In due time; “God’s time!”

1 Chronicles 17:11-12 When your time comes to be with your fathers, I will raise up after you your descendant, who is one of your sons, and I will establish his kingdom.12 He will build a house for Me, and I will establish his throne forever HCSB

breakthrouh3

There was no question when it came to David’s heart for God. After all, he was responsible for transporting the Ark of the Covenant and all the elements of the temple. Despite his concern that God had no permanent temple, we see that God had another plans for him; plans that would ultimately affect God’s overall plan for His people. We need to understand the designated place for His temple had not yet been reached. God’s house will be built and with all the deserving splendor-That has been ordained and long been established. God knows the intentions of our hearts, therefore, aligning our hearts with the will of God should be our greatest aspiration. Only then can we appreciate that our present assignment is conditioning us for a much bigger outcome. Thursday’s Blessings

Advertisements

WITNESSING FOR JESUS

sheep

In anticipation for the season, I started thinking about my personal walk with the Lord,  and the level of passion for what He had done. I couldn’t help but think that my once  burning passion to know and love him has somehow dwindled to this flickering flame.  It’s time to revive my passion and renew this love affair!

John 5:31-32 “If I were to testify on my own behalf, my testimony would not be valid.32 But someone else is also testifying about me, and I assure you everything he says about me is true (Matthew 3:11-12)

Our Greatest Testimony for Jesus is in the way we Live Out our Faith in the eyes of the world.

WHAT DO I LOOK LIKE TO THE WORLD: To my friends?
John 5: 35-36 John was like a burning and shining lamp, and you were excited for a while about his message. Keep the fire from burning out.

John was Filled with Excitement:
Matthew 3:3 The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said,” He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the way for Him

They were Convicted:
Acts 4:33 The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and God’s great blessing was upon them all.

THEY WERE HUNGRY and came in eager anticipation:
Matthew 2:9 After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they has seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem.
And,
Luke 2:8 The angels of the Lord appears to the shepherds to tell them of the Savior’s birth. The shepherds then made their way to the village to see for themselves.

Therfore,

THEY WITNESSED FEARLESSLY: Confident on which authority they stood.
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord gas anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.

Fearlessly proclaiming the Gospel

image

The authority in which I profess my faith

(Mark 1:21-22) And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. 22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.

(Mark 1:27) And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even unclean spirits and they obey him.”

Jesus’ first appearing to the disciples after his crucifixion, and ascension. He is headed toward Capernaum where the work of the would begin. For those who believed, this was a much welcomed event, For others, His coming was a threat.

(1:22) They were astonished at His teaching because unlike the scribes, He was teaching them as one having authority.

Jesus taught against the treasured traditions of religious law (Torah) and with the conviction of the Holy Spirit. (6:2) When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard Him were astonished. “Where did this man get these things?” they said. “What is the wisdom given to Him and how are these miracles performed by his hands?”.
He received His power and authority from the Father, the source far greater than Himself. We receive power through the blood of the cross, and the in-dwelling Holy Spirit. This is the gospel we preach.

The truth causes fear:

Chap 3. This movement must be stopped! Jesus’ preaching, and performance of miracles went against religious Law, and undermined the authority of the Pharisees (Mark 3:1-2) 1 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. 2 And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so they might accuse him.

Proof?! You want Proof, Proof is easy, Now, Faith, takes work. P. Jillette

Countless miracles were witnessed that attested to the true identity of Jesus Christ the Mesaiah. These accounts is the substance of our faith.

 

The Perfect Sacrifice

broken
HEBREWS 10

3 main topics: Perfect sacrifice, Exhortation to Godliness, and Warnings against “Deliberate” sin.

The “Perfect Sacrifice”

I. Atonement: (10:1) Since the Law has only a shadow of the good things to come, and not actual realities, it can never perfect the worshippers by the same sacrifices year after year. “Just” appeasement according to the Law could never be achieved as long as the biases, and prejudices (of man) influenced the out-comes (San Hedrin).

II. Sin sacrifices-Counter-intuitive to God’s plan: Served as reminders of their sinful nature-Condemnation vs Re-conciliation: (10:2) Otherwise, wouldn’t they have stopped being offered. since the worshippers, once purified would no longer have ant consciousness of sins?

III. The Perfect Provision provided by God, long before Jesus’ birth. (10:5-7)
5 Therefore as He was coming into the world, He said:
You did not want an offering
but You prepared a body for Me
6 You did not delight in whole burnt offerings
and sin offerings
7 Then I said, “See-
it is written about Me
in the volume of the scroll-
I have come to do your will, God!”

A study in the book of Colossians

COLOSSIANS 1 HCSB

One of 4 prison epistles wrote by Paul. During Paul’s ministry in Ephesus, he sends Epaphras (Fellow slave) ahead into Lycras valley to visit. Along the way, Epaphras plants a church in Collosae, a city whose population consisted of Phrygians (Fre Gee Ans), Greeks, and Jews. The Jewish population was significantly higher here as was their heretics (false teachers).

“Stoicheia” Gk. Meaning Wisdom
The church however, was mostly Gentiles.
Paul forewarns his fellow workers of the challenges they will encounter during their visit, and to guard themselves against the heresy of the Jews and agnostics (unbelievers). Paul writes this letter as a theological antidote to counter the Collosian heresy which they (false teachers) called philosophy:
Remember:
[Colossians 2:11] You were circumcised in Him with a circumcision not with human hands, by putting off the body of the flesh in circumcision of the Messiah [2:8 a] Let no one disqualify you, insisting on ascetic practices and worship of angels….
As we move through the book of Collosians, pay attention and look out as Paul touches in these teachings, ascetic practices and rituals (Circumcision, human tradition, reasoning, *Sabbath observance, food regulations, festival participation, worshipping of angels).
*Asceticism; deprivation, promotion of harsh treatment of one’s evil fleshly body

1-8 Paul’s salutations, greetings: Expression of joy for the good works and steadfastness of fellow workers, and how the Gospel is spreading throughout the world, bearing fruit as a result of their efforts and many more like them. [4] for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love you have for all the saints because of the hope reserved for you in heaven [7] You have learned from Epaphras, our dear fellow slave, he is a faithful servant of the Messiah on your behalf.

WE ARE HERE RALLYING AND CHEERING FOR YOU, STAY THE COURSE
9 for this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you we are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge if His will, in all wisdom and understanding.
So remember the size of God, whom you’ve been reconciled with, and receive your power [ 15] He is in the image of the invisible God, the first born over all creation [16a]For everything was created by Him ,in heaven and on earth , the visible and invisible…

Then he closes with encouraging words to remain steadfast for the sake of the Gospel, but mostly to be fortified in spirit to stand against the Heretics [24] Now, I rejoice in my sufferings for you. I am completing I my flesh what is lacking in Christ’s affliction in His body.

SO WHAT? Remain grounded in the word and accountable to the message. John 5:39 You pore over the scriptures because you think you have eternal life by them, yet they testify about me. We must remain yoked with one another and continue encouraging each other so that we can better protect ourselves and against these false teachers and doctrine, you will know them by their fruit! Philippians 4:2-3-I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to agree I the Lord. [3] Yes, I also ask you to partner, to help these women who have contended the Gospel at my side, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers whose names are in the book of life

spectacles

BRINGING DOWN THE GIANT

Lion_of_Judah_19BIG FAITH
Now faith is the reality of what
Is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
2 For our ancestors won God’s approval by it.
3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by command,
so that what is seen has been made from the things that are not visible

Hebrews 11:1-3 HCSB
QUESTION.
What more evidence and affirmation of God’s power and faithfulness do We need to make is actually step out in faith?

The truth is, God validates Himself by His completed works “Creation” and “Prophecy” bringing to pass what has not been done yet, according to His word. The substance of our faith is in the second part of this statement where our spiritual feet are held to the fire, at that point that validates exactly where we stand in this faith we profess.

Exodus 14:15-16 [15]The Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to break camp.[16] As for you, Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it so the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.

