7:1-73 – What kind of people are we? Are we ‘faithful and God-fearing’ people’ (2)? It is so easy to lose our way and become ‘unclean’ (64)? What are we to do when we lose our way, when we forget the Lord, when we wander away from Him? We must return to the Lord. We must begin again with Him, confessing our sin, receiving His forgiveness and learning to live in the power of the Holy Spirit. These words may help you to make a new beginning with God: ‘There’s a way back to God from the dark paths of sin. There’s a door that is open and you may go in: at Calvary’s Cross is where you begin, when you come as a sinner to Jesus’. ‘Cleanse me from my sin, Lord. Put Thy power within, Lord. Take me as I am, Lord, and make me all Thine own…’ (Mission Praise, 682, 82).
8:1-9:5 – What happens when God’s people ‘gather together’ (8:1)? – (a) We hear the Word of the Lord (8:2-3,8). We come to the Lord’s House, seeking a fresh understanding of His Word. We look to the Lord, speaking through His Word, to fill us ‘with great joy’ (8:12). (b) We thank God for His Son, our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ (8:13-18). In ‘the feast of the seventh month’, ‘the Lord’s Feast of Tabernacles’, God’s people remembered how much He had done for them (Leviticus 23:34,42). In the Lord’s Supper, we remember that Christ died for our sins (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). (c) We dedicate our lives to the Lord (9:2). ‘Do not be conformed to this world’. ‘Be transformed’ by God’s Word (Romans 12:2). (d) We worship the Lord (9:5). Let us ‘praise the Lord our God…’.