Friday, July 30 2021
The God of Forgiveness
“But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them…” – Nehemiah 9:17
You went too far this time. You knew it as soon as you had that last drink. As soon as you visited that dark website. As soon as you agreed to do that one thing.
Now you’re left feeling empty, broken, and defeated. You knew you shouldn’t have done it. You promised yourself last time that you would do better.
Maybe you even made those same promises to other people. You told your spouse it was the last time you’d download pornography. You told your father you would call him when you were tempted to pick up that bottle. You promised your child that you would be there on time until your boss asked for a favor.
In these moments, the voice of your enemy often gets loud. He says things like, “You’ll never be free. You should just stop trying. God is tired of you anyway. He’s not listening to your prayers anymore and who could blame Him? You’ve gone too far this time.”
But in those moments, remember. Remember that you serve the God who forgives. He is gracious and compassionate. He is slow to anger, and His love is deep. It’s abiding. It washes us clean. He won’t desert you because of your sins. Rather, He waits to welcome you back into His embrace.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
God, I confess that I sinned again. I promised I’d be better and make different choices. But I’m powerless unless You help me. Give me victory over this temptation. Give me the courage to change. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thursday, July 29 2021
The Joy of the Lord
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” – Nehemiah 8:10
Finding joy in the Lord is an easy task when life is going well. When the bills are paid, and the pantry is full. When the kids are well, and your spouse is sober. When the job is easy, and the days are light.
But what about when they aren’t? What about the days when there are more bills than money and the panty is looking bare? What about the moments when the kids are sick or your spouse has relapsed? When the job is anything but easy and the days are heavy and painful?
Finding joy in the Lord in these moments can feel like another task on the already long to-do list. Well-meaning Christians quote verses at you like, “Rejoice always in the Lord”. But is that even possible in the middle of the pain and heartbreak?
Yes, it’s possible. It’s possible to find joy in the middle of the chaos and pain and uncertainty of your life. It’s possible to experience peace and comfort right now. It’s not an easy path but it’s a familiar one.
It starts with worship. You don’t have to worship God because of your circumstances. In fact, they might be pretty dismal. But you can always, always worship God for who He is…
Ross Parsely once said, "Worship is the affirmation that God is big enough and strong enough to walk with us through a crisis and make something beautiful out of it.”
God, I’m aching today. I need Your grace. I need Your strong Father-arms wrapping around me. I need to feel you. Meet with me in this broken, messy moment. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Wednesday, July 28 2021
God’s Plans Prevail
“When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work.” – Nehemiah 4:15 (emphasis added)
The enemies of Israel gathered together with a plan to stop Nehemiah and the people from rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. But the Israelites caught wind of their plan and Nehemiah quickly mobilized everyone. This brave leader set up guards around his people armed with swords, spears, and bows.
The next verse mentions how God had frustrated the plans of their enemies. Sometimes in our lives, people around us make their plans for us. Maybe a co-worker has determined to get you fired. Perhaps a teacher or professor has it out for you. Maybe a jealous friend is scheming against you.
Whatever the case might be, you don’t have to be afraid. Since you are a child of God, He is constantly working on your behalf. He can easily frustrate the plans of your enemies and give you the strength you need to carry on.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take countermeasures. After all, Nehemiah knew that God could protect the city.
But he still took the time to station guards on the low areas of the wall. Likewise, you might need to take steps to protect yourself. Perhaps you’ll distance yourself from your co-worker or jealous friend. Maybe you’ll switch classes, so you have a different teacher or professor.
Do what you need to protect yourself but also trust that God can thwart the plans of those who mean to do you harm.
God, please help me. My enemy is plotting against me, hatching evil without cause. Rise up and defend me in this very moment. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Monday, July 26 2021
Rebuilding our spiritual wall.
Our faith journey is often referred to as a battle. To be effective in battle you need weapons. Weapons you know how to use!
On any construction site, you will see a variety of tools. Each with a specific purpose. We know you wouldn’t use a hammer to cut a board.
What tools do we have as believers?
Prayer, worship, intercession, the Word, memorizing the Word, forgiveness, the secret place of the Most-High, tithing, and unity. This, by all means, is not a complete list.
The Word of God and the Holy Spirit are our source of power. All the tools we have are powered by them.
What area is your spiritual “wall” crumbling? What brought it down?
Read Nehemiah 1
Nehemiah went before the Lord, fasting, and prayer before any tools, supplies, directives were given. He sought the Lord first.
Our wall is built on who God is- God is the foundation we build upon.
Grab your tools and let’s get to work!
The first tool- Prayer
Prayer connects you to God and allows His power to flow to us in any situation.
this is the source of ALL wisdom
Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are saved? If you hesitate here, today is the day.
We rebuild our spiritual wall in His strength and His wisdom. This requires 2Chron 7:14 to be real in our lives. Humility and total dependence on our part. The Lord has all we need to rebuild. He will teach us!
What “stones” are missing in your wall?
What do you need to “shore” up and strengthen your wall?
Go back to what brought the wall down.
Journal through this process. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you.
While rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem, there was a sword in their hand.
A sword. Look at Ephesians 6:17. The sword of the Spirit which is the word of God!
We must be in the Word and know the Word to rebuild our wall.
Others stood behind the builders with their swords ready to fight for them.
Pray for everyone who is in the process of rebuilding! The enemy would love to distract you from this task! We are reminded in Ephesians 6:18 to “Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers.”
Here is rebuilding scripture for you to meditate on.
It is the Lord who arms me for the battle. Psalm 18:39
It is God who gives me the strength to do the work of rebuilding. Psalm 18:32
It is God who gives me Victory and holds me safe from my enemies. Psalm 18:43,48
I will prosper in this work. Joshua 1
God will never leave me. Heb 13:5
God will help me succeed. Nehemiah 2:20