Perhaps there is a giant we are presently dealing with that is begging our attention, but because of spiritual immaturity, we won’t stare it down and slay it. The danger is the longer we avoid it, the more it matures. 1 Corinthians 9:24 tells us to commit to training, beat our bodies so that we will have the endurance to finish this race.
Our challenge, stare down the giant in front of us, slay it, and wait for our next assignment.

(1 Timothy 1:18) Timothy, my son, I am giving you this instruction in keeping with the prophesies previously made about you, so that by them you may strongly engage battle [19] Some have rejected these and suffered the shipwreck of their faith.

Aligning our hearts with the will of God

3.18 The Book of the “CHRONICLES” 17-18 The Changing of the Guards
Historical record of events concerning God’s establishment of His kingdom; His royal priesthood. Placed between 1, and 2 Kings, Nehemiah and Ezra, Chronicles takes place during the time of Benaiah, Solomon, Samuel, and Esther, and the other champions of Hall of faith (Hebrews 11); at a time when the Israelites are returning from exile in Persia.
THE LINES OF DEMARKATION: I Chronicles begins with genealogies (starting with Adam), and identification of tribes. This was important because it was God’s instruction for individual contributions to be made toward the achievement of God’s overall plan for His people; Including religious leaders, and God’s succession of kings.

“17” The LORD’S Covenant with David;
God’s will; Our assignment: 1 Chronicles 17:1-4 By all accounts, there was no question about David’s heart and commitment for God. 17:3 But that night the word of God came to Nathan:4 “Go to David My servant and say,’ This is what the LORD says,” You are not the one to build me a house to dwell in.” David felt responsible for building a permanent tabernacle for the Ark, after all, he was responsible for transporting it from place to place. Though this was not the designated place and God had a more pressing assignment.

II God’s overall plan. Aligning the intentions of our heart with the word of God (I Chronicles 17:5-6) From the time I brought you out of Egypt until today I have not lived in a house; instead , I have moved from tent to tent and from tabernacle to tabernacle.6 In all My travels throughout Israel, have I ever spoken a word even to one of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people asking: Why haven’t you built Me a house of cedar?’
IN DUE TIME; “God’s Time”: God’s house will be built and with all the deserving splendor-That has already been established. (1 Chronicles 17:11-12) When your time comes to be with your fathers, I will raise up after you your descendant, who is one of your sons, and I will establish his kingdom.12 He will build a house for Me, and I will establish his throne forever.
III CLARITY AND PURPOSE: Almost always non-existent: I Chronicles 26-27 17:6 Then King David went in, sat down at the LORD’S presence, and said: Who am I God and what is my house that you have brought me this far? David was being groomed all along, after the death of king Saul and David’s installation as King, a large following began. Soldiers from opposing tribes were enlisted, and alliances were formed with Gad, and the Philistines that allowed David to conquer and secure territories and provisions.
David’s prayer of Thanksgiving (17:16-27); David’s overwhelming appreciation for God’s faithfulness: I Chronicles 17:19 Lord, You have done all this greatness, making known all these great promises because of Your servant according to Your will.
IV VICTORY AND OBEDIENCE: 18:1-17 Defeats Philistines 18:1-2 After this, David defeated the Philistines, subdued them, and took Gath, and its villages from Philistine control.2 He also defeated the Moabites and they became David’s subjects and brought tribute.

Showbread (Shewbread); The bread of Presence:

Loaves of bread

The same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The bread of the Presence reveals God’s unchanging character, and sovereignty. As we dive deeper to understand Him, we realize our undying need for Him.
Showbread (Shewbread) was a part of the Mosaic law. These loaves (cakes) were prominently displayed on tables of gold in the tabernacle, and served as a constant reminder of man’s need and reliance on Him.
Be on the lookout! These passages reveal character traits of God crucial to maturing in our relationship with Him.

