{October 3, 2021}






Heartland Community Church


THE JOURNEY

MONUMENTAL: Don’t Miss Your Moment

By Molly Fisher

It’s easy to get lost or lose interest in ancient history. Even Biblical ancient history can feel irrelevant. Yet Nehemiah has an entire book of the Bible named after him, so maybe we do have something to learn – the power of one, one who when faced with a great concern, first goes to God in prayer.

In Nehemiah’s time, exiles have returned to Jerusalem, but it’s a mess.  The temple has been rebuilt, but it’s unprotected, the city walls are in ruin and the gates have been burned. Nehemiah hears the news, and cannot shake the burden and grief, so he prays. He prays for months! He prays and he waits, for the right time – God’s time.The king, noticing his distress, asks about it, and Nehemiah prays again (it’s not okay to be sullen in the king’s presence) and seizes the moment. The response is amazing – Nehemiah not only asks and receives permission to return to Jerusalem but is also given letters from the king to local/hostile governors, and the manager of the king’s forest for supplies, and though not requested, an armed guard to protect Nehemiah on his journey.

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish more than we might ask or think” Ephesians 3:21

Nehemiah goes to Jerusalem to rebuild; he is clear about his mission. Before he gathered people and before declaring an agenda though, Nehemiah prayed. He went out by himself, at night, to take stock and make a plan. Nehemiah’s life uniquely prepared him to be ready for this call, and his faith led him to pray. Nehemiah’s prayers informed his timing, informed his preparation, gave him the vision and strength to persevere in the face of adversity. He first sought God, then asked the king for what he needed (the order of those things mattered) and ultimately gave God the praise instead of seeking that for himself.

“Seek first the kingdom of God, …”. Matthew 6:33
“…perhaps you were made…for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

Nehemiah could not have rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem from sheer want-to, no matter how deeply grieved or passionate. Nehemiah prayed, waited, planned (repeat), surrounded by enemies, and surrounded by destruction. Nehemiah was an ordinary man with no special lineage, but was uniquely placed, with unique experience, and a willingness to do what needed done even when challenged. An ordinary man with a passion and a vision to do God’s will.

 

{sunday 10.3.21}

Read Nehemiah 2

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Put yourself in the story, use your senses: picture the palace, listen to the busyness of the work all around, take in the smells of the kitchen, and put yourself in Nehemiah’s shoes. You have been fasting and praying about the destruction of your ancestral homeland. You are grieved and your heart is heavy. You see the opulence surrounding you but know that the walls of Jerusalem lay in ruins and God’s temple is unprotected. You are praying for how to ask the king the unthinkable – to not only let you go to rebuild, but give you aid and supplies to do it. You understand you are risking your life to ask such a thing, and then the king does even more than you ask. This is huge, this is MONUMENTAL! It’s nothing short of a miracle!

Next put yourself at the walls, at night, where you can assess things by yourself, no other voices but God’s. See the ruins, the decay, the piles of rocks too large for your horse to navigate. So, you get down, get close, and understand the magnitude of what needs to be done.  Remember the miracle it took for you to even be here, and importance of your cause/God’s cause. Feel the hope arise as you know all things are possible for God, and you have been chosen for a time such as this, and you begin to have a plan forming. (You don’t know it yet, but God will use you in a monumental way and the wall will be rebuilt in only 52 days.)

Can you identify a "rebuilding project" needed in your life? What shape are the necessary walls like in your life? Those needed to protect your heart, your soul, your family. Have they been annihilated, or are they slowly eroding/decaying? (Ruins that happen slowly are still ruins. Left unattended, walls decay.) What has caused the holes where weeds are coming through, or the rubble strewn about? While you pray, and wait, plan and be ready for where God has placed you, reliant on His timing. (Pray, wait, plan – repeat)

 

{bible reading plan}

By Molly Fisher

{monday 10.4.21}

Read 1 Chronicles 15:1-3

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Before Nehemiah, King David was the builder.  He had built several buildings for himself in the City of David (ancient Jerusalem), and prepared a place for the Ark of God, a special tent, and made preparations for who and how the Ark would be brought back.
The Ark represented God’s presence among His people. For us now that presence is Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Take time today to thank God that his holy presence is now with us all the time.

{tuesday 10.5.21}

Read 1 Chronicles 15:25-29

Observe, Reflect, Apply: All the preparations have been made to move the Ark, and the mood is celebratory! King David himself is unrestrained in his joy, uninhibited to the point of being a bit undignified (at least in the eyes of Saul’s daughter and his wife, Michal). Unbridled joy is actually rarely seen, we can be a little too cautious of what others think of us, so to hear of a king dancing and expressing his joy in his devotion to God in a way that cares little for what other’s think is impressive. What gives you that kind of joy?

{wednesday 10.6.21}

Read 1 Chronicles 16:1-3

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The Ark is placed in the special tent, and ceremonial burnt and peace offerings are made to God. Then David blessed the people in the name of the Lord and gave every man and woman in Israel a loaf of bread, a cake of dates, and a cake of raisins.
This would have been extravagant, even for a king, to give a gift to everyone in the nation. Identify God’s extravagant love for you – what have you been given freely (not earned)?

{thursday 10.7.21}

Read 1 Chronicles 16:7-36

Observe, Reflect, Apply: David’s song of praise is for God’s providence, protection, victories, justice, covenant, and promises.  His song gives thanks, proclaims the good news, exalts the name of God and his holiness, and remembers his wonders, miracles and promises. Set aside time to worship. Go for a walk and notice evidence of God, note your your journal how you would praise and thank God today. Or listen to your favorite worship song, and really consider the words as you sing.

{friday 10.8.21}

Read 1 Chronicles 17:1-15

Observe, Reflect, Apply: For David, the tent was fine, needed, but temporary. At least the Ark was back in Israel! But he wanted to do more; to build a temple to house the Ark. Through the prophet Nathan, God said, “no.” David was told that he wouldl be a great king and Israel would prosper, but that it would be one of his descendant’s that would build the temple, not he. One of dangerous weeds that can get by our decaying walls is pride. Could it be that David was getting a little out in front of God’s plans, with plans of his own? Can you identify with how easily that can happen? Where might you need to pray first and wait?

{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources).

CLICK HERE to get the Read Scripture App, from our friends at The Bible Project.

CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get the free YouVersion Bible for your phone, tablet, or computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

The Bible App For Kids YouVersion partnered with OneHope to develop the Bible App for Kids, designing it specifically to engage children with Bible stories on an age-appropriate level. The Bible App for Kids is a free app for Android, Apple, and Kindle devices, available in over 60 languages.

Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.

 

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© 2021 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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