Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Nehemiah: a heart that can break by Kelly Minter – Week Four

What is the difference between giving to the poor and identifying with them?  Would it be accurate to say that this is the same as throwing money at a problem versus rolling up your sleeves and diving into the mess to help fix it?  Kelly’s video message takes things a step further.  It’s about becoming one of them.  It’s about owning the “mess” we’re trying to fix.  There’s a difference in investment.  How invested are you in those to whom you minister?

Imagine what it would have been like to return to a broken Jerusalem after being in captivity for 70 years.  If you’re one of the 41% of the population (according to 2010 statistics) who has moved away from their state of birth, you may know how these Israelites felt.  If you return to the neighborhood you grew up in after being away for a significant time, the changes can be significant.  For the Israelites, it was devastating because of the disrepair, broken walls, broken homes, looted businesses and the temple.  If you’ve ever visited a run-down ghost town during a vacation, you may have some idea of how they felt as they took their first steps into the city.

The city was a mess.  And these people were about to roll up their sleeves and get messy to fix it.  They were investing in their hometown and each other as they worked together to repair the wall and restore security.  The wall also created a separation between Jew and Gentile.  God allowed this so that the Jews could be a beacon to the Gentiles and bring salvation to the world.  Jesus would be the one to break down that wall of separation.

God’s Word takes center stage in this week’s study as the Scriptures are read and explained to the people.  God’s Word is truth.  It never consults, bargains or compromises.  It sets us free.  It is knowable.  It brings us joy.  And that joy of the Lord is my refuge and protection.  Hallelujah!

What remembrances do you have of where God’s Word has brought you?  When did He rescue you?  How has He provided for you?  How has He shown you His great love  today?

No comments: