November 30th, 2017 — DEVOTE

So, as you might guess, I’ve read the book of Nehemiah numerous times. I’ve preached sermon series on it and I’m pretty sure I even taught a Bible Study on it. There are so many true to life examples in the book of Nehemiah that we can relate too. Here was a guy who was physically exhausted, emotionally spent, and spiritually opposed by some unruly people, and all he was trying to do was rebuild the wall around the city of Jerusalem to make it safe for people to live in. Did you catch that? He was just rebuilding the wall around the entire city! Pretty huge undertaking in comparison to anything I’m doing.

As I keep reading all that transpires with Nehemiah, even in the face of mean people, my attention is on the focus this guy has. He truly has a “no-matter-what” kind of attitude. He will not be dissuaded or discouraged from completing what God destined him to do. Even when they try to trick him into leaving his work and having a conversation in chapter 6, he knows it’s a plot to hurt him, so he just brushes it off and keeps working. A so called prophet attempts to get him to lock himself inside the temple because there’s a plot to kill him, but then we read…
“Suddenly I realized that God had not given Shemaiah this message. But Tobiah and Sanballat had paid him to trick me and to frighten me into doing something wrong, because they wanted to ruin my good name.” Nehemiah 6:12-13 CEV

Now it would be very easy to become overwhelmed in the attempts of others to get us off track. But not Nehemiah. Here’s what he says…
“Our enemies were trying to frighten us and to keep us from our work. But I asked God to give me strength.” Nehemiah 6:9 CEV

It would be so easy to just drop whatever we’ve been doing, and go back to the old ways. Nehemiah could have thrown his hands up in the air and called it quits. He could have given up and gone back to Susa and been the cupbearer for the king and not had the hassle of trying to do something productive, not just for self, but for many others. But he didn’t. And you’ve got to ask yourself “why?” The answer is much simpler than you think. God entrusted Nehemiah with a task and Nehemiah loved God enough to finish it. Truth be known the entire city wall was completely rebuilt in 52 days. That’s right – only 52 days.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: First, what is God calling you to do? And does it seem absolutely impossible? Good! Keep going! Second, are there those around you, who are harassing you or non-supportive? Good! Keep going! Lastly, are you wondering if you can actually complete what’s in front of you? Good! Keep going! You’ll be amazed what can happen in 52 days! don't let your dreams be dreams!

Strengthen me. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen