Nehemiah 2013: Day

And so-and-so and so-and-so and YOU

by

Today's Text: Nehemiah 3, John 9, Acts 3, Ephesians 4:16

Text: Nehemiah 3, John 9, Acts 3, Ephesians 4:16

This, is the good part. Don’t glaze over it. If you’ve spent any length of the Old Testament, you know that sometimes there are just chunks of names and names and names and names. You can skip today, you can skim for baby names for your pregnant friend, or you can read between the lines and do a little life application.

Every great and powerful move of God, from the rebuilding of walls to the planting of churches to the leading of a children’s Bible study comes down to a section like this. The people have to get up, stop talking and vision casting, and start putting beams down. They have to walk over to their neighbor’s house. They have to move to that city where they know God is calling them. Download the adoptive parent packet. Write the email. Buy the snacks. Do the work.

And it isn’t always beautiful or glamorous or filled with spiritual fervor and fluffy feelings, but it is so very, very good and necessary to get the wall built. Ephesians four sixteen reminds us that every joint in this body of Christ is equipped for the work IT must do, and doing it properly makes the body grow.

Can I tell you a little secret about one of these builders that may shed some light for us? Did you notice Shallum? In verse 15? He’s just one of the dozens listed, but he repaired the wall of the Pool of Shelah. No biggie, right? Well, it is actually a huge deal. It’s one man, sacrificing his time and effort and days to rebuild his community, because of the larger vision at stake. But there’s more to the story there.

In John 9, they’re calling this pool “Siloam”, but don’t be confused – it’s the very same one. This time, we’re there hundreds of years later with Jesus – as He heals a blind man, declaring His divinity in miracle form. Then in Acts three, in the very same place, Peter heals a man who has never walked. THIS is an important place, right?

Could it be that the section of the wall God has given you is important for your sanctification and His Glory today, but that He might have an eternal plan for the work you’re doing today as well? What if your simple job is the setting for miraculous Kingdom-size work for generations to come? I’m willing to bet, in one way or another, it absolutely is.

  • mazmagi54

    OK researching ALL these individuals "and so and so and so and U" could be an enormous project except loving all of U part and getting to know U, my sisters in Christ. However, to make this short, let me just add to all my comment above that these 12 principal names represent the 12 tribes of Judah, which has a rather significant impact. I only recognized some of them … so that's why I was intrigued and curious enough to check'em out.

    I really must be truthful though that when I see a list of all these 'difficult to pronounce names' that I have no idea who they are and usually could care less but after this and how Jessi made this connection from OT to NT, I will now try (especially for the rest of Nehemiah, cuz he documents the names of these people as a record and their return to this rebuilt city) as the 12 tribes will be gathering when Jesus Christ returns. Once again thanks! From now on, I'll look for the importance in these lists of names … and pray that we and our loved ones will be written in the Book of the Lamb on that day when He returns for us… and the Bride says, "Come" … that we will be ready and plenty of oil and not just a so and so… much more significant than my own mind would have imagined.

  • Just a quick thought ~ my Bible says that the word S i l o a m means " S e n t ". (Someone may have mentioned this already). I love the way the Lord uses names and meanings in His story of redemption.

  • adelineoh

    That's so good!

  • Autumn Dawn Leader (aka Songmistress)

    This really puts things in perspective. There are no insignificant members or jobs in the Body of Christ; we all have an important part to play in the Kingdom of God. Furthermore, if we don’t do our part it hinders the growth of us all!

    Lord, help us! Give us more grace, that we would grow in unity and love. Give us revelation to see the importance each of us has to and for each other. Forgive us for having a “me me me” attitude. Forgive ME, Father, for that attitude. Keep us lifting each other up in prayer, that this community would grow and the blessing to the whole Body would be seen, as You receive all the glory in and through us, Father God. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen and so very, very, very AMEN!

