Surely there can be no greater joy than that of saving souls.
Surely there can be no greater joy than that of saving souls.
Only believe, don’t fear. Our Master, Jesus, always watches over us, and no matter what the persecution, Jesus will surely overcome it. ~Lottie Moon
“Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you really will be free.” ~John 8:36
Good morning friends. Thanks for joining me on the third day of my series from the book of Nehemiah.
I feel like Nehemiah is one of the books in the Bible that often gets overlooked. However, it is full of principles that we can learn from and apply to our lives today. Yesterday I wrote about the importance of prayer, but another trait we can learn from Nehemiah is that he was repentant. This is seen in chapter 1: 6-7 when he confesses the sins of the children of Israel.
While being devastated over the tragedy that occurred in Jerusalem, Nehemiah took action and repented of Israel’s sins. Instead of having a “woe is me” attitude, Nehemiah confessed his sins, and took responsibility for their disobedience. He could have put the blame of their sin on someone else but he did not. He confessed and moved forward with a spirit of confidence and humility. God had given Nehemiah a mission, and repentance was a huge part in the restoration progress for Jerusalem.
Fast forward to our lives today. Think about your own life, and the people you encounter every day. As a nation, we are at one of the most pivotal times in our history. Unfortunately, our country as a whole is farther away from God than it has ever been. Confession and repentance towards Jesus Christ is not trendy. That being said, a lot of people are too prideful to show any type of humility at all, and this is true for both believers and non-believers.
When was the last time you have spent with Jesus praying and confessing to Him? He is a loving father who shows compassion and grace. He humbled Himself by dying on the cross for our sins, and we should live with that same attitude. No one is perfect. As Romans 3:23 states, “We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Although, as Nehemiah knew, to proceed in obedience with the Lord meant that he needed to repent. In order for us to guard the gates of our lives, we should repent daily.
Repentance is the gateway to the freedom and joy God desires for us. Nehemiah couldn’t move forward with his plans and life without it and neither can we.
Be sure to join in again on Thursday as I will discuss Nehemiah and his boldness. Until then, spend some time in prayer and read Nehemiah chapter 1 and enjoy soaking up the Word. I hope you all have a wonderful day!
To read previous posts in this series visit here.
We live by faith and not by sight. ~2 Corinthians 5:7
Below is an article from my friend Jeanne Harrison which was originally posted on Revive our Hearts. I asked Jeanne if I could share this. As I have read this over and over, I am reminded that God never forsakes us and will carry us through anything we face. I hope it encourages you as it has me.
I wanted security, and You gave me chaos,
Wanted esteem, and You let me know shame.
I wanted success, and You handed me failure,
Wanted Your pleasure and drank of Your pain.
I wanted simplicity, and You gave me troubles,
Wanted grandeur and was brought to nothing.
I wanted approval, and You handed me rejection,
Wanted Your blessing and tasted Your suffering.
So I packed my frustration and all my complaints
Into two giant burlap sacks.
One I named “Bitterness” and the other “Disappointment”
And heaved them upon my back.
Thus I began my journey to You,
Because I needed an answer, You see,
For all of the things You’d promised me once,
And failed to deliver to me.
But the loads, they grew heavy with each passing day,
‘Til I fumed with fury and hate;
And I moaned and I wept and I stumbled at last
Beneath their unbearable weight.
I looked at these bags, laden with trials,
And deep in my soul I knew,
That I could not carry, nor change, nor fight them;
There was but one thing left to do.
I reached both arms, fierce as I dared,
And I hugged them to my breast.
Then I heaved and hauled and wrenched until
I’d wrestled them into my chest.
I cried to the heavens, “I embrace these trials!
I welcome them full unto me.
Let them now work Your will in my life
So that I may be more like Thee!”
The trials spilled over, into my lap
Each of them laid before me.
And as I sat and stared anew,
Suddenly I saw them most clearly.
I wanted comfort, and You gave me character,
Wanted completion, and You gave me patience.
I wanted glory, and You gave me humility,
Wanted Your promise, and You gave me Your presence.
I wanted ease, and You gave me strength,
Wanted cheap idols, and You offered me wealth.
I wanted garbage, and You gave me riches,
Wanted Your gifts, and You gave me Yourself.
I laughed and I danced and I started to sing,
For the treasures I held in my lap!
