Nehemiah resides in one of the smaller books in the Old Testament that sometimes gets overlooked. He does not make it into the children’s Bibles that include such stories as the time old tale of Adam and Eve; the incredible boldness of Noah to build a boat where no one comprehended devastation to the earth by flood; the faith of Abraham that he would be the father of multitudes when at 100 years of age he had no children; the incredible courage of Moses to lead the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt; and of course the noble devotion of David to take on Goliath in a battle of extreme odds in order to bring glory to God.
Understandably, children’s Bibles introduce children to the wonders of God’s Word. Yet, as adults, I think we neglect diving back into the Old Testament to find its relevance for our lives today. Pastor Craig took First Baptist Church through the book of Nehemiah reminding us that the Old Testament and all its books remain as relevant today as the day the words appeared on scrolls.
Bits and pieces were not taken out of context to make a point nor were difficult parts overlooked or randomly explained away in the sermons on Nehemiah’s quest to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. Pastor Craig went through the book chapter by chapter in order to root out the meaning of Nehemiah. One can listen to the sermons to take that in-depth look into the character of a man determined to trust in God and to complete the task entrusted to him.
Through the sermon series Pastor Craig took us back in time to understand the circumstances surrounding Nehemiah’s desire to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. The situation appeared bleak – how would Nehemiah carry out the task God set before him? We learned about Nehemiah’s thoroughness in his planning; his wisdom in leadership; his perseverance against great odds; and we learned how to apply the book to our lives today.
Like Nehemiah, God’s church today has a task of rebuilding. Christians need to trust in God’s love and share it with those in our families, our communities, our nation and our world. We need to commit as fully to our mission as Nehemiah did to his task. Boldly and faithfully, trusting in God to lead the way; to open doors and hearts; to be the God He says that He is throughout the Bible. Some possess the leadership skills that God used in Nehemiah to get the project started while others have the ability to follow that strong leadership and carry out the smaller tasks. Everyone has a part in the plan and can contribute to bringing God glory where they live, work and play. Knowing what God can accomplish and knowing that He expects more of me was encouraging as well as humbling to consider through the sermon series.
I am not entirely certain of what is next in my walk with God, yet I am trying to be open to what the call might be so that on my own or with my family, I can be true to my faith and be an instrument for God. For starters, I would like to explore writing. God has used various situations, people and memories to spur me on in this regard. I hope to encourage people in their walks with God as well as to encourage those who choose not to be in relationship with God that they consider answering God’s call. I look forward to this exploration that took further hold through learning more about Nehemiah and Pastor Craig’s suggestion for all to consider what God would have us do.