5 I said, “O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps
covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his
commandments;6 let your ear
be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer of your servant that I
now pray before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel,
confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against
you. Both I and my family have sinned. When something is not functioning properly,
our natural tendency should be to address it. From something as
simple as a replacing a light bulb that is not working, to going
and seeking medical help when your sick. It's our sense of
responsibility to respond in action, when there is a need.
Today's passage in
Nehemiah chapter 1 displays the responsibility of a young man, who chose to
respond to the needs of his fellow Jews. Nehemiah had heard from his
brothers that the Jews were in great trouble, due to the wall of Jerusalem
which had been torn down and the gates destroyed by fire. The reaction
that he displays upon hearing this challenging news is truly a Godly
example of faith in action.
"When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned,
fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven." Believers in the Lord
are inspired to follow 3 key steps that Nehemiah displays.
1) Confession and
repentance of our sins, brings us into a right standing with Jesus.
Before you can help anyone in need, you have to help yourself first.
In order to witness Jesus, you have to be partakers of his life, death on
the cross, and the power of His resurrection. Believing that Jesus
truly is the Son of God, who died in your place and mine, so that we can be
partakers of His righteousness.
2) Prayer allows for
God to work in the circumstances and situations. Before Nehemiah took
any steps or action, he fasted and prayed to God. When we seek the
Lord first in prayer, we are placing Him in the honor and glory that only
He deserves, to rightfully lead us to witnessing Him through the need that
3) Faith along with
works displays the Lords Will in every situation. Nehemiah's faith
was tested, when he requested to King Artaxerxes to help him rebuild the
walls of Jerusalem. Since Nehemiah confessed before the God his sins
and prayed for direction, God displayed His power by allowing the King to
help with this need. Nehemiah's faith in action allowed for a
powerful witness to all of God's people, and even to those who didn't
believe in God. Ch 6, vs 15 verifies that in a matter of 52 days the
walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt. The responsibility of every
Christian is to witness Jesus in their environments, through all kinds of
difficulties and challenges.
Heavenly Father, we
often hear about the struggles and difficult situations that your people
endure. Whether it is within or out of our control, help us to respond so
they see our Christian witness as an answer to their prayers. Strengthen
us to step out in faith and display your love to a world in need. Amen
FOR THE DAY: We often let God down, when we pass up on opportunities to witness Him in
our lives and those around us. Boldly respond, by believing that God will
equip you with His power, His wisdom, and His unlimited resources.
PRIESTHOOD: THE ANOINTED MINISTRY Exodus 40:12-16 Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting... wash them with water. Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments, anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest (Exodus 40: 12-13). Priesthood among the people of God was a divine command and initiation. God wanted some people to be separated for the special ministry among his people. God appointed Aaron and his descendants to take up this kind of ministry among the people of God. Priests are always separated and appointed as channels that connect God with his people. All throughout the history of Israel, priests played an important role in connecting people with God and to lead and guide them in the statutes of God. But there are incidents in the Bible where the priests failed in their duties and that led the people to go away from God. So the priests have a special and significant ministry to perform in this world among his people. Two important things
Community Formation Around Resurrection Experience Acts 23:1-10 Vinod Johnson Carmel MTC, Boston, MA 6 When Paul noticed that some were Sadducees and others were Pharisees, he called out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead.” Sometimes, the only thing that keeps you going through a brutal winter is the hope for the spring. It may have been a hard hope to hold on to this particular year in New England - a year in which Boston considered dumping not tea, but the ever growing mounds of snow into its harbor. And yet, the waist deep snow has dissolved away. White desolation has given way to increasingly visible green shoots of spring. A resurrection is at hand! In this passage, Paul tries to defend himself before the Sanhedrin Council. He seeks to drive a wedge between the Pharisees who believed in resurrection and the Sadducees who did not; even though neither believed in the resur
Revelation for Liberation Acts 27:18-26 Sherine Thomas Long Island MTC, NY 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest raged, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned. “After winter comes the summer. After night comes the dawn. And after every storm, there comes clear open skies” so said a Scottish clergyman from the 1600s. It’s been said, that hope can sometimes be the most dangerous weapon. However, it’s sometimes the hardest weapon to carry when you’re living with the loss of a loved one, something that almost feels like a terrible nightmare that’ll never go away. It’s a weapon difficult to carry when day in and day out no one seems to hear or see those tears that are shed or silent cries that are made during a heartfelt prayer. It’s a weapon difficult to carry as you see your loved one lying on that hospital bed. It’s a weapon difficult to carry as you search and seek out answers to tell a child as to why they’ve been a