Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Nehemiah 2: 13-20Key Verse: “They replied, “Let us start rebuilding,” So they began this good work (Neh 2:18b)
Based on the title of this devotional, one common misconception among Christians, especially American Christians is that if we get political leaders that align with “Christian conservative values” into Congress and the White House, the nation will rebuild and be restored into a Christ-Centered nation.
But the truth is as followers of Christ, our kingdom looks and governs differently than any government found on this earth. It’s because the kingdom as believers is centered on the gospel, which is different from what any lawman can make and enforce, on this earth. Nehemiah Chapter 2 shows us how God used Nehemiah’s relationship with King Artaxerxes to bring about a change in the nation of Israel.
Nehemiah didn’t just look at a huge obstacle and dwell in its hopelessness. He brought it before God who made a way for him to get involved. Many times. Nehemiah Chapter 2 goes into all the details of where he walked and which gate he inspected. Every gate mentioned was a community’s responsibility to maintain. The Book of Chronicles talks about gatekeepers assigned, and you can imagine entire communities formed at each gate because it would be where trade and security happened for the city of Jerusalem.
Nehemiah rebuilding Jerusalem wasn’t just rebuilding the place where God dwells, but it was also raising the standard of living for the community that chose to dwell in Jerusalem.
God does not use governments to move mountains or valleys, he uses individuals like you and me that have a passion in their hearts for a group or land that has a hopeless situation. Logically we think that building a nation takes political power, and political strength, but in God’s Kingdom, it takes committed people with a sense of purpose.
Nehemiah was overwhelmed knowing that Jerusalem was in ruins, as he dwelt in the house of the King. Many of us see situations that are overwhelming, and we think to ourselves, “what can we do”. Whether it be Gun violence, war, or poverty, we can think to ourselves that it’s such a horrible situation, and when we rely on our own power, the problem overwhelms us and we get discouraged by our limitations.
Nehemiah shows us the model of getting things done with God. First, be aware of what issues God puts on your heart. Next, ask God to intervene and go to God for help. Next, Be willing to share your passion with others, and take the help you get. Then be ready to explore the issue and get firsthand experience. Many times we have heard of issues, and want to get involved in a periphery, but real restoration involves getting on the ground and working. Finally, the hardest part is not to give into criticism. There will always be people that will try to r disrupt your plans, but if your plans have the hand of God over them nothing will stop them, and have the full confidence of being sent by the King.
Finally, brothers and sisters remember the nation we are called to restore and rebuild looks like what is described in Mathew 25, which includes the hungry, the lonely, the naked, the sick, and the prisoner and we are restoring this Kingdom for our King because He will reply “Truly I tell you whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Mathew (25:40)
As followers of Christ, I pray we seek to restore and rebuild the kingdom of God to its original glory.
Lord, I pray to help us to see the hurting world, but not lose hope. Help us to make changes in our community, help us to spread the gospel, help us to restore dignity to people, and help us to point all our efforts to you.
Epiphany Mar Thoma Church