GOD’S INSTRUCTION; Preparation and ingredients:
” You shall take fine flour and bake twelve loaves from it; two tenths of an ephah shall be in each loaf. And you shall set them in to piles, six in a pile, in the table of pure gold before the Lord. And you shall put frankincense on each pile, that it may go with the bread as a memorial portion as a food offering to the Lord.” LEVITICUS 24:8 Therefore, only skilled artisans (those chosen by God) could prepare the bread: (1 Chronicles 9:31-32) A Levite called Matthian, the first born of Shallum the Korathite, was entrusted with baking the bread. 32 Some of the Kohathites relatives were responsible for preparing the rows of the bread of the Presence every Sabbath. to be eaten by Aaron, and his descendants (The Levites). Originally.

ORDER of God; Setting up the Tabernacle; Placement and display of the Shewbread:
(Genesis 1:1-) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. He created
Placement of the Showbread: in the inner court, opposite if the menorah; right outside of the holy of holies; chamber of the Ark of the Covenant.
Exodus 25:30 Put the bread of the Presence on this table to be before Me always, (Lev 35:13) the table with its poles and all its articles and the bread of Presence to be included in the completion. Exodus 40:23 He arranged the bread on it before the Lord, just as the Lord commanded him. In setting up the tabernacle, placement of the artifacts; Sacrificial table for burnt offerings, the menorah (candle opera), Tent of the meeting, the screen separating the arc of the Covenant collectively dictated the order of worship.

PURPOSE: The purpose of the Showbread (BOP) can be found in the individual elements:
The ingredients;
Fine white flour: Fine white flour is made by continual beating the raw flour to separate impurities. Much like our walk; the continual need to be stripped of our impurities.
Two tenths of ephah: “Measure” All are not created equal. But, In God’s eyes, we are all the same
Twelve loaves; 12 tribes. For everyone.
Two rows: God’s sovereign will; His plan for salvation.
Incense along each row as a memorial: Obedience. When we are obedient; established in His ways, we become pleasing aromas to God…..
The table of wood and pure gold: The wood represented Jesus; the gold signifies that he will come to do the perfect will of God.

THE LAW; “intent”
1 Chronicles 9:32 A Levite called Mattithia, the firstborn of Shallun that Koragite, was entrusted with baking the bread. 32 Some of the Kohathite’s relatives were responsible for preparing the rows of the bread of the Presence every Sabbath.
Man’s unwillingness to break the law: 25 So the priest gave him consecrated bread; for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence which was removed from before the LORD, to put hot bread in its place when it was taken away 1 SAMUEL 2:16 (KJV)
GRACE GIVEN TO THE LAW: 1 Samuel 21:1-6 *David being pursued by Saul, stops at the tabernacle looking for food.
25 And he said to them, ”Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they with him?26 How he went into the house of God in the days if Abiathar the high priest, and did eat if the Shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him Mark 2:25-26 (KJV)
(Matthew 12:1-2) 1 At that time Jesus passed through the grain fields in on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick heads of grain. 2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said, “Look your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath. In Matthew The Pharisees condemn Jesus for healing on the Sabbath. That the Law was created to serve man, not God: The men could only partake of the given of Presence if they hadn’t been with women and consecrated to God. John 6:35 Jesus gives grace to the Law. 33 For the bread of God is the One who comes from heaven and gives life to the world.34 Then they said,” Sir, give us this bread always. 35 I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes after Me will ever be hungry and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again.

 

Prayers today that point directly to the Showbread; the bread of the Presence:
(John 6:32-35) Give us this day our daily bread: ”Sir, they said,” from now on give us this bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” John 6:32-35
(Deuteronomy 8:3) Man shall not live on bread alone; 3 He humbled you by letting you go hungry; then he gave you manna to eat, which you and your fathers had not known, so that you might learn that man does not live on bread alone but on every word, that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

John 6:35 Jesus gives grace to the Law. 33 For the bread of God is the One who comes from heaven and gives life to the world.34 Then they said,” Sir, give us this bread always. 35 I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes after Me will ever be hungry and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again.

Last mentioned Hebrews 9:1-2

NEHEMIAH “Comforted by Yahweh”

 

The providence of God; Rebuilding the wall 

 

Cup-bearer to Artaxerxes 444 BC. Not much is known about him outside if this book. Historical accounts can be found in Ezra (Believed to be one in the same with Nehemiah), Deuteronomy, 1,2 Kings, and the book of Chronicles. Artexerxes (Son of Xerxes), was Ester’s step son. Ester influence in the king emancipated the Jews from persecution.

