Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Nehemiah 2:1-17
"You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace. " (Neh. 2:17)
The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Jesus' words from over 2000 years ago ring as true today as they did all those years ago. Why? Christianity is the world largest religion, at minimum of more than 2 billion people. Almost one-third of the world's population claims some sort of Christian affiliation, yet His kingdom does not reign supreme - Why? If we are honest with ourselves, we recognize that a large portion of the blame resides with us. We are too comfortable with our material possession, status in life, and our own personal goals to focus on promoting His gospel as we are commanded to do.
 Deeply disturbed Leader: Nehemiah, when he heard of the condition of Jerusalem and its people, felt anguish and pain. He fasted and prayed for those he did not know (Neh. I:3-11). He felt sadness at the reports of Jerusalem and the ruined city walls. Despite his position as a cupbearer to the King, he still prayed that God would let him leave that lofty position to go rebuild the holy city. Do we see the ruins around us? In our world, society, schools, homes, workplaces, etc.? Do we pray for those we do not know? Are we willing to leave our comfort zone, our possessions, even our livelihood to go help those we don't know? Do we yearn for that?
Experience of God's presence and provision: When Nehemiah approaches King Artaxeres, he grants not only Nehemiah's request to leave Susa, but to get supplies with which to rebuild the city walls as well. Nehemiah acknowledges "And because the gracious hand of my God was upon me, the king granted my requests". Why was God's hand upon Nehemiah? Not only because Nehemiah prayed for the Lord to guide his steps hut because Nehemiah was answering God's call.
Pay heed to the Divine Voice: Too often in life, we think God's call will be like Moses and the burning bush or Saul and the donkey. However, many a times God's call to us is the Holy Spirit knocking in our hearts giving us a passion/desire/willingness to serve others. Steven Curtis Chapman in his song Waiting for Lightning sings in the chorus, "But you're waiting for lightning - a sign that it's time for a change. And you're listening lbr thunder - while he quietly whispers your name". As Nehemiah inspired the people of Jerusalem to rebuild the section of the wall in front of their homes, can we too be inspired to bring God's gospel, glory, mercy, love and Kingdom to our part of the world?
Dear God, please help me to be like Nehemiah. Let it be the cry of my heart to follow You and to fulfill your calling for me. Let me bring your gospel to anywhere and everywhere I can. Let your gracious Hand guide me as it did Nehemiah so that Your glory will be shown forth. Amen.

A Christian witness will be a blessing to this nation.

Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church