Word from Scotland
by Sandy Shaw
We have been reading in Nehemiah of the challenges he faced when leading that team of workers as they rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem.
Nehemiah made a few changes. He reorganised what was not working well.
Nehemiah 4 verse 13 - “So I stationed armed guards at the most vulnerable places of the wall and assigned people by families with their swords, lances, and bows.”
He did not give up on the goal – he simply reorganised how they were working.
That can apply to being out of shape – budget – being over-committed and we need to reorganise our time – or dealing with the clutter and the rubble which needs cleaned out.
Nehemiah made sure those working had support – that is crucial.
Hebrews 4 verse 25 - “Some people have gotten out of the habit of meeting with other believers, but we must not do that. Instead, we should keep on encouraging each other . . .” If people fall away from worship and fellowship and commitment to Jesus Christ and the Church of Jesus Christ, all kinds of difficulties can arise and appear. This can happen if people move out of God’s will for their lives.
Do not give up – just look at things differently.
Nehemiah refocused on GOD.
Nehemiah 4 verse 14 – “Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the leaders and the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious.”
It was as if some were so busy working for GOD that they forgot GOD! Do you think that may continue to happen today?
“When I had lost all hope I turned my thoughts once again to the Lord.” Jonah Chapter 2 verse 7. Yes, even Jonah took his eyes and thoughts off God – as did Peter when Jesus called him to step out of the boat and walk on the water.
Remember God’s presence with you in the past. Remember God’s available closeness to you now in the present – and the promises and power of Jesus Christ for the future.
Resist the discouragement – if that is possible – and I am sure it is if you are called by Jesus Christ.
Nehemiah 4 verse 14 (Then I told them) “. . . Fight for your brothers, and your sons and your daughters, and wives and homes!”
Nehemiah was at war. We are at war. We must not dare give up without a fight.
We face battles every day – “the enemy is the accuser of the brethren” – the enemy uses weapons of distraction and discouragement – to get you away from your post – or to get you to give up your post.
Nehemiah was a man who did not know how to give up. There are not many around. Nehemiah knew how to keep going – and Nehemiah teaches us important and profound lessons, as we face whatever might be going on around us.
Nehemiah knew how to focus upon God – and resist the distraction or discouragement of the enemy.
We too can apply these very practical lessons as we serve the risen and living Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.
“Almighty Father – for Your faithfulness down through the years, we praise You and worship You, because of Jesus – and His love and sacrifice on the cross. Whatever we may be facing, reassure us this day that you will be with us and will never leave us – according to the Scriptures and the promises of Christ our Saviour. Amen.”
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Alexander 'Sandy' Shaw is pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship in Nairn, Scotland. Nairn is 17 miles east of Inverness - on the Moray Firth Coast - not far from the Loch Ness Monster!
Gifted as a Biblical teacher, Sandy is firmly committed to making sure that his teachings are firmly grounded in the Word.
Sandy has a weekly radio talk which can be heard via the Internet on Saturday at 11:40am, New Orleans time, at wsho.com.
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