  • Today's devotional spoke to me so personally as I end the school year as a teacher. I am struggling with my own health issues and it has been hard to focus on the work that must be done for others. There are so many small, unpleasant things I must do for my students, but that need to be completed to prepare them as young men and women of God for the future. I am blessed to work in a Catholic school and can build His kingdom out loud and proud every day.

  • Tina Blankson.

    Sorry i.m late….but here at last… Nehamiah…. This May be my favorite book yet in the O.T….next to psalms… I want to be like him…. I want to have his faith, his understanding of God, his trust, patience in his needs and knowing when to ask….trusting God in the waiting…
    He.s gone home with more than he asked for…and building the wall with people from the community. ….Whose names i skimmed over…. Shame on me!!!!
    Thank you Jessi for opening my eyes to reading(sometimes) God book properly. ….And what a connection! !!!. Wow… You just never know…..
    I fall into that thought pattern frequently of what.s it all about….why am i here….don.t get me wrong, i do… But is it enough. …
    No more, i will thank God for ever opportunity given small or large…and i will do it in faith and trust and most importantly for the glory of God.
    In a sentence thank you for this devotion….for your comments, ladies.
    I.ll end now with a prayer for Gods amazing blessing on you allx

  • Happy Pentecost SONday SRT team and sisters! Thanks for the work of this team! I'm so thankful for SRT and this community! May the Holy Spirit continue to teach us, fill us overflowingly and inspire us to "earnestly repair …" rebuild, and be a part of "the section of the wall that God has given each of us, which is important for our sanctification and His Glory" today and every day, that we don't sell ourselves short in what we are doing and being a part of or inspire us to become an integral part of the Body of Christ in our own communities. May He guide us supernaturally and divinely to complete His will for His Kingdom purpose in each of us!

    Love the ending of Jessi's devotional today and the affirmation it is for each of us to grab hold of and BE!
    Blessings and peace in Christ Jesus,
    Peggy

    • Peggy

      Lord, thank You for giving us different gifts. Let us be mindful that they function best when used in community to benefit others. Keep me steadfast in the work You have called me to do. Sometimes it seems I am too busy to stop and help someone in need. Slow me down, Lord. Let me not procrastinate, but do it now! Let me be a part in Your Kingdom building and make a difference at home, in my community, wherever You place me, may it be Your will and purpose, for Your Glory, not mine or to be noticed or please someone, just for You. Change my ways and my thoughts to reflect more of You and be effective on my knees or in the place You call me to work. May our churches continue to be a light, a beacon on the hill, to draw the community to know You, Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord! Thank You for shining through us in the darkness of this world. Help us when we fall beside the road in those places and lead us into Your eternal light forever and ever… all for Your honor, glory and praise to Your name, we serve … and come, seeking, asking and knocking, thanking You for all that You are doing in our midst in Jesus' beloved name

  • Julie V.

    Thank you for such a great devotional today Jessi. I always like to see how the OT and NT are knit together. I skimmed the devotional before reading the passages, and became confused and curious about it (like others!). After I re-read everything over again, I got it. I need to pay attention to all those cross references in the center column of my Bible more often.

    My prayer for today's devotional is to not take our "little work" for granted, and to improve my attitude in my life. I want to be like Baruch, in verse 20, who "earnestly repaired the other piece".

  • Ellen MR

    This is something I have trouble with. I don’t feel like much of a “wall builder” or that ANYTHING I’m doing is part of the body, or helping it to work in anyway. Since I’m still extremely new in my walk and have so little knowledge of Him and His word, I’m just in a season of learning all I can from Him! I’d like to be more hands on, working with folks. And that doesn’t necessarily mean trying to preach-heavens no!
    Just doing something to share how much I love Him and how my life is changing…here we go with patience again! I better just be thinking about patience and to rest in Him, He’ll tell me when it’s time, right?
    Blessings to all of you, and gratitude for our community!! :)

    • Carolynmimi

      Ellen, I can relate. That is how I was when I really turned my life over to Christ. Already, here you are sharing and that encourages new believers and old.

      In the meantime, as you wait, as you live out your salvation be ready if someone asks about your faith and share from your heart.

      But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)

    • Peggy

      Praying that God opens the door for you, Ellen to be a "wall builder" or whatever (but you probably are and just haven't noticed yet)… that God would send someone or some hands on opportunity for you. And also that you would have patience and be kind to yourself, allowing time to learn and share as you do (like Carolynmimi said) by sharing. Like you do here. You are part of this community, and I see your "brick" added and blessing us. Keep on sharing from your heart and how Jesus is changing you from the inside out as you learn and grow. We all are learning and growing together.:0)

      Have a blessed Pentecost SONday!
      Peggy

  • LaurenC_

    This is obviously great news for Megan and her family, and praise to God, but here's where you all come into the picture: The doctors have no real medical explanation for why Megan has NHL rather than Sarcoma. The size, location, and activity of her mass all point to Sarcoma; not NHL. Megan and I, and her entire family and friends, all believe the only explanation why her mass is actually a treatable, CURABLE form of cancer and not one with a poor prognosis is the grace of God – realized through the power of prayer by her family, friends, and all of you kind women who prayed with me a few weeks ago when I shared her news with you. All of the glory goes to God, but a heaping amount of thanks goes to you all for interceding for Megan. You stood in the gap for a total stranger and your prayers were heard! Megan is not out of the woods yet; she has a difficult summer ahead of her with chemo every three weeks. But she is ready to endure it and her faith and hope are squarely in God's hands. She has felt the power of your prayers. Thank you! Now I must get back to work. Will check in with today's reading later :)

    • Ellen MR

      Awesome Lauren!!! Praise God and our Lord Jesus Christ for this great news! Send Megan our love!

    • Carolynmimi

      Praise God. He didn't take the tumor away or even make it benign, but what He did presents Megan and her family with a better prognosis. Two things come to mind, Jesus did not always heal using the same formula. one blind man…Zappo..sight! Another, spit and mud on the eyes! He also told some to go home and others to follow. Obviously, God plans to use Megan during her chemo and with her cure to witness to His Power and Grace.

      By the way, this may only be obvious to me, not trying to put a weight of responsibility on anyone going through chemo. I have been that road with my husband. T'aint easy, McGee!

  • LaurenC_

    Hello All! I'm jumping on briefly from work to share praise to God and thanks to you all regarding my friend & co-worker Megan, who was diagnosed at the age of 31 with cancer about 3 weeks ago after a large mass was found in her back. She does have cancer, but a biopsy has shown that she has a type of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma rather than a type of Sarcoma. This is actually good news because her team of doctors were all quite certain, pre-biopsy, that she had a Sarcoma which is much more difficult to treat and has a less ideal prognosis compared to NHL. Megan's biopsy confirmed NHL and she has begun chemo. She has had more bloodwork, a PET scan, and finally a bone marrow biopsy. There are some lymph nodes reacting to the main malignant mass, but the doctors are certain the chemo will take care of them. The PET scan and bone marrow biopsy show NO evidence that her cancer has spread!

  • Morning friends,

    I love Friday's (da, who doesn't, right! Lol.) But it is my day off, so I am not rushed for the day. Hubby is at work, the house is quite and so I can really chew on what The Lord is speaking to me.

    What I know to be true about myself, is that a lot of times I devalue my contribution. Not that I don't think what I do doesn't have meaning and value, but that maybe I should of done more. Part of that thought pattern may come from my Dad; he was super critical growing up, and no matter how much you did, you never had the full satisfaction that it was enough.

    What I clearly recognize this morning, is that my part (no matter how big or small) has value. It all serves for a greater purpose and it IS important.

    Lord, thank you for the gifts you give all of us; they all have value and importance. Thank you for each one of these sister's and their comments and prayers that have brought such value to my life.

