Archive for July, 2004

Not only did Nehemaih lead the people to rebuild the laws of Jerusalem, he also lead them to rebuild their lives through the power of the Word of God.  Nehemiah called al of the people together to hear the word of the Law that had been handed down from Moses.  These were the Holy scriptures available to them at the time.    It is amazing the read how God was faithful to Israel even when they were not faithful to him.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for being faithful to me even when I fail to be faithful to you.  Thank you for not forsaking me even though I have not and cannot merit your favor.  Thank you for your love and mercy.  Help me to serve you each and every day.  I love you.  Amen.

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God had given his people the opportunity to go back to their ancestral lands, but the people who lived there did not want them to become a strong nation again.  They opposed the rebuilding and caused trouble.   Nehemiah, however, would not let this deter him and the Jewish people.  He had half the people work, while the other half served as guards and soldiers.  Nehemiah knew God was with him and therefore would not let himself be defeated.  Nehemiah accepted that the opposition would continue, but he continued on with the work God had given him.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your will and your provision when we are in your will.  I even thank you for opposition.  I know it makes us stronger.  Help me to work diligently to serve you and do your will without regards to opposition.  I love you Lord.  Amen.

The walls of Jerusalem were broken down.  None of the remnant had taken the initiative to repair them.  God placed it on the heart of Nehemiah to make this happen.  It always amazes me that God often has to move someone from where they are at to where they need to be to accomplish his will.  Was there no one in the remnant that could take leadership?  Is it possible they had just become too complacent with the way things were to make the change?  It would seem new leadership was needed to change the ingrained culture of complacency.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for creating catalytic leaders who will move at your command from where they are at to where you want them to be.  Thank you for placing it in peoples heart to follow these leaders.  Thank you for creating present day churches lead by some of these leaders.  I love you Lord.  Amen.

The Israelites disobeyed God.  They intermarriage with non-Jewish people.  At first glance, my reaction was to wonder why it mattered if the Jews married non-Jews.  Then I remembered how God told his people to accept as brothers and sister foreigners who joined with them in faith.  However, the people who married foreign wives did not require the wives to become God-followers.  They brought with them detestable practices.  God understands our extreme inability to remain true to him when we bring evil into our homes.
 
Dear Heavenly Father,
 
Thank you for giving wise counsel concerning intermarriage between believer and non-believer.  Even though you were talking with the Jews, I believe you are using this to speak to us today.  Thank you for your deep concern and love.  Amen.

The temple is rebuilt over many years in Jerusalem. Part of me looks at this from a human standpoint and feels that the Jews did not put enough attention to this matter and therefore they failed. However, we must also remember God is the one who controls the timing. The Jews began the temple and then were forced to quite due to outside forces. They resumed when authority was then given to them to proceed. In fact, Ezra was the true leader God sent to them to make many things happen, including the temple. It is hard for me to accept that at times God plans for us to take a long time, but sometimes that is true.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Your time is not our time. Your ways are not our ways. Help me to have a patience that can only come from you. You know I want to make it happen now, but I know I need to wait on you. Thank you for your grace and mercy. I love you. Amen.

I am always amazed when I read in the word of God an unbelieving pagan listen to and obeying God. Yet we how on a number of occasions God compels pagan leaders to do things to help the Jews. What is even more interesting is they do not do this mysteriously. They almost always actually say that the God of Heaven has commanded them to do this. This really puts in perspective the true depth of God’s power vs. our power. Pagan Kings and leaders who would otherwise persecute the Jews are helping them. It really helps us understand we serve an amazing God.

Dear Heavenly Father,

You are truly the God and Father of the universe. You are truly the one and only everlasting King. All people big and small have no choice but to bow before you. Thank you for leading me to your truth and righteousness. I love you. Amen.

In our society and even our churches giving is a sore subject. People don’t like to talk about their money. However, this just shows the problem. People are not talking about their money, they are talking about the money God has given them to be stewards over. Paul talks very strongly to the Corinthians about their need and desire to give to others in need. He does not shy away for telling people clearly about their obligation to give and the proper attitude to have about giving. What could the Church be if it got the right attitude about the resources God has entrusted to it as an institution and as people? Would more people know God? Would more people be cared for?

Dear Jesus,

Help each of us to understand what it means to be a true steward of the resources you have given us. Help me to not hold money tightly, but use it wisely as you have instructed. Thank you for your financial blessings. I love you. Amen.

In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul talks about how each day our body is dieing, but our spirit is increasing in strength when we are following Christ. This makes so much sense. It makes me think of the Godly saints who are lying on their death beds. Their bodies are weak, but their spirits are full of strength and peace. These people are ready to go see the Father, but not because their bodies are about to give out, but because their spirit is ready. They are strong in faith. They are a shining example of finishing strong in serving the Lord.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Lord, help me to continue strong in this race. Help me to seek your spiritual strength each and every day. Even as my body is dieing let my spirit rise up in faith. Thank you for your help, comfort and mercy. Thank you for your undieing love. Amen.