Wednesday, July 24, 2013

RISE UP

Suggested Reading: Nehemiah 1-2

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

The City of David is the Israeli name for the oldest settled neighbourhood of Jerusalem, and it is a major archaeological site. It is on a narrow ridge running south from the Temple Mount. It was a walled city in the Bronze Age and, according to Scripture, it is the place where King David built his palace and established his capital. The City of David enjoyed the defensive advantages of its position by the Tyropoeon Valley to its west (mostly filled in), the Hinnom Valley to the south, and the Kidron Valley on the east. This photo is looking south along an ancient City of David wall. Down to the left is the Kidron Valley.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Nehemiah 2:18

And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me. So they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Then they set their hands to do this good work.

King Artaxerxes, ruler of the vast Persian Empire and stepson of Queen Esther, became God’s servant in the answers to the prayers of Daniel and many others who suffered ethnic cleansing at the hands of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. The Jews were still subjects of Persia, but the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem provided some sense of control over their own destiny as a distinct people. Some have called this period of time “The Springtime of Judaism.”

Ezra, in our readings over the past few days, has concentrated on the spiritual restoration of Judah, and now Nehemiah focuses on the political and geographical restoration. God gave the Jewish people one more leader who was a contemporary of Ezra and Nehemiah, the prophet Malachi. His ministry to the people was crucial to the revival of Judaism. The final book in the Hebrew cannon of Holy Scripture is powerful. To discover the power of Malachi’s words we may read Malachi 3:6-12.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, like Nehemiah, I pray with all sincerity for You to move upon the lives of those in authority. Please lead, guide, and direct our leaders in Your ways. You influenced the Persian Kings for the good of Your ancient people; now I pray that You’ll do the same for our current civil authorities, and in particular our spiritual leaders. Raise up in our time, O Lord, powerful prophetic voices as You have done in times past. I pray all these mercies in the Name of Jesus, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

More than 25 years ago, I was invited to speak at a conference of pastors and church leaders in Berlin, Germany. Rev. Volkhardt Spitzer was my host. He was the leader of a great Pentecostal congregation which had taken possession of the great church building in which Kaiser Wilhelm, of WW1 times, had worshipped. I passed through “Check Point Charlie” into Eastern Germany, where I had the honour to preach in a Methodist Church. There in Communist-controlled territory, I found a church full of young people. Poverty was evident, but the joy of the Lord filled the building.

The next day, I took a taxi from my hotel to the infamous Wall that the Communist East Germans had built, with the support of the USSR. A house which was a part of the Wall was being torn down and the Wall was being constructed to fill the gap. Police with machine guns were everywhere on the East German side. I approached the Wall from the west to try and make conversation with the masons laying the stones. I spoke in my best German (not that good) a warm greeting, but was met with no response. The workers would not look at me. I was totally ignored. I tried several times, but there was no response. I shared that evening in the conference that God is seeking to get our attention, but we just keep on building walls which separate. President Reagan said a few months later, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” As in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, God still uses leaders to bring about positive change in human affairs. I must never give up hope.

Yours for optimism based on the knowledge that God hears and answers prayer,

David

Ronald Reagan next to the Berlin Wall where he spoke the famous words, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" - June 12, 1987

8 thoughts on “Wednesday, July 24, 2013

  1. Ah yes, glorious history! I’m proud to have lived during that era as the cold war came to a close as former President Ronald Reagan along with other noble leaders of that era (i.e. The Iron Lady, Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul 2, Mandella, Walessa), would come to the fore and stand for something, unlike what I see around the world today (call my a cynic I suppose). I don’t believe this era of historical change happened by chance however. I believe that God placed (and still places) strategic people at appointed times to act, we are never abandoned. When God sees fit He will act; He always has the final word. As in days of old He used great men as Ezra, Nehemiah and others for change; He is always in need of great men and women in every generation to accomplish His will. May all of us be listening closely for His call.

  2. Nehemiah proclaimed, “Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach … Let us rise up and build!” In our lives we can see some walls which perhaps need to be torn down, as our freedom is held in captivity. Yet, other walls separate us from harm. Some walls are attacked for the purpose of gaining access and control, to dominate and rule. Others are torn down to bring freedom to the oppressed. What walls contain us and to whom will we allow access? I pray the Holy Spirit to guide us in all matters relating to the walls we have in our lives. Revelation 3:20 “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

  3. Hi David, l agree 100% with your prayer, as l’m sure we all do. Matthew 18:19 “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them by my Father which is in heaven” “Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we could ask or thing,according to the power that works within us.” Ephesians 3:20. Thank you Lord! We give you the Glory! Have a great day everyone!