 

“TRUSTING GOD IN OUR CHALLENGES”

 

(Nehemiah 1:3) They said to me, “The remnant in the province who survived the exile are in great trouble and disgrace. Nehemiah is filled with anxiety of the news, and immediately goes before God with a repentant heart:(1:6) let Your eyes be open and your ears be attentive to Your servant’s prayer that I now pray to You day and night. I confess the sins we have committed against You-Both I and my father’s house have sinned

 

*From the time Nehemiah receives the news ’til the time the king is made aware of this dilemma, 6 months have passed (Chislev-Nisan) Why? Hesitation, God working out the details-Putting everything in place? (Nehemiah 2:1b-2) During the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was set before him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I never had been sad in his presence, 2 so he said to me, “Why are you sad, when you are not sick? This is nothing but depression. (2:4) Then the king asked me, “What is your request?” So, I prayed to the God of heaven and answered the king, “If it pleases the king, and your servant has found favor with you, send me to Judah to the city where my ancestors are buried so that I may rebuild it. (2:6a) The king and his queen seated beside him asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you be back? God worked out the details! He was given as much timber he needed to rebuild the wall, He had safe passage (2:7-8), And he had personal protection 9 I went to the governors in the region west of the Euphrates and gave them the king’s letters. The king also sent officers of the infantry and Calvary with me (2:9) 

 

 

 

GOD’S CONVICTING SPIRIT:

 

(Nehemiah 2:11-12) 11 After I arrived in Jerusalem and had been there three days, 12 I got up at night and took a few men with me. I didn’t tell anyone what God had laid on my heart to do for Jerusalem. The only animal I took was the one I was riding [2:17-18] 17 So I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins and its gates have been burned down. Come let’s rebuild Jerusalem’s wall, so that we will no longer be in disgrace. 18 I told the how gracious the hand of the king had been on me, and what the king had said to me. They said, “Let’s start rebuilding, and they were encouraged to do this work.

 

NEHEMIAH’S FAITH TESTED:

 

(Nehemiah 2:19) When Sanballat the Horonitem Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Gesham the Arab heard about this, they mocked and despised us, and said, “What is this you’re doing? Are you rebelling against the king?

 

A constant challenge for Nehemiah was having to deal with those envious and pious officials- They seemed to be present at every juncture at every juncture of this project: (Nehemiah 4:1) When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall he became furious. He mocked the Jews before his colleagues and powerful me of Samaria, and said, “What are these pathetic Jews doing? Can they restore it by themselves? Will they ever finish it? Can they bring these burnt stones back to life from the mounds of rubble?

 

Consider this;

 

The officials were a constant threat, am enigma-Despite their taunting, and antagonizing, they were prevented from engaging the Jews. I think about Job, how God used Satan to torment him without physically harming him. Could God have used Satan to test Nehemiah’s faith, Perhaps, to spur them along. (2:20) So I gave them this reply, “The God of heaven is the One who will grant us success. We, His servant’s, will start rebuilding, bit you have no share, right or historic claim in Jerusalem. He was emboldened by the spirit and stood up to them.

 

(Nehemiah 4:4-5) Listen, our God, for we are despised. Make their insults return to their heads and let them be taken as plunder to a land of captivity. 5 Do not cover their guilt or let their sin be erased from your sight, because they have provoked the builders

 

(Nehemiah 4:15) When the enemies heard that we knew their scheme and God frustrated it, every one of us returned to his own work on the wall.”

 

 

 

THEIR FAITH IS STRETCHED EVEN FURTHER

 

(Nehemiah 4:7-8, 12) When Sanballat, Tobiah, and the Arabs, Ammonites, and Ashodites heard that the repair to the walls of Jerusalem was progressing and the gaps were being closed, they became furious. 8 They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and throw it into confusion [12] When the Jews who lived nearby arrived, they said to us time and again, “Everywhere you turn they attack us”

 

By this time the wall was so huge the tribes were stretched out to protect as much of the wall as possible: (4:16) From that day on, half of my men did the work while the other half held spears, shields, bows and armor. [18] Each of the builders had a sword strapped around his waist while he was building, and the trumpeter was beside me. 

