January 27, 2014

Location, Location, Location

Nehemiah 11:1-4

The people commended all who volunteered to live in Jerusa-lem.
—Nehemiah 11:2


What do Carmel, Indiana; McKinney, Texas; and Eden Prairie, Minnesota, have in common? They were Forbes magazine’s top choices for the best places to live in 2012. They were picked because of low crime, great schools, and strong economies.

For the Jews, Jerusalem was the best place to live. There was no better location for a formerly exiled people to rebuild their lives than to take up residence near the house of God.

Only one family out of ten could live in Jerusalem. The goal was to live, work, and worship God’s way. Each of the family lines populated Jerusalem with the kind of people who centered everything on being God’s witnesses to the surrounding nations.

To live in Jerusalem was a great honor, but also a challenge. The people chosen were honored to lead the kind of life that brought glory to the Lord. They would treat each other with justice. They would regularly engage in sincere worship. But it would be a challenge to be faithful and not cut corners in work and worship. Still, Jerusalem’s residents accepted the honor and challenge to make God’s city the best place to live.

How do we attract people for God? We must take to heart Paul’s words: “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). The best place to live is in the will of our only Savior.

Jesus, may I live in such a way that others will see you at work in me and give you the glory. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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