Nehemiah Devotions Chapter 3, Day 2

Tuesday Start with the place of worship

Text: Then Eliashib the high priest and the other priests started to rebuild at the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and set up its doors, building the wall as far as the Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and the Tower of Hananel. (Nehemiah 3:1, NLT)

WP 3-2 abandoned church

The work began with the place of worship and with the leaders of worship. God’s people stepped up and started the work.

This may seem odd to our twenty-first century minds when people are leaving the church in droves. Organized religion continues to be ridiculed and left behind as outdated and out of touch. Our rubble is showing.

WP 3-2 rebuilding the church

But the rebuilding began with the priests, and the next words we read are that the people worked with them.

As we read on, we will see there’s a place where each of us can join the rebuilding project. Let’s begin here by asking God to show us what our part is in the rebuilding of worship.

WP Neh 3-2 one in church

Nehemiah Devotions Chapter 3, Day 1

Monday Concept of work
Text: Read through chapter 3 and notice the different references to work.

WP Neh 3-1 work

In “A Passion for Faithfulness,” J.I. Packer helps us understand the biblical perspective of work: “When the Bible talks about work it has in view much more than what we do for money or gain, what we call our job or our employment. In the Bible, work as such means any exertion of effort that aims at producing a new state of affairs. (p. 73)”

WP Neh 3-1 back to work

It seems appropriate to think about work on a Monday, the day most people ‘get back to it.’ People head into Mondays with a mixed bag of feelings. Some love their jobs, while others struggle to persevere.

What about the spiritual work we have to do? What job has God given you to do?

In John’s gospel we are told that God is at work and he invites us to join him.

Pray today for eyes to see where God is at work in the world around you and ask how you can join him.

WP Neh 3-1 work as if

Nehemiah Devotions Chapter 2, Day 7

Then I told them about how the gracious hand of God had been on me, and about my conversation with the king.
They replied at once, “Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!” So they began the good work. (Nehemiah 2:18, NLT)

Nehemiah had been in town for a few days. The people had seen him walk around. Some had probably bent his ear about the deplorable situation.

WP Neh 2 vision

And now it was time to let them know what God had in mind.

The response was overwhelming. Vision is contagious. The people were moved and committed.

Nehemiah laid out. He showed them God could be trusted because he is God and he will keep his promises.

It’s time to step up, catch God’s vision, and commit to his plan.

His Word tells us that we will do even greater things than have already been recorded.

What will be your part in rebuilding and building for the Kingdom?

WP Neh 2 do your part

Nehemiah Devotions Chapter 2, Day 6

Then I told them about how the gracious hand of God had been on me, and about my conversation with the king.
They replied at once, “Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!” So they began the good work. (Nehemiah 2:18, NLT)

Nehemiah had been in town for a few days. The people had seen him walk around. Some had probably bent his ear about the deplorable situation.

WP Neh 2-6 God has a plan

And now it was time to let them know what God had in mind.

The response was overwhelming. Vision is contagious. The people were moved and committed.

Nehemiah laid out. He showed them God could be trusted because he is God and he will keep his promises.

It’s time to step up, catch God’s vision, and commit to his plan.

His Word tells us that we will do even greater things than have already been recorded.

What will be your part in rebuilding and building for the Kingdom?

WP Neh 2-6 catch the vision

Nehemiah Devotion Chapter 2, Day 5

I had not told anyone about the plans God had put in my heart for Jerusalem.
(Nehemiah 2:12)

WP Neh Dev 2-5 walk at night

Nehemiah got to town and one might imagine him jumping in and getting to work. But that’s not what happened. Nehemiah takes his time. He walks around the rubble. And he tells no one about the plan God laid on his heart.

He spent time with the people. He probably heard their discouraging stories. He saw the overwhelming nature of the task.

God needed Nehemiah to take all of that in. It’s one thing to draw up a plan from a distance, but quite another to see what needs to be done close up and personally.

There were times in Jesus’ ministry when even though he knew the heart of God and what needed to be done, he pulled away from the crowd to be alone with his Father.