 

God also allowed the invasion of because of their obstinance and un-godly practices-

 

TROUBLE WITHIN “Social Economic injustices” (Nehemiah 5:1,3) There was a widespread outcry from the people and their wives against their Jewish countrymen 3 We are mortgaging our fields, vineyards, and homes to get grain so that we can eat and live. The affluent imposed saddled the citizens with taxes that only served to create more wealth for the wealthy and impoverish others. (5:9) Then I said, “What are you doing isn’t right. Shouldn’t you walk in the fear of God and invite reproach of our foreign enemies? 10 Even I as well as my brothers, and my servants, nave been lending them money and grain. Please let us stop charging this interest.

 

SELFLESSNESS STARTS WITH ME

 

Nehemiah was appointed as governor before leaving Artaxerxes. Part of his entitlements was having whatever he wanted to eat at his disposal: (Nehemiah 5:18) Each day one ox, six choice sheep and some fowl was prepared for me. An abundance of all kinds of wine was provided every 10 days. But I didn’t demand the food because the burden on the people was so heavy. 19 Remember me favorably, my God, for all that I have done for this people.

 

THE ENEMY WAS PERSISTANT

 

(Nehemiah 6:1-2) When Sanballat, Tobiah, Gessahm the Arab and the rest of our enemies heard that I rebuilt the wall and that no gap was left in it-though at the time I had not installed the doors in the gates-2 Sanballat and Geshem sent me a message: “Come let’s meet in the villages of Ono valley.” But they were planning to harm me. (6:11) But I said, should a man like me run away? How can I enter the temple and live I will not go?  Nehemiah immediately picked up on their scheme. The only ones permitted in the temple were the priests. Anyone else would be put to death. He knew that the prophet was hired by Sanballat, and Geshem, and this was another one of their ploys to get at him.

 

ASSIGNMENT COMPLETED

 

 The wall was completed in 52 days, on the twenty fifth day of the month Elul. 16 When all our enemies heard this, all the surrounding nations were intimidated and lost their confidence for they realized that the task had been accomplished by God

 

A LEAK DETECTED

 

Through one of their schemes, they discover how the officials knew every move they made: Nehemiah 6:17-  17 During those days, the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah and Tobiah’s letters came to them, 18 for many in Judah were bound by oath to him, since he was the son-in -law of Shecanaiah son of Aran, daughter of Messhullam, son of Berecaiah 19 The nobles kept mentioning Tobiah’s good deeds to me and they reported my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to intimidate me

 

7 THE EXILES RETURN (7:66-67) The whole combined assembly numbered 42,360 67 not including 7337 male and female slaves. Many more came after *Was the 42,360 individuals or tribes?

 

The accounts that followed served to restore the nation of Judah:

 

8 Public reading of the law

 

9 National Confession of sin:

 

10 Israel’s vow of faithfulness:

 

-Details of the vow

 

11 Resettling Jerusalem

 

12 Announcement of the levites and Priests

 

13 Nehemiah’s further reform

 

His will be done. Checking our faith:

 

(Mark 16:15) Then He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.
“The Great Commission” (Establishing the New law)

image

(Matthew 28:16-20) 16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshipped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples if all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, 20 Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you to the end of age.
We are chosen to do this work. *Barnabas, and Saul were called out from among all the prophets and priests preaching in Antioch.
(Acts 13:2-3) While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work for which I have called them.3 So after they had fasted and prayed they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
And the weary worker will be continually renewed in the Lord.
(Matthew 11: 28-30) “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 All of you, take up my yoke and learn from Me,” because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. 30 For My yoke is easy and my burden light.

