Day 31: Housekeeping

A LoveSingapore 40.Day prayer and fast devotional, following 2021's theme of From the Ground Up: A Prayer Journey Through the Book of Nehemiah.

LoveSingapore // July 31, 2021, 12:01 am


Bible reading for 40.DAY 2021 |  Nehemiah 10:32–39

Before the exile, Israel clung to the temple like a talisman to ward off disaster. After the exile, they swung to the other extreme and neglected the temple altogether (Ezra 6:8-10, 7:14-23). During the exile, they had learned to live without the house of God. Like some of us.

The covenant pledge of Nehemiah 10 concludes with a solemn oath to finance all the services and supplies of the temple (Nehemiah 10:32-39). The Persian kings initially underwrote these expenses (Ezra 6:9-10, 7:14-24). But this could not and should not last forever.

They put God first in everything. They put their treasure where their heart is.

Israel now takes full responsibility to support the work of God, the workers of God, and the worship of God.

This is a radical fruit of repentance for an economically strapped community on the fringe of a sprawling empire. It shows just how deeply the Word of God has impacted their lives during the renewal movement, transforming their values and resetting their priorities.

They don’t use their hardship as an excuse to hold back and hoard their pittance. They put God first in everything. They put their treasure where their heart is. Do we?

Israel could never have survived without strong institutions. The twin pillars of temple and Torah held them together for the next 500 years.

God is not against institutions. The Church in heaven can do without them. But down here, they are vital organs of the body of Christ.

God is a God of order, not confusion. Institutions provide an orderly arrangement of the life and ministry of the Church in the world.

The Church can survive without your tithes and offerings. But can you?

The Church can survive without your tithes and offerings. But can you?

When you give part of your income to God, you acknowledge that everything you have is His. The altar sanctifies your gift (Matthew 23:19). Not only is the portion you give holy. What you keep for your needs is also sanctified, provided you give with the right motives and don’t keep too much.

To neglect God’s house is to neglect God. For your own sake, pay your tithes at least. Support the work, workers, and worship of God.

Wall of duty

1. Some of us have become self-centric. We have fallen for ideas swirling around in the cyber world that the days of the institutional church are over. Reject this naive notion and toxic thinking.

Watch and pray: God created us for community. Any group that meets together intentionally and regularly for any purpose under any form of leadership, order, and accountability is already an institution.

Your church is an institution. Don’t be embarrassed by that. But do keep your church on an upward trajectory of life-giving renewal … so that its Gospel purpose is served more and more powerfully all the time, in everything you do. A church making the real Jesus non-ignorable in your city and far beyond – that’s an institution worthy of your all (Ray Stedman).

2. Some of us have gotten too comfortable staying home on Sundays during Covid. Post-pandemic, will the neglect of God’s house become a chronic problem?

Many churches have expanded their virtual reach in innovative ways and enlarged their social media presence. This is exciting. But we shouldn’t forget that the church stands or falls with the doctrine of the incarnation. ‘Jesus drew near to them,’ scripture reports. Intimacy, proximity, and personal presence will carry more genuine authority in a post-pandemic church than touting a large [online] platform (Peter Marty).

Watch and pray: Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion (Hebrews 3:15). 

3. Some of us have stopped giving to the house of God. Spooked by the economic impact of the pandemic, we have succumbed to the fear of lack. Let us return to the Word. 

Listen. Pray. Obey: Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. And thereby put Me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts (Malachi 3:10-12).

Pray: Lord, forgive us. In withholding what belongs to You, we have robbed You. In not trusting You, we have shortchanged ourselves. We have deprived ourselves the promise of divine supply and freedom from anxiety about treasures on earth.

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About the author


Founded in 1995, LoveSingapore is a unity movement motivated by love, fuelled by prayer, and inspired by a common vision: God's greatest glory seen through a life changed, a church revived, a nation transformed, and a world evangelised.