    ~ As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4: 1-6 ~

  • monique(forgiven)

    So true stacy if we were to stand and agree together as nehemiah did then our walls would be firm and more people would come to the church instead of staying away from it. This is why what we must contiinue to to do Gods work and be an example to those who are lost so Gods Glory can shine through us.
    Amen carolynmimi:)

  • Tekoites – Gibeonites – Meronothites –

    Goldsmiths – Perfumers – Priests –

    These were people from different tribes, different families, different walks of life. I imagine they had disagreements in the past. Maybe some of these groups had even fought at some point in time. Yet, when Nehemiah came to them with a God-given task, they said, "Let us rise up and build" (Neh. 2:18.)

    One of the things I find so heart wrenching in the body of Christ is that we pick on each other. This one drinks wine and that one doesn't. This one is really bold in her witness and another ministers quietly in the shadows. We don't like the way that one dresses or acts or talks or whatever. We judge each other and, all the while, the walls are crumbling.

    This passage shows that all kinds of people love the Lord and He uses them all for His glory. Together, we need to rise up and build.

    • Ellen MR

      Stacy you're right about that. Sad but true… Today I pray that we leave the "Judging" to God, not ourselves! Amen!

      • Peggy

        Ah yes Stacy! Great insights and sadly such truth in this (sigh) I agree that it's time we rise up and build together rather than judge and tear down.

  • What we do for the Lord has a ripple effect.

    I have always been fascinated with books and movies that are all about time travel. The concept that someone could go back in time and change a future outcome, or go into the future and see how the present events could effect the next generation. (My 5 year old daughter has also inherited the same special interest and we can spend a good hour at bedtime exploring these grand ideas together.)

    I love how studying the Word can be a little like a time travel journey for me. I get to read how one simple event has a divine, meaningful purpose for the generations that follow. It's all over the Word! That God sets His people on His perfect timetable, "for such a time as this," makes living in these times and doing the work that much more exciting. And it's oh so important.

    We each have a tiny piece to do. Like a pebble of sand in time.

    I throw my tiny pebble into a pool of water. You throw your tiny pebble. Until corporately, the ripples spread out (from generation to generation), and the furthest edges finally meet…making WAVES. For His glory, I'm picking up my pebble today.

    Blessings!

    • Carolynmimi

      So true, Picking up a pebble and making waves…Kind of reminds me of the WAVE at sporting events down through the eras of time.

    • Peggy

      Oh JuneBug, I love this visual and concept of time travel! But to think of that pebble and the ripple effect! Awesome!
      Beautiful image! Pickin' up my pebble too… How sweet the sharing with your 5 yo … precious inheritance and common interest now shared! Pebble by pebble, rock by rock, wall by wall, brick by brick … gate by gate until we meet at the final narrow gate. So glad that Jesus is our Gate to eternity. His pebble had gigantic impact and effect, now it's up to us! You have a great start with your 5 yo.

      Have a blessed weekend!
      Peggy

  • In the past I would always skim through the names in the OT. Or worse yet I would change them to something much easier just to get through the passages. Being confected that this was not what I should be doing I searched and began using the audio YouVersion. It has been so helpful in personalizing my readings. I continue to read not just listen and can feel the Bible come to life. This has been such a wonderful study and its only day 4!! Thank you ladies for all you do:)

    • Peggy

      Good idea to use the audio Rhonda (and read along) especially to know how these are pronounced anyways. I think I might try that too. I did for the Lent 40 day challenge of listening to the entire Bible in the 40 days and I loved it cuz I got the full picture and much easier to listen and easier on the eyes. But when I was able to do both, I got so much more out of it! Thanks Rhonda!

  • scripturesque

    Thanks for such rich insights this morning, both from Jessi and from all of the great comments. One thing this passage spoke to me about was the thought that sometimes we have no idea if what we are doing is significant in any way and in those times we just need to show up. God tends not to use people that aren't moving for whatever reason. So even if you are moving in the wrong direction but you are seeking God, He will redirect you. Also most of what we do on a daily basis is "small" but if you do it to reflect glory to God it is BIG!

