God has been so good to me….
God has been so good to me….
Reading through Nehemiah has been a struggle. But today, as we close season 7, this is such a great reminder… As a leader, I need to remember that I can not create Utopia. Not everyone will like me, not everyone will follow the rules. I must stay in prayer, and be bold when I need too.
This has been a tough year, miscinceptions, down right lies…. but God has been good. In the last couple of weeks, God has been telling me that I need not defeand myself. Today’s verse, was that he would fight for me, I just need to be still. And in the midst of the action of one staff member, He has given me peace.
REMEMBER ME, MY GOD
by Rebecca Faires
The Tower of London was built around the year 1000 AD, and it still stands on the banks of the Thames River today. But a castle that old needs tending to keep looking good, no matter how many famous ravens live there. The regular maintenance is never finished, and every task, once complete, needs to be done again every 75 years. The old castle is never really “finished.” It’s just going through its stages of the 75-year upkeep plan.
When Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem, the walls are still standing, but the people have fallen apart. They have forgotten who they are and what God has called them to do. It’s so discouraging after the celebration and commemoration ceremonies in the previous chapters. We all want a happy ending for these people who worked so hard and endured so much.
On this side of heaven, things will never be perfect. Because of the curse of sin, we will always struggle. But there are three things I think we can learn about the gospel from this passage.
First, notice what Nehemiah does before he lets his righteous anger fly. He gathers the whole community and reads the book of Moses. I think it’s safe to say that he read the Pentateuch—at the very least, the Ten Commandments, and at the most, he sat them down for hours and read the whole thing. Either way, before He brings them to justice for breaking God’s law, he reminds them of God’s law. He establishes their common ground. When we are struggling, we must return to God’s Word to remember who we are and to whom we belong.
Second, remember that Nehemiah is a man of prayer. He prayed before he even answered the king. He is a steady and continuous man of prayer. While he brings judgment to the people, he keeps stopping to pray. He cries out: “Remember me for this, my God, and don’t erase the deeds of faithful love I have done for the house of my God and for its services… look on me with compassion according to the abundance of your faithful love” (Nehemiah 13:14, 22). It’s clear that prayer is an integral part of Nehemiah’s actions. When we find that we are inadequate, when things have gone wrong, we must turn to God in prayer.
Finally, let’s notice that even Nehemiah, the guy who is known for prayer and Scripture reading, couldn’t get it perfectly right. He was a great leader and a true man of God, but he still wasn’t able to create a perfect city. He couldn’t totally stamp out corruption. He couldn’t get people to follow the rules. The people fell into the same sins that sent them into exile in the first place, and Nehemiah couldn’t fix them.
Christ is the only One who can complete the work. He changes hearts, He mends families, and He is making all things new. We are called to read His Word, submit ourselves to prayer, and realize that no matter how dedicated or good we think we are at self-maintenance, we cannot achieve a perfect utopia. We can barely keep the Tower of London from falling down! So we ought to do the work He has called to do, and rest in Christ who is the only One who can truly call a task finished.
Although times are often hard….God is still in control…. #SheReadsTruth #Srt_nehemiah
I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.
Ephesians 1:18-23 NLT
1When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, 2and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?”
3Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building—even a fox climbing up on it would break down their wall of stones!”
4Hear us, our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity. 5Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of[a] the builders.
6So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.
7But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. 8They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. 9But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.
10Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”
11Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”
12Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”
13Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. 14After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
15When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work.
16From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah 17who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, 18and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.
19Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. 20Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”
21So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out. 22At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so they can serve us as guards by night and as workers by day.” 23Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.[b]
The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. One thing I ask from the Lord , this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord . Hear my voice when I call, Lord ; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord , I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior. Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. Teach me your way, Lord ; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations. I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord ; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord .
Psalm 27:1-14 NIV
Gods word is good. I feel as so many things are crumbling around me, but God is working on changing my heart, drawing me to Him, and is going to continue to do great things.
We are called to bless those that curse us. No doubt there are many that curse me. Being the people pleaser I am, I never thought I would be in the place in which I would have to make decisions that would make others hate me.
I know that I need to do the things I need to do… but they are hard. I also know if it wasn’t hard, I wouldn’t be the right person. Father, I pray that you would go before me. Fill me with your wisdom and discernment. Bless those that curse me. Yet at the same time, fill me with your peace.
The author of today’s reading shares this, There is so much irony in self-righteousness because it is exactly the self-righteous who don’t think they have a problem. That’s why it can be a toxic sin, one that creeps into our lives without our awareness. Today, I find it most apparent in my marriage. When I’m having a bad day, God forbid my husband sneeze too loudly, miss a button on his shirt, or accidentally leave the stove on. I’m quick to point out or dwell on his minor flaws while ignoring the far bigger issue: my critical spirit.” (Claire Gibson) #shereadstruth #hospitality
I am also guilty of this. Forgive me father.
Lord, thank you for the blessings you have given us. Thank you for allowing us to give back. Keep my heart in You, Father. Thank you for the new friends you will bring. Thank you for allowing us to share with your children.