Then I was terrified, but I replied. (Nehemiah 2:2b-3a, NLT)
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.
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)
(On Wednesdays my blog posts will be related to the text of the upcoming Sunday message.)
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)
We just finished walking together through Lent to the Resurrection. The intention of these devotional thoughts was to get us ready to see Jesus!
How’d you do?
Each time I reach the resurrection story I am moved when I try to imagine Jesus speaking Mary’s name. I listen hard to hear him whisper my name.
But that’s not the end of the story! More work needs to be done. We have our part. God is not finished with us!
Sunday morning I will preach my first official sermon as the interim pastor of Ashland First Church of the Brethren. It is not my first time in the pulpit with these precious people. I’ve been filling in for a while.
On Sunday we embark on a different phase. We are focusing on where God wants us to go, who God wants us to be…and how we’re going to get there.
I love our verse from Philippians. For a long time I took it personally…individually. But it’s plural. Like: He began a work in y’all. And He wants to finish it.
What work has God begun in you? In your family? In your faith community–your church?
Will you join him in the work? Will you let him finish?
You hold a piece to the whole that only you can fill.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
He loves you too much to leave you where you are. “It took him just a week to make the moon and the stars, the sun and the Earth and Jupiter and Mars.” He’s still working. Life is journey. Growth is process.
PRAYER: Thank you Creator God for your commitment to finishing the work you started in me. Amen.