Tag: Psalm 37:4

Pray and work!

Scripture reading for May 7th: Nehemiah 1-2

Sometimes prayer is used as an excuse for doing nothing.  “I’ll pray about it” is an easy answer when asked to serve in a ministry or do a project.   As we pray, God often moves on our heart and turns it to do His will and want what He wants!  (Psalm 37:4)  We have the choice of following His leading, or just continuing to pray and hope the prayer will be answered.  One choice leads to amazing journeys and seeing the desires of our heart (and God’s) fulfilled while the other produces little in the way of results.

Nehemiah was an Israelite who was cup bearer to the king of Persia.  He held a position of trust and would have been a close adviser and bodyguard for this king.  He heard a report from those who had returned to Jerusalem earlier to rebuild the temple.  They told how the work was at a standstill and the walls were broken down and gates were burned with fire.  This report disturbed him greatly.  He began to weep, fast, and pray before his God, the God of heaven.  (Nehemiah 1:4-11)  Nehemiah, in faith, prayed and confessed the sins of his own people.  He reminded God of His covenant with Moses to bring the people back if they would call on Him.  He asked for favor to approach the king. (Psalm 5:11-12)

As he was doing his job before the king, God opened the king’s heart to ask him about his sad countenance.  Nehemiah again prayed quietly and asked for help in rebuilding Jerusalem and it’s walls.  God granted him favor and his prayers were answered.  He, himself, had been used by the Lord because he fasted and prayed and allowed God to move him into place to do something to bring the answer!  (Nehemiah 2:7-9)  Note that Nehemiah continues to pray about everything along the way.  There are 10 recorded prayers of his in this book.

Is there something that really moves your heart with pity?  Is there a need that you see that is not being met or an injustice that is calling to you for help?  Why not begin praying and fasting and opening your heart to the Lord about that situation?  As you do, be open for action that you may be able to take to bring about change, healing, or a godly answer.  The Lord wants to move our hearts through prayer to godly work.  The result will be a joyous celebration when we realize what the Lord has accomplished as we prayed and worked!  In the end of this story, Nehemiah has rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in 52 days!

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Sunday rest and reflection-a house for God.

Greetings on this day of rest!  May the peace of Jesus Christ fill your heart today as you rest in His love and kindness!

As I stopped to ponder the reading of this past week, I thought of King David’s desire to build a house for the Lord. (2nd Samuel 7:1)  This is one of the most important conversations found in the Old Testament pointing to Jesus Christ.  King David had rest from his battles and had built himself a palace of cedar.  He realized that God was living in a tent and wanted something better for God.  He shared his desire with Nathan the Prophet who encouraged him to do whatever was on his heart.(2nd Samuel 7:3)

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart”. (Psalms 37:4)  David was a man who delighted himself in the Lord.  As he put his faith and trust in God, God gave him desires that flowed from His heart!   God did want to build a house for Himself.  The house God desired was not made of wood or stone or overlaid with silver and gold.  The house that the Lord wanted built would have to come from the most precious of materials:  His own Son’s Blood and Body!  David was granted grace to become a part of God’s greater plan to build the ultimate house–a people from every tribe, tongue and nation who would believe on Him!

As you gather today to worship the Lord with others of like precious faith, remember that you are the living stones of that House for the Lord! (1st Peter 2:4-10)  You are a royal priesthood offering spiritual sacrifices to the One who gave His own son as the foundation–God your Father!  Delight yourself in Him today, and He will surely give you the desires of your heart!

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Generosity and Love!

Scripture reading for April 17th:  Ruth 3-4, Psalm 37, Acts 4

Key Scriptures:  Acts 4:32-35 “Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.  And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.  There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’s feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.”  

The early church brought many diverse people together in unity around Jesus Christ and His vision to reach the world and make disciples.  Material things took a lower priority and believers shared their goods.  Great power and grace rested on the apostles and their preaching brought new souls into the kingdom.  Believers’ hearts were filled with generosity and love for each other.

Faith Confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You for this amazing revelation of the early church and its love and generosity.  Help me to be powerful in Your grace through the Gospel message and generous to those in need.

Ruth 4:13-14 “So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife.  And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son.  Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, Who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel!  He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, . . .”

Psalm 37:4 “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.”

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“Follow Me!”

Scripture reading for January 6th:  Matthew 4

Key Scriptures:  Matthew 4:18-20

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew.  They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  “Come, follow Me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”  At once they left their nets and followed Him.”

Jesus walked where people were at work!  He, Himself, was a worker!  He was a carpenter who helped His father to shape wood for various purposes.  He was walking here among fishermen who were busy at their trade.  He called out to Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew.   When they heard Him, they immediately left their trade and daily work and followed Jesus.  He called them to a new type of fishing–fishing for men!

When Jesus calls us to come after Him, we often make excuses.  How will we make a living?  Aren’t we supposed to be loyal to our family business?  How will others and our families eat if we don’t have fish to eat and sell?  The word of God is calling us to humbly trust Jesus and obey Him.  The new calling to fish for men requires an apprenticeship with the Master Fisherman!  Why not obey His call and let the great adventure begin?  Trust Him to provide all you need.

Observation for overcomers:  The call of Jesus goes deep into the heart and spirit of each person when they open their hearts to listen.  When we want what He wants, we will joyfully follow Him and overcome all fears and arguments!  “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart!”  (Psalm 37:4)

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