Thursday, October 9, 2014

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Witnessing of the People of God


Jojy Koshy
St. Pauls MTC, Dallas, TX


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; 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.

Nehemiah 1:4, "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 is present.

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.

PRAYER

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

THOUGHT 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.