“Continue in this good work”, its our obedience:
Ephesians 2:10 For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.
Philippians 2:12 “Just do it!” Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work. 12 So then, my dear friends just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, nut even now more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling

SACRIFICE and SELFESSNESS

Cultivating a spirit of benevolence

Loaves of bread

“Benevolence” *Dispositon to do good; an act of kindness-a generous gift (Websters-Mirriam) Kings of England practiced, and embraced it.
Matthew 25:40 “The king will answer and say to them, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did to one of these brothers of Mine, you did it to Me NASB
She prepared and waited intently. The Shunamite woman provided lodgings for Elisha to rest during his travels.
2 Kings 4:10 “Please let us make a walled upper chamber and let us set aside a bed a chair and a lamp-stand, and it shall be, when he comes to us, that he can turn in there
Selflessness is “Love” It is serving others with empathy
1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up, it is not rude, it is not self-serving.
Love is a commandment. Those who love God will keep His commands:
Mark 12 :31 The second most commandment is this: “Love your neighbor the same as you love yourself. The two commandments are the most important
What does it look like?
Matthew 6:2-4 So when you do give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that you may be honored by men . Truly I say to you, they will have their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doin, 4 so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what you have done will reward you.
“Love and Selflessness” does not end with family and friends:
Luke 6:27-28 “But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you pray for those who mistreat you.

Why?
We are called to imitate Christ Jesus, the perfect example of selflessness:
2 Corinthians 8:9 You know about the kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was rich, yet for your sake he became poor in order to make you rich through his poverty.
There is freedom in our acts of selflessness, and benevolence: Galatians 5:13 For you brothers, were called to freedom. Only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity to gratify your flesh, but through love make it your habit to serve one another

The “Least likely” Maturing in the faith

Handtools
And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritence among all those who are sanctified (Acts 20:32)

“Why me Lord?!” Almost always our first response to God in our season of circumstance, And yet, 66 book of the Bible give more than enough reason to respond, “Why Not me?!” In my contemplation, I am lead to look at three area that impact my faith and maturity in Christ; How I see myself, How others see me, and What I might look like if… Let’s track together and see what the Scriptures reveal anout our disciplines in this area:

Gideon is called: (Judges 6:11-12) The Angel of the Lordcame, and sat under the oak that was on Ophrah, which belonged to Joash, the Albiezrite. His son Gideonn was threshing wheat in the wine vat in order to hide it from the Midianites. 12 Then the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said: The Lord is with you mighty warrior.

“Gideon” A military general, judge and Prophet called to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites, and to turn them from their idol worship of Baal, back to God.

God will use the most unlikely to accomplish the greatest tasks. Why? Our inferiority to God. (Isaiah 55:8) “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways” This is the Lord’s declaration.
We doubt our worthiness and capabilities: (Judges 6:14-15) The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and deliver Israel from the power of Midian. Am I not sending you? 15 He said to Him, “Please Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Look, my family is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.
Others are not convinced: (1 Samuel 17:33) 33 But Saul replied, “You can’t go fight this Phillistine. You’re just a youth, and he’s been a warrior since he was young.
Even Moses doubted his ability to finish what God Almighty had already ordained.
.. But you’ve been conditioning all along for this moment: (1 Samuel 17:33-34) David answered, “Your servant has been tending your father’s sheep. Whenever a lion or a bear came and carried off a lamb from the flock 33 I went after it and struck it down and rescued the lamb from it’s mouth.
Samuel, son of Elkanah, and Hannah; His appearance was certainly a divine appointment: (1 Samuel 1:27-28) I prayed for this boy, and since the Lord gave me what I asked for, 28 I now give the boy to the Lord. For as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord. Then he bowed down in worship tp the Lord there. At a very young age, Samuel served in the tabernacle long before being called to his kingship. (1 Samuel 2:18) The boy Samuel served in the Lord’s presence and wore a linen ephod (hip length sleeveless garment). His dities included making certain the menorah (lamp stand) remained lit until the sun rose, and opening the doors to the tabernacle.
In all instances, None knew where their paths would lead and the impact they wotld have. Gideon doubted, David was seen as inferior and incapable to complete the assignment, Moses was both, and Samuel had no clue of what God had instore. The common thread was their obedience to move pass their limitations, and through their circumstance to ultimately become champions of their faith. The season you’re in is conditioning you for your next assignment.