The Dirty Work That Must Be Done – Nehemiah 3

The Dirty Work That Must Be Done – Nehemiah 3

Read Nehemiah 3

I worked for a medical rental company, and I worked deliveries and drop offs. That might not seem too bad, but I was on call some weekends in case the companies we delivered to needed supplies (at ANY time). So, there would be inevitable phone calls that came through at 11pm, asking for a delivery, and of course my initial response (to myself) is “no way”. Sometimes, there were other employees I could ask to trade with, and then I would trade with them when they were on call. This option saved me many times, so we could all work together to get the job done. This leads us to our reading in Nehemiah 3. In verse 5, it states “…but their nobles did not put their shoulders to the work of their Lord.” The Nobles saw it beneath their “pay grade,” to help with the wall. As you continue, it shows for generations, and throughout many nations, that people everywhere were willing to put in their time, no matter the job. “And next to him” is referenced 10 times alone between verse 3 and verse 10. Then from verse 14 through almost the end of the chapter, the author starts every verse with “And after him”, showing that everyone knew their part in either the creation or repair of the wall, and knew that without their help, this wall, and their team, would fail. I’m sure there were plenty of people in this time that refused to work, or thought this job was beneath them, but like the quote in verse 5, this was the work of the Lord; and just like these men’s mission was to build this wall, the Lord has put us on this earth at this time to complete a mission designed for us.

— Tyler Jacobs

Am I Willing? – Nehemiah 2

Am I Willing? – Nehemiah 2

Read Nehemiah 2

Nehemiah is a book that really moves my heart. It starts off with confession, and it ends with a re-established house of worship restarting the worship practices they hadn’t been able to upkeep. It directly shows how great an impact an imperfect but willing person can have on bringing the kingdom and plans of God to earth.

Nehemiah in chapter 2 is the vessel and advocate to bring God’s chosen people back into their calling. Now, it’s easy to skim over the fact that he was a slave; but even as a slave God was able to use him to build His house of worship. How many of us feel disqualified and unable to be used as a vessel by God? What if the reason we have little impact is because we have chosen to disqualify ourselves? God is searching for men and women who aren’t perfect, but that are willing to join in His passionate zeal for His kingdom.

When Nehemiah found out about the desolate state of Jerusalem, his response was to fast and pray, and four months later he was given the opportunity to speak with the King. Where are the places that the Lord has placed us and how can we use our position to petition for the kingdom of God?

I encourage you to catch the bug of God’s passion for His kingdom, and that you gain the willingness to petition for its establishment here on earth.

— Mitchell Ressell

God Punched My Heart – Nehemiah 1

God Punched My Heart – Nehemiah 1

Read Nehemiah 1

Years ago my youngest daughter, Layla, and I were riding a carousel at the local mall. One of those classic ones where you sit on a horse that moves up and down as the ride spins. I was holding my daughter who was 4 at the time while she sat on the horse and she looked at me and said “Daddy, God punched my heart”. Children are prone to say things that make little sense but she had a reason in her mind. After discussing what she was thinking…I was struck with a thought. What if the pain we sometimes go through is God “punching our heart”?  Not out of pleasure, but love.

8 “Please remember what you told your servant Moses: ‘If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations. 9 But if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored.’

Perhaps you’ve been “punched in the heart”. Maybe it’s time to take a moment, follow the example of Nehemiah in Chapter 1, and talk to your Father. His desire is nothing more than for His children to remember the love He has for them and that He wants to see you succeed in life. Sometimes we need that punch to bring us back.

— Ben Abu Saada

The Year of The Lord’s Favor – Isaiah 61

The Year of The Lord’s Favor – Isaiah 61

Read Isaiah 61

This is a beautiful picture of redemption and what happens when we let Jesus into our life or specific situations.  Jesus actually quotes this verse when He starts His ministry, which is beautiful because He is saying I am the fulfillment of this prophecy.  I have come to comfort those who mourn, I have come to take ashes and turn them into something beautiful.  He is proclaiming the gospel and the power of God.  He is telling us that He alone can take the parts of our lives, the ruins if you will, and makes them strong.  He takes the weaknesses, the fears we have, and He turns them into strength and faith.  This is the power of the Holy Spirit in us.  What was meant to destroy us actually begins to make us strong, what we or others might have thought made us unworthy is now the very thing that God is using to show the power of His gospel.

So what is it today that looks dead, looks weak, or looks too dark for God to ever do anything with in our lives?  Give it to God, ask Him to take it and use it for His glory.  Don’t allow shame to make you hide it anymore.  Bring it out into the open and let the light of God’s amazing love shine to make it a light for others.  This is the gospel.  This is the power of God and His love.

— Luke Lauber

A Bruised Reed He Will Not Break – Psalm 31

A Bruised Reed He Will Not Break – Psalm 31

Read Psalm 31

Psalm 31:9-14

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also. 10 For my life is spent with sorrow And my years with sighing; My strength has failed because of my iniquity, And my body has wasted away. 11 Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach, Especially to my neighbors, And an object of dread to my acquaintances; Those who see me in the street flee from me. 12 I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel. 13 For I have heard the slander of many, Terror is on every side; While they took counsel together against me, They schemed to take away my life. 14 But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord, I say, “You are my God.”

The Take Away

David went before God with legitimate physical and emotional pain, threats and fears.  How many of us would go to God with these complaints? Or would we hide in shame and fear that we did something wrong, therefore God is punishing us!  David, boldly brought his issues to God, but he didn’t wallow in his situations.  BUT he declared TRUTH over his circumstances.  This is the most powerful thing you can say over your situations, “As for me, I trust in You, O Lord, I say, “You are my God.”

— James Adams