  4. I was reading Jeremiah yesterday and I came across Jeremiah 3:15, which says: “And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. And when you have multiplied and been fruitful in the land, in those days, declares the Lord, they shall no more say ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord’.”

    This is a beautiful response written in the Bible, from what I saw, to the prayer “Raise up in our time, O Lord, powerful prophetic voices as You have done in times past.” If I’m interpreting that piece of scripture correctly.

    How gifted we are to have strong pastors and leaders in the church teaching God’s word with love and grace. Oftentimes this is a thankless vocation, yet how important is it for us to recognize both the pastor AND God in creating these people who are willing to teach God’s word boldly, yet with gentleness and respect. (1st Peter 3:15)

    Also, there are many false leaders out there (The New Testament talks about this everywhere 2 Peter 2 and Jude come to mind). These are ones that pervert the Word of God speaking horrifying words and by doing terrible acts, and as a result, it makes being a truth-filled, Christ-centered pastor so much more challenging as people outside of the church see these as representatives of Christ and as a result they do not trust the church. What a difficult position to have people not trust you on a regular basis. But thanks to the Lord there are these pastors that remain rooted in God and that God gives them the strength to endure, and the people who God has called to him can learn about him through these people.

    How good is our God! Thank you to pastors everywhere who continue to do God’s work! I pray that you find peace and joy that only comes through the Spirit in your ministry! 🙂

  5. Those are wonderful memories scott but today sadly we are heading into political uncertainty. Recently there are many reports of military troops landing on the Californian coast. Russian and Chineesetroops are engaged in millitary exersizes with US troops right now. Also for the past few years there are many reports that support the claims with extensive video footage of UN troops and UN military vehicals all over the USA at Fema Camp locations poised and ready, but ready for what? Plus there are training exercises being conducted in Cities and suburds all across America . The officials say they are training for sivil unrest . Ran Paul , Glen Beck and many others have been wanting answers to questions like ….sivil unrest from what ? Many Americans do not agree with their government conducting these expensive drills. There are reports that the drills have been invasive and some times terrifying. Add to those facts and their concerns are even more justified as their investigations have revealed other startling facts too intense for this blog. Forgive me for ranting about this but I have e:mails from Americans asking that we please spread this info. Ezra Lavant has touched on some of the issues and has received flac for his bold reporting.
    I hate to burst any ones bubble …..but Jesus said at the end of days these would be dangerous perilous times none such like the world has ever seen nor will ever see again. I believe Jesus. He told us this to warn us. Because he loves us.
    So…. where is God in all of this some will ask and it is a valad question, well I believe he is watching , and prophesy is being full filled. . He is in total control just as he always wasand always will be. History is about to repeat its self “again.” The leaders of our time have compromised morality for political correctness coupled with unpresidented greed and there will be consequences. Have any of you heard of the boarder initiative . It is an agreement signed in 2011 between Canada and the US. Between President Barack Obama A.K.A”…..
    ” Berry Sorlorento” and Prime minister Stephen Harper to take down the boarder in order to implament a stronger perimeter control of both Countries. Sounds logical but is it that cut and dried? Another question is , when will this be implemented? And how?
    The concensous is that both countries , Canada and the USA will become one part of the Ten divisions of the world as set out in the plan for the New World Order. YES ! that NWO spoken about in Revelations.
    I have heard and read the statement ” Get ready folks the new World Order is almost here many times in news commentaries and in YouTube videos. WOW! It is hard to imagine that we are that generation.
    The one thing I love about all of this is the hope of our saviour apearing in the clouds. Amen!!!!
    Still it doesn’t seem unfair when Good , God fearing people have to suffer the fate of ungodly leaders.
    As you pointed out Scott God sends appointed leaders for his purposes.
    Like it or not all of this is just part of “His” devine plan.
    That said we need prayer …….. “big time”.

    My prayer is that no matter what unfolds we will not live in fear. I pray that we brothers and sisters in Christ will live victorious lives with unshakable faith and confidence in the promises of God.
    I pray that through it all many will come to know Christ as their Lord and saviour.
    Amen! Amen! And Amen!
    M.

  6. Our Lord God is still on His Throne and He is still in control, Praise the Lord
    Let not your hearts be troubled says Jesus…Amen Amen Amen…..R…

  7. Dear Rev. David M . and precious fellow bloggers
    Your prayer is one that needs to be shared by all of us christians for this world is in greater need of our Lords rightiousness then ever before . I turn my eyes to the one and only Saviour Jesus and read once again Revelation 3: 21 – 22:
    He who has an ear. let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
    To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me and My throne as I also overcome and sat down with My Father on His throne.
    Blessed day everyone.
    xxxx Carole .

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