The more time I spend with Nehemiah, the more I see a man who leaned hard on God.

How’s your “leaning” going?

Nehemiah Devotions Chapter 2, Day 4

But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard of my arrival, they were very displeased that someone had come to help the people of Israel. (Nehemiah 2:10, NLT)

WP Neh Dev 2-4 memo

Not everyone got the memo.

Nehemiah watched as God prepared and provided. Nehemiah witnessed the overwhelming kindness and favor of the king as he supported Nehemiah’s plan 100%.

But not everyone was on board. Not everyone wants to see the plans of God succeed. There will always be those who’s self-seeking and self-serving plans come against God, and us.

WP Neh Dev 2-4 opposition

Awareness of this doesn’t necessarily make it easier. Jesus wanted us to be ready for this kind of thing. He told his followers: 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12, NIV)

WP Neh Dev 2-4 persecuted

Nehemiah Devotions Chapter 2, Day 3

The king asked, “Well, how can I help you?” (Nehemiah 2:4, NLT)

WP Neh Devo time passing

Six months. One hundred eighty days, give or take a few, Nehemiah opened his eyes and wondered if today would be the day.

He trusted God each to be laying the ground work. And each day he prayed to be ready.

And the time had arrived.

Nehemiah opened his mouth and shared his heart with the king and queen. He laid it out. He said needed. He had prayed for favor and kindness.

And that’s exactly what he got.

I can’t begin to what had been going on in the heart and mind of the king. Was he just having a day of benevolence? In the six months that Nehemiah waited had something happened to endear Nehemiah to the king making the favor expressed as natural as the sun coming up in the morning?

I don’t know. I am just convinced that Nehemiah was seeing God’s greatness unfold before his eyes. If God could do that then there’s nothing he can’t be trusted with.

Nehemiah knew that. Do we?

WP Neh Dev 2-3 Prov 3 5-6

Nehemiah Devotions: Chapter 2, Day 2

Then I was terrified, but I replied. (Nehemiah 2:2b-3a, NLT)

WP Neh Dev 2-2 emotions

We learned at the end of the first chapter Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the king. It was an important position. He was a public figure and was expected to present himself accordingly. He took his responsibility seriously and consistently presented himself appropriately. Until now.

The burden he carried had become so great that the weight began to show on his countenance. And the king noticed.

Would this be interpreted as insubordination, or dissatisfaction with his job? Neither would be acceptable to the king.

WP Neh Dev 2-2 fear

At this point Nehemiah stood at a threshold. His response would leave him comfortable in the lifestyle he was accustomed to or throw him into the unknown as he followed God’s plan.

Nehemiah demonstrates great courage, and teaches us that courage doesn’t mean we won’t fear. We read here that Nehemiah was terrified. But in spite of his fear, his faith in the one who called him was enough to enable him to stand up and proceed across the threshold into the unknown.

Has God called you to step forward in faith? Are you afraid? Find your courage and confidence in the one who calls you.

Claim Paul’s words as you keep to the journey: And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6, NLT)

WP Neh Dev 2-2 Phil 1-6

Nehemiah Devotions: Chapter 2, Day 1

WP Neh Devo time passing
Monday
Text: Early the following spring, in the month of Nisan, during the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I was serving the king his wine. (Nehemiah 2:1, NLT)

We start our thoughts this week with Nehemiah roughly six months later. Did you catch that? Chapter one begins in late autumn and chapter picks back up in early spring.

What’s up with that? The need was great. Nehemiah’s response had been intense. I would have expected God to move immediately. Wouldn’t you?

But the success Nehemiah prayed for, the favor of the king, needed time to unfold.

God works that way. God doesn’t always answer the way we want or expect. We need to trust that God is working even when we can’t, don’t, or won’t see it. God is never late.

Have you experienced a time when God answered your prayer with an instant “yes”? How about a definite “no”? Can you trust him to be working when there is not instant answer?

SP Neh 2 waiting with clock

Second only to suffering, waiting may be the greatest teacher and trainer in godliness, maturity, and genuine spirituality that most of us ever encounter. ~Richard Hendrix