    Much Grace Ladies

  • This portion of scripture also goes along with 1Corinthians chapters 12-14 about spiritual gifts and how we are all part of the body of Christ and each of us has a spiritual gift to be used for the body. The gifts we are given when we commit our lives to Jesus are given by the Holy Spirit FOR the body and not for us. We have been studying the gifts for the past several weeks and our pastor often makes reference to Nehemiah and the building of the wall. We all have a part, we all have a gift and they are to be used for the Glory of God and the good of the body.
    Lord help me to do my part for your glory.

  • Carolynmimi

    Thanks so much for all the prayers from this community yesterday for my husband. We are still try to get this figured out.

  • I always feel the same way when I read chapters like these, I almost feel guilty by skimming or not knowing how to say the names. It’s good to hear ans know some connections!!
    I have been feeling distant from God lately. Been slipping and caving into old habits that I have become aware of. It’s an ache cause I miss him. I’m really hoping this will help “rebuild” our relationship just like the wall. I know we are all sinners and we let life get in the way. Just feeling discouraged. Just like any other relationship it takes time and work. I am so grateful for a loving merciful god who will always be by my side. I just pray when times are upon me I know them and do the works he wants. I get scared I will miss them and not respond as he wishes. Dear lord I pray I do what you need me to so. ALL THE JOINTS AND LIGAMENTS IN THIS BODY :)

    • Becks

      Hi Sara, I just wanted to say that I've been discouraged recently too, so I know how hard it can be, and I will be praying for you.

  • anngoerz

    I was hit at how some people had HUGE gaps to fill and rebuild, while others simply repaired the portion of the wall in front of or beside their house. BUT both were important and together they accomplished something great. If the people who could only do a small bit all thought it too insignificant to do, the wall would not have gotten built. :)

    BTW thanks for all the encouragement lately sisters!:)

  • Praying this morning sisters that we not get caught up in instant gratification and focus more on the present and how God is working TODAY. love you all.

  • monique(forgiven)

    Good morning sisters.what we do for God may be insignificant to other people. But whatever we do we must do it for the Glory of God because His name will be praised.whatever it may be it will have a future effect.when we teach our kids about the Lord they will have the word of God in there hearts.or saying a extra prayer for someone goes a long way. That prayer could change a persons life forever. Be Blessed this Friday sisters.:)

  • I was reading Nehemiah 4, taking in ALL of the names listed. Then read John 9 and it hit me as to why reading those names were so important! The divine plans that God has for us not only blesses us and those around us now but it blesses others in generations to come! And this ties into the readings from this week: walking in God’s will, seeking his counsel in all we do, having faith and taking action within his will!

    It’s crazy (for me) to know that the plans that God has for all of us is not only for the now but future generations that will be birthed 50 years, 100 years from now! And they will be blessed from our blessings! Mind blowing! Just another testament on how awesome our God is!

    • Carolynmimi

      I read about a study that asked people in their 80s what they wished they had done more of in their lives and one of the top three answers was: I wish I could have done more good things that last….

      And I was reminded of a Steve Green Song, Find Us Faithful…I hope this link works.
      http://youtu.be/eERKnxzNzwg

      • Peggy

        Great song choice, Carolynmimi, for this point:"… Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful…""…And those who've gone before us line the way, Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary, Their lives a stirring testament to God's sustaining grace…Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses…May the footprints that we leave, Lead them to believe, And the lives we live inspire them to obey,Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful…After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone, And our children sift though all we've left behind…" Wonderful lyrics and so very true, even though I am not in my 80s, I would wish these inspirational words.

        The link did work and I enjoyed the video and love Steve Green! Thanks for adding this!

        Each part in the wall, each gate, so important to the full project! and ALL those names, Bianca. I agree it's mind boggling. What an awesome God as you point out! And so well woven into the Old and New Testament threads of His overall Divine plan, on how each detail matters. Not one is overlooked or too insignificant to the whole. WOW!