Then I looked back and forth and finally found
My two giant burlap sacks.
And the names on the bags were rewritten,
For God had seen fit to destroy
Both “Bitterness” and “Disappointment,”
And to name them “Steadfastness” and “Joy.”
I fell to my knees and worshiped and cried,
“Oh God, all along You knew—
That deep in my heart from the very beginning,
All I really wanted was You.”
About the Author:
Jeanne Harrison grew up as a missionary kid in the Philippines for the first fifteen years of her life. Today she is a regular blogger for Revive Our Hearts, and the author of Loving My Lot: A Young Mom’s Journey to Contentment and Hiding in the Hallway: Anchoring Yourself as an MK. Jeanne lives in Macon, Georgia, where her husband, Clint, serves as the Executive Pastor at a local church. Together they have four wild and wonderful daughters, ages 1, 3, 6 and 8.
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” ~Hebrews 6:19
Happy April. This is the day after Easter and my prayer is that we not only celebrate Jesus just during the different holidays, but each day of our life. The verse God has put on my heart in recent days is found in Proverbs 3:5-6. It states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding and He will direct your path.” No matter what you are going through today seek God. He will always lead you in the path you should go and never fail you.
Happy Easter to all! This is one of my favorite quotes and it is the perfect reminder for this day as we celebrate Jesus. “The resurrection of Christ changed the midnight of bereavement into a sunrise of reunion; it changed the midnight of disappointment into a sunrise of joy; it changed the midnight of fear to a sunrise of peace.” ~Billy Graham
“But the angel said to the women, Don’t be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He isn’t here, because he’s been raised from the dead, just as he said. Come, see the place where they laid him.” ~Matthew 28:5
2018 has been hard to say the least, especially the past few weeks. My need for the hope of Christ is more evident now than before. Today, I am thankful for the sustainment God gives and for life. A few weeks ago I could have lost my life due to a complete bowel obstruction, but God was bigger than my diagnosis and I am now back home under the wonderful care of my parents, hospice, and my dogs.. The gift of the death and resurrection of Jesus seems more real and applicable to my life now more than ever before.
I am a bit of a worry wart and I have been pondering many scenarios lately, and living in the land of “What-ifs.” The Lord has been remiinding me that I need to trust Him more than my own understanding. He died and rose for me to live an abundant life of peace and freedom — not fearing what is to come. That does not mean that troubles won’t come, it just means Christ will be with us and the through the trials that come our way. He will also be there to celebrate with you on days where your life is filled with joy. There is nothing God cannot handle. As Matthew 28:5 states, “Don’t be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He isn’t here, because he’s been raised from the dead.” Living with worry is disobeying the Word, and therefore goes against what God has done for us. When we are doing these things we are not living and abiding in Calvary Love as Amy Carmichael so often says in her writings.
Today, God reminded me graciously of the beauty and truth of the Gospel and helped me to see past this medical fog I have been in. Even though my life is hard and some days I do not see outside my bedroom, unless I am in the hospital — God is still good and He is flooding my heart with peace and truly giving me what I need to live with life and Godliness. On this day of Easter I am reminded over and over of the Gospel and the beautiful gift God gave for our sins in His son Jesus. I am also thankful in the little things as I press on day to day. Without the Gospel and the Eternal Salvation from Christ, I would be nothing and instead of joy, my heart would be filled with bitterness.
Friends, I don’t know what circumstances you are facing today or the worries that are going through your mind but whatever they are give them to Jesus. If you know Him as your personal Savior be thankful for His faithfulness in your life because there is always something to be thankful for. Spend time praising Him today for the victory we have in Him and what He overcame.
If you don’t know Jesus as your personal Savior– talk to Him, repent, and ask Him to be the Lord in your life. Lay your sins, worries, and weariness at His feet and He will pick them up and give you peace that passes all understanding. I hope even if we never see each other on this earth, that we will meet in Eternity. It doesn’t matter what your past is, or what you have done, God loves you and wants you to draw near to Him. Allow Him to carry your heavy load. 2 Corinthians 5:17 states,
“So then, if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived!”
And Matthew 11:28 states,
“Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.”
One of my favorite songs is “Because He lives” by Bill Gaither, and it has been playing in my head for days. So to close, I hope these words encourage you as they have me.
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living,
just because He lives.