Micro Devotionals for busy people at savouring pace.
Please feel free to hop on the bus and join the 3 year plan at any point, or just read along.
A brief summary of part of JR Vassar’s sermon.
IT ALL BEGAN 4 months before, when Nehemiah heard the distressing news that the Jerusalem city walls and gates were in ruins.
- Jerusalem….where God promised to place His Name!
- God’s glory and reputation were at stake and His people vulnerable.
Nehemiah wept, prayed, fasted, meditated on God’s Word and reminded Him of His instruction.
IN GOD’S STUNNING GRACE HE IS A GOD OF RENEWAL, SALVATION AND GATHERING.
- He will lift up what sin has levelled.
- He is going to raise up what the enemies knocked down.
- He takes what is ruined and broken, renews and restores and makes beautiful in His time.
NEHEMIAH TEACHES US TO SEE THE WORLD AS IT IS AND TO WEEP AND PRAY – to be broken over what God is broken over.
- Are we perhaps detached?
- Do we slow down, check out the brokenness, only to accelerate and speed right past the rubble and brokenness?
GOD PUTS A VISION IN NEHEMIAH’S HEART – so compelling he has to pursue it!
- He moves from prayer to prayerful action, stepping right into the vision God has for him.
- Immediately he’s confronted with overwhelming fear.
NEHEMIAH IS AT A ROYAL BANQUET in the company of the king and queen of Persia, the super power of the day. Nehemiah has a highly responsible job to serve the king with wine and a smiley face.
THE KING NOTICES NEHEMIAH’S DEPRESSED EXPRESSION AND CONFRONTS HIM.
- He is terrified because he could actually get killed for showing a sad face in the king’s presence!
- Imagine that kind of power: someone’s not smiling around you and you can order his execution.
Nehemiah faces his overwhelming fear with bold faith in His God of heaven who is great and awesome.
IN THIS TERRIFYING MOMENT HE GOES RIGHT AHEAD AND ASKS A HUGE REQUEST OF THE KING. Would the king let him return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city wall.
- Several years earlier this same king Artaxerxes received a letter from the enemies of the Jerusalem Jews, saying they plan to build the wall and this would have negative consequences for the Persian kingdom.
- Artaxerxes shut the building project down.
Now here is Nehemiah is asking for nothing less than that same project to start back up again.
If we want to share the gospel, or stand for justice or plant a church or go to the nations, fear is always going to raise its objections and try to stop and paralyse us.