Today: Look at me, listen to me
Passage: Neh 1 ( NIV 84 )
4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said:“O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s house, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses. (Neh 1, NIV)-emphasis added
Nehemiah’s prayer: “Look at me, listen to me” (The message version)
When we pray to God, and as God looks at us, what does He see?
Our selfish, “bless me and my family and no body else please, Lord” attitude?
Ezra was all about the people of God and the work of God. He knew, a wall and the gates were very important
We build a wall around our family/church by prayer and intercession
Jesus prayed specifically for His disciples; we see that in John 17
11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. (John 17, NIV)
Nehemiah did not blame Ezra for not thinking about the walls or the gates
Instead, he accepted what Ezra did and focussed on what God burdened him about. It was good if that was how things happened in our churches. A young person may be intersted in one area whereas the older people may be focussed on another. While each works to improve on theirs, let the love and fear of God be the one factor that is common; let there be the one cord of love that unites
The basic thing about these leaders is that they were people of prayer and listened to God. Nehemiah spent much time in prayer and intercession, even though he was working on the physical construction of the walls and the gates
In the church, we expect the people involved in spiritual activities to be spiritual, but we “ok” little less spirtuality for those who sing and even less spirituality for the committee/boared members; but we don’t see such a “gradation” allowed in the 1st century church!
Jesus spoke about the shepherd who would go after the one lost, leaving the 99
May God bless us as we learn from Nehemiah; it is all about love for God, love for His people, love for worship and the things of God, more than anything else in life
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank you for your care and concern for us; you are interested not only in our spiritual life, but in all areas-including our safety and security, our family and in evrything we do. Thank you Lord for your love. Amen
When we do nothing about the burden that God puts in us, we become a burden for God!