It pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. Nehemiah 2:6.
While Nehemiah implored the help of God, he did not fold his own hands, feeling that he had no more care or responsibility in the bringing about of his purpose to restore Jerusalem. With admirable prudence and forethought he proceeded to make all the arrangements necessary to insure the success of the enterprise....
The example of this holy man should be a lesson to all the people of God, that they are not only to pray in faith, but to work with diligence and fidelity. How many difficulties we encounter, how often we hinder the working of Providence in our behalf, because prudence, forethought, and painstaking are regarded as having little to do with religion! This is a grave mistake. It is our duty to cultivate and to exercise every power that will render us more efficient workers for God. Careful consideration and well-matured plans are as essential to the success of sacred enterprises today as in the time of Nehemiah.... Men of prayer should be men of action. Those who are ready and willing, will find ways and means of working. Nehemiah did not depend upon uncertainties. The means which he lacked he solicited from those who were able to bestow.
The Lord still moves upon the hearts of kings and rulers in behalf of His people. Those who are laboring for Him are to avail themselves of the help that He prompts men to give for the advancements of His cause.... These men may have no sympathy with God’s work, no faith in Christ, no acquaintance with His word; but their gifts are not on this account to be refused....
As long as we are in this world, as long as the Spirit of God strives with the children of men, so long are we to receive favors as well as to impart them. We are to give to the world the light of truth, as revealed in the Scriptures; and we are to receive from the world that which God moves upon them to give in behalf of His cause.... O that Christians might realize more and still more fully that it is their privilege and their duty, while cherishing right principles, to take advantage of every Heaven-sent opportunity for advancing God’s kingdom in this world!21
In this thought provoking article, Gerald Klingbeil talks about Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the church’s prophetic voice. Klingbeil shares how Bonhoeffer uniquely responded to the immense challenges of his time. In the midst of a world that had opted to look away, he looked more carefully. When we read Bonhoeffer we are reminded of the clear prophetic voice we can hear in the likes of biblical Isaiah, Micah, Amos, or Haggai, and find that these testimonies are still relevant to our lives today.
Who are you talking about? When you’re not in the church building, do you ever talk about Jesus? If not, have you considered that you might be avoiding the topic? In this short devotional Tom Parton, from 3ABN, talks about Jesus and encourages us to also take some time to do the same. We pray you are blessed!