August 2, 2017 Nehemiah 3,4; Psalm 134; Hebrews 2:1-13

These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish.

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Rebuilding the wall | Nikki Metzger

S~ Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired the next section; and Hannah, one of the perfume-makers, made repairs next to that. Nehemiah 3:8 (NIV)

O~ This whole beautiful chapter is about all different people coming together to rebuild the wall.

A~ This makes me think of my church.  We are all so different, yet we rally under the Name of Jesus and His Kingdom unites us.

P~ Father, I pray for my church today.  Thank You so much for it!  Thank You for every single person that has come to church.  I pray for unity of heart in our midst, for everyone to fall in love with Jesus and in love with reading Your Word and applying it to their daily lives.  I pray for You to take the broken we bring to church and for You to rebuild us; like that wall!  I love You!

Many Hands/Light Work | Joni Tyner

S~ Then Eliashib the high priest and the other priests started to rebuild at the Sheep Gate. Nehemiah 3:11 (NLT)

O~ Nehemiah was a cup bearer for the king of Persia.  He leaves his prestigious position to return to Jerusalem to be the organizer of rebuilding the wall around the city.

A~ I was struck by all the people listed in chapter 3 who pitched in to make this huge task a reality.  It starts with the high priest and goes on and on, listing many people who helped in any way they could.  It was a physical task and the work load was shared by many.  This reminds me to keep my eyes open to be an occasional “laborer” when I’m around the church/Kingdom work and pitch in and help out.  The old saying, “many hands make for light work” is so true!!!!   Although I don’t necessarily think my purpose is to always be doing physical tasks for the church, I can certainly find time in my week to pitch in and help with cleaning, painting, picking up trash, etc to help support the Church.

P~ Dear Lord, keep me sensitive to tasks that simply need to be completed to further your Kingdom.  I pray for good health, energy and a humble attitude to be a productive servant for You.   Thank you for this reminder today that it takes SO MANY people to get projects done.  Thank you for the countless servants that I’ve never met but faithfully serve You week after week, year after year, doing what needs to be done.  I pray they feel encouraged and fulfilled as they serve You in the day to day tasks of Kingdom work.

Purpose in Pain | Tara Wiley

S~ God is the one for whom and through whom everything exists. Therefore, while God was bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was the right time to bring Jesus, the source of their salvation, to the end of his work through suffering. Hebrews 2:10 (God’s Word translation)

God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation. Hebrews 2:10 (NLT)

For it was fitting for God [that is, an act worthy of His divine nature] that He, for whose sake are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the author and founder of their salvation perfect through suffering [bringing to maturity the human experience necessary for Him to be perfectly equipped for His office as High Priest]. Hebrews 2:10 (AMP)

O~ Jesus’ work was brought to completion – to perfection – when He suffered. Not that He wasn’t already perfect in the sense that we think of; in Scripture, the word ‘perfect’ refers to the finishing of a work, bringing it to fullness, crossing the finish line. Jesus had to suffer to complete His mission and even to set into place His ministry in heaven! And we are to fellowship in His sufferings (Romans 8:17ff). That means OUR mission and even the ministry prepared for us in heaven can only be brought to completion through suffering.

A~ I’m walking with some suffering friends right now who are grappling with the ‘why’ of their pain. And who can blame them? While we cannot always answer the why in a way that appeases our grief, we can have purpose and hope in pain, which serves as a strength and support, a source of endurance. I love the encouragement of Romans 8, “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later…And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. (Romans 8:18,23 NLT)

P~ Lord, fill my friends with the eager hope that comes from looking forward to new bodies, new life, a new forever, free from pain and loss. Thank You for the reminder that Your suffering completed Your calling on earth and in heaven. And we are to fellowship with Your sufferings! So, when we suffer, we become more like You. Thank you for the purpose that gives to pain.

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