
On the second day the heads of fathers' houses of all the people, with the priests and the Levites, came together to Ezra the scribe in order to study the words of the Law.
The men were revived. Revival is when God’s people are revived, and they return to God. Being strong is even dealing with our sin as well. Dad you are not perfect, guess what God knows. Your kids need to see being strong in your faith. Being a Godly Father is hard but so rewarding. Being strong will take spiritual exercise and it is continual journey.
Let all that you do be done in love: Dad do not be afraid to tell your child “I Love You”, give a hug or pray with them at night. Love them and serve them. Love is also correction at times.
1 Corinthians 13:13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Lord knows the world needs more love today. Agape love is sacrificial, and it is a love of sacrifice without expecting anything in return. We see such divide in country, schools and even in some churches. Be a father that expresses his love to his wife, family, and friends. When we do this the love of Christ overflows from the house, into the church, school, and beyond.
I just want to encourage you dad to live for the Lord, God will empower you through the Holy Spirit and obedience to bless you to be the dad you have been called to be. Happy Father’s Day.
Pastor Michael Petit
Mark 2:17 ESV
And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
One question that came to me this week. Over my time being a follower of Christ has my relationships with unbelievers become less and my relationships with believers become more? Pretty simple question, but if we are honest in our answer many Christians have treated the church in two ways one a bomb shelter hiding from the world until the rapture or the church is my cruise ship ready to attend to my every need and entertain and serve me.
Even before COVID hit the church many church goers treated the church as bomb shelter they only talked about Christ at the church. They were okay to just live a quiet secret agent life in Christ, never really sharing the gospel. They would talk about Jesus but only with other Christians. Now instead of the church becoming the bomb shelter it is the home that is shelter, due to COVID. Now some watch from the couch and have no desire to return to church anytime soon. They have gotten comfortable having coffee, eating breakfast and even scrolling through the phone as service is on the television not really fully engaged. Here in Texas you can go into pretty much any store with no mask and slowly things are returning to normal yet some are still not returned to church. How will you encourage one another when it is just you on the couch? How many neighbors have you invited for home online service? How will you share the gospel from the couch?
Hebrews 10:25 ESV
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
We have many in the church that have same characteristics of the religious leaders during the time of Jesus. Religious leaders would never be caught with a tax collector or sinner. Jesus deals with the Religious leaders questioning him for having dinner with unbelievers. Yet it was the religious leaders that were in need of the a physician as well. They were outwardly religious but inwardly in need of a Savior. How many in the church have forgotten the call we have as believers to ambassadors for Christ?
2 Corinthians 5:20-21 ESV
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
When did we stop being ambassadors for Christ? Jesus did not just teach in the synagogues, but everyone looking for those in need of Him. You are a representation of Christ and Christ reclined with sinners for the purpose of sinner to being healed, to become righteous. Can not do that from the couch or the bomb shelter. We have to leave the walls of the church and get out talk with those who do not have a relationship with Christ.
The other point is the church goers have neglected being the Salt & the Light because they treat the church as a cruise ship. What I mean by this is followers of Christ have bounced from one ship (church) to another. They look for the "Cruise Ship" to be served, entertained, look specialties ministries, celebrity pastors, worship leaders, concerts and even searching for a spouse. This is not what church is for, we have forgot the call and command (Matthew 28:19-20) to share the gospel and make disciples.
Romans 1:16 ESV
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
In Mark 2:13, Jesus "He went Out." Doesn't seem like much is being said but in the verses before Jesus had booming ministry in the synagogue as he healed a demon possessed man, yet "He went out". Jesus had a booming ministry at Peter's house as the paralytic is lifted up and brought in through the roof, yet "He went Out". Jesus is doing ministry everywhere and trying to reach the lost. Why aren't you? Have you become to focused on what the cruise ship (church) is supposed to offer you? I remember we had someone leave the church because there wasn't enough singles in the church. The person was looking for a spouse and treating the church like a club a place to pick up women. It's unreal, but for many this is what the church has become. The church is actually a "Battleship" and your time on the battleship (church) is to strengthen, encourage, and even convict you. It is to prepare you to hit the missionary field. I love Calvary Chapel Houston they have a sign as you exit their parking lot that says "You are now entering the missionary field" it is so true. Every Sunday as you leave the doors of the church you are heading into the missionary field. Are you being the Salt and the Light in this dark world?
Matthew 5:13-16 ESV
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.  “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Stop looking for the church to be your "Cruise Ship" stop looking to be served and entertained. Stop jumping from ship (church) to ship (church). Get involved serve and share Christ where you are at. It is time for the church to get back out and share the gospel. Who is a sinner? We all are and we all are in need of a physician, Jesus. You have the message to save them from an eternity in hell, why wouldn't you share it? It is time for the followers of Christ to come outside the walls of the church and off the cruise ship back into the missionary field, which right outside the doors of your church, house, work and stores. This why we as church want to be involved in the Cactus Fest coming November it is opportunity to love on community and share the love of Christ.
Pastor Michael Petit
Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."
Lately I have seen more Christian Youth and Young Adults fall away from faith or even choose a more progressive view of Christianity when they know it goes against God's word. I always tell parents, single moms and grandparents raising kids if you will not teach them, the devil surely will. How do we train up a child? First we need to live out our relationship with Jesus in front of them. To many kids have grown up with a bad witness of Christ in the home. Parents that party and drink all weekend but come into to church playing the holy Christian for that hour on Sunday is such hypocrisy. Kids can tell when a parent or adult is faking the funk when it comes to being Christ like. As a parent do they see you reading the word and applying it daily? Do you pray with them? Do you talk to them about God and living His word in this crazy world today? Aim to prepare a thirst, to start a hunger, and create an appetite for spiritual things in the lives of your children. Parents you have a great guide the word of God.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Second, Parents we need to teach them while their under your roof. Teach them the word... If you will not teach them about God, then devil will teach them about the world draw them to sin. Trust me just look at two of the headlines this week. In the NY Times "Sexual Education Taught to First Graders." when you read deeper into this story you see them show a cartoon to the kids and talking about masturbation but teaching them it is okay. Actually it is a sin of sexual immorality in the Bible. The school is ready and will teach your first grader if you not engaged or in your own sin you will miss this as parent. Second headline popular Nickelodeon Kids Cartoon Blues Clues had very special episode for your pre-k age kids on LGBQT "Pride Month" with a Drag Queen and a Pride parade in the cartoon. The devil is trying earlier and earlier to indoctrinate your children that living a lifestyle of sexual immorality is okay and again it is clearly taught in 1 Timothy 1:10 that it is a sin.
Deuteronomy 6:7-9 ESV
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Lastly, God gives us instructions on the importance of teaching them as children. That is why we actually teach scripture every Sunday to our children in children's ministry. God's word doesn't return void. If you lack zeal for Lord yourself how will you teach your children? When is the last time you just talk with them, listen to them. A listening ear is often what children need most. Spend time in the mornings and evenings to remind them of God’s love and presence, and offer them godly counsel. Engage them if not the devil will.
My prayer for you is take your walk and relationship with the Lord seriously. Your children or grandchildren need to see it lived out in the home. Be engaged, active and become a great listener for your children. Point them to Christ by living it out. Pray for them and with them daily. The things these kids face is nothing like our generation. The devil's time is running out and he is throwing everything at these kids. They need to be trained up so they can see the lie and not fall for the temptations of the enemy, but walk with Jesus.
Pastor Michael Petit