Nehemiah knew that if he were to lead the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall that things would go a lot easier if he had the help of King Artaxerxes, his employer.
Immediately he began praying for the king. He prayed that this man would have mercy upon him. That he would be acceptable to his plan.
The Lord honored Nehemiah’s prayer for King Artaxerxes.
Not only did the king grant Nehemiah the permission to go restore the walls but he also blessed him with supplies, men and his recommendation.
Pray for the people you will be dealing with. Not only does it help them but it helps you too.
Have you ever experienced the “lump in your throat” feeling? The one where you are completely shocked or caught off guard so much that your body seems to physically react to the news you’ve just received?
I’m thinking that Peter, James and John reacted in that way when Jesus revealed to them that Elijah had already come in the form of John the Baptist.
You see they had been listening to Christ foretell his death for awhile now. Naturally they didn’t want to accept this. So they had convinced themselves it wasn’t true and were working on persuading Jesus to stop mentioning this prophecy that he spoke of.
But then their opinion changed when they descended from the mountain after the transfiguration of Christ. Now they accepted that their Jesus would be crucified, but they were determined to put it off for as long as possible.
“Well Elijah has to come first and prepare the way before you can face death…” they said to him.
“He has.” replied Jesus.
And that’s when the lump formed…when they recalled John the Baptist’s ministry…when it dawned on them that John was the Elijah that the scribes had spoken of.
Unbeknownst to them that piece of the puzzle had already been completed.
It was devastating news to the disciples. In their minds Jesus’ efficiency just meant sooner turmoil.
But it was needful to happen when it did. And Christ’s timing was perfect just as it still is today.
When we don’t realize what is going on around us remember that Jesus has it under control. He has gone before us and has already laid the groundwork to work things out for our good.
“He is a murderer.”
“Wait. He is a god.”
Two very different titles given to Paul within minutes of each other.
Paul’s reaction? He went on about God’s business. He didn’t allow the accusation of being a murderer keep him from preaching Jesus. Nor did he allow the statement of him being a god deter him from working miracles through Christ alone.
People will name you. They will try to figure you out. Sometimes they may be right. Sometimes they are way off. Even so we shouldn’t allow their perception of us dictate who we are or how we carry ourselves.
You are redeemed. You are a child of God. Your filthy rags have been traded in for righteousness. Live as such, regardless of others opinions.
It has been offered to and accepted by every person that has Jesus as their personal savior.
It has been imparted upon us without any consideration of our own works.
Sadly though there are Christians that are very stingy in who they think should receive it.
These Christians gladly accept the free gift but don’t want it extended it to others.
Condemning, critiquing, scoffing and scorning seems to top their list rather than the Christ-like love, forgiveness, compassion and understanding.
What is it?
How can someone that has been granted grace not want it shared?
I believe it’s because they’ve become reliant on their own self-righteousness (which in essence is null and void) and have led themselves to believe that they aren’t in need of grace any longer. They have bought in to the lie that works is what has saved them and hold everyone else to the same standard.
But they are mistaken.
Without the grace of God it doesn’t matter how many commandments you keep. Your morals don’t matter. Your personal convictions will get you nowhere. Your work is fruitless in the kingdom of Heaven.
Because the most crucial and needful difference between the saved and the sinner is the acceptance of the grace of God provided by the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.
Be aware of the fact that you are in need of grace just the same as anyone else and accept the truth that Christ offers it to everyone therefore you should lovingly do the same.
Nehemiah led a group of workers to rebuild the walls of the city. They worked with a tool in one hand, a weapon in the other.
They did this because there were people threatening to overtake them. They realized that a battle was very likely.
But they chose not to retreat. They pressed on.
As Christians we need to realize that our adversary is looking to devour us. Within that same realization should come peace knowing that no one has the power to overcome us. There is never an acceptable reason to lay down our weapon and quit fighting the good fight. In Jesus we will always prevail.
I encourage you to be on guard. Be wary of what is taking place around you. Be vigilant. And continue to walk in victory.
Where will pride get you?
In the middle of a field, roaming around with mental issues for seven years; if you’re like King Nebuchadnezzar.
You see Daniel had interpreted a dream of despair to the king. He told him that he would hit rock bottom and stay there until he realized that the magnificence of his kingdom was from God and not himself.
Eight years later King Nebuchadnezzar stood in the middle of a field, looking and acting like a wild man when he acknowledged God’s presence in his life. In his success.
After this proclamation of praise and honor to our King He was given back his kingdom.
I encourage you to learn from King Nebuchadnezzar and give God glory now so that you won’t have to be reminded that he is the one that is worthy of all your praise.
Because the proud will be humbled. And the humble will be honored.
Sarah laughed, doubting that she would have a child because she and Abraham were both so old.
After her initial doubt she then chose to trust and believe that what the angels had spoken was true.
She believed enough to do her part. To “receive strength to conceive”. I think this scripture is telling us that Isaac wasn’t conceived as Jesus was. That his mother, Sarah was a willing, proactive participant in the conception of Isaac.
Sarah showed faith after her initial doubt.
God came through on His part.
Has the Spirit led you to do something seemingly impossible? Have you doubted that it will actually come to pass?
Move past the doubting and start showing your faith. Get on board with the plans God has for you.
“How did they not see that coming?”
We use that phrase when we are completely shocked that someone would make such a terrible decision.
But perhaps it’s because they really didn’t foresee the consequences.
Because they were blinded, spiritually speaking. They lacked spiritual vision.
Remember that darkness isn’t just a place that spiritual wickedness reigns. It’s also a lifestyle that people choose to live because they have denied Jesus as their Savior and Guide.
Pray for the sinner’s vision to be healed. Pray for them to be saved.