“Messages in Winter”

Date: 01-04-15

Text: — Nehemiah 1:1-2 — The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates have been burned with fire. [NIV84]

The Big Idea: Very sad (or even ‘bad’) news in your life—right now—can be but the prompting for a great work the LORD has prepared in advance for you to walk in.

My Thoughts: 

Even when things seem the darkest and the coldest we can receive messages from the LORD. The month of Kislev (v. 1) is Nov-Dec in our calendar. The citadel of Susa is the winter palace for the King. While there, Nehemiah receives very sad news: His people are in great trouble and disgrace. Now we who know the rest of the story know that this is merely the prompting from a great work the LORD has prepared in advance for Nehemiah to walk in….

And, Lifestyle worshipers, some very sad (or even ‘bad’) news in your life—right now—can be but the prompting for a great work the LORD has prepared in advance for you to walk in. So how do you receive this news?

This is the question I ask myself, too. I know we have to read ahead to see how Nehemiah receives the news, but I truly want to be like him here. Join me in seeking the LORD’s face as we look with hope to the future through this very sad news. I cannot imagine what the LORD has in store for us? Can you?

Scriptures to Renew Your Thoughts

   Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

— Matthew 6:26 (NIV84)

    For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

— Ephesians 2:10 (NIV84)

   Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

— 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 (NIV84)

Heavenly Father,  I wait on You to lead me into the good work You have prepared in advance for me to walk in. Lord Jesus Christ, be courage in me as I take the first steps in my winter towards it.  In Your Name, Amen.

Pastor Mike

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