  • Thanks Jessi for starting us out in the great WHO'S WHO of the more than 50 workers who rebuilt the gates and the walls, each significant and with a purpose in the building just as we the Body of Christ need to work together to accomplish His Kingdom. From the smallest detail to the grandest, God needs to have His people united and serving as one under the leadership (ultimate one being Jesus Christ)! I will spend my time today, researching and investigating these builders and then take note of what my community may need and do it.

    Because of Jessi making this wonderful connection for us with Shallum, for the first time in my life I will not just skim over all these names and what they worked on because it is significant … thanks to Jessi leading us to the Pool. I started out with the first one (who by the way, if you notice, he was a priest, a high priest Eliashib, and he led other priests to work with him and build the Sheep gate. It's also important, I think, to look at that the importance of the walls or in this case the gate. [WOW, this will be some hefty research].Anyways, back to this high priest… dare I admit, I could hardly pronounce most of these, much less know who they are but let's look at Eliashib the high priest who acted as a godly leader should; he was out in front of the work, leading by example. He did not act as if he was too “spiritual” for the hard work of rebuilding the walls. What stood out to me it that "they CONSECRATED it" (so it makes sense that they were priests).
    "The idea behind consecration is to recognize something as special, as uniquely set apart for God’s glory and service. These city gates were made special to God. Nehemiah and Eliashib knew that God wanted everything set apart special to Him, including these city walls and gates.

    Because the first of the work was specially set apart to God, it was a way for them to say, “All of this work belongs to You, LORD. This is a special work done unto You.”

    This is a great secret to joy and success in life: to do everything as unto the LORD. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17)"

    So what can we learn from this:
    "If you are a leader, others are looking hard at you and they follow your example. If you are slow to work, they will be also; if you are full of discouragement and doubt, they will follow. There is a good reason why Eliashib was first mentioned, and why the rest of the chapter is filled with the names of more than 50 others that followed his example in the work."

    And the rest of us; workers/servants of Jesus, Our High Priest, are just as important to accomplish the work/task and our attitude in everything as unto our King!

    I also find this point that I'm making from this: about the priests working on the Sheep gate. ["The work is described in reference to the gates of the wall. The gates were the critical entry and exit points to the city, and the places most likely to see an enemy attack. Therefore the work started at each gate and worked out from there.

    The Sheep Gate was so named because it was the gate where shepherds brought their flocks to sell them. Up until a few years ago, this same gate was being used for this same purpose in Jerusalem."] STILL BEING USED

    And since I don't know, maybe someone else does, if Jesus passed through this Sheep gate on the way to Calvary?… because He was not only our High Priest, but Jesus was also the greatest sacrifice offered for us, for our redemption (just like the sheep) and He is the Perfect sacrifice, the unblemished Lamb of God. The Only One that could pay our ransom.

    I somehow find that this discovery of knowing the details of the "so and so and so" and YOU! now becomes very personal and intimate for me, to find out, walk this through, follow the example, (of Jessi and Jesus) and Eliashib and each individual in the building and rebuilding (cuz after all the KING is coming again and how much of His Kingdom have we rebuilt or built, build up= encourage the ones working along side of us)!

    WOW! yes, Colleen, I am sensing "conviction" here and much too do!

    Friday is my prayer day to prepare for the ministry in this community starting Fri. pm through the weekend. So first off, as Nehemiah, I go to prayer and then to the King!

    Love and peace, enjoy a beautiful weekend in Jesus Christ SRT…thanks so much!
    Peggy

    • Peggy

      oh and one more thing that stands out BIG TIME is the repetition of "NEXT TO…" as each is named.
      Great followers work side by side with other followers! "The idea here is that the people worked together—not just in the same place, but in cooperation. Men and women, artisans and laborers, princes and commoners, all labored side by side. Each one was focused on the task given to them! It shows us how works of great magnitude are accomplished in “pieces”. No one did it all; but everyone working side by side built his “piece” of the project.
      The success of God’s work today also depends upon this “side by side” thinking. [which makes me think of an old song "They will know we are Christians" as we work side by side …"]

      Once we have big picture view of what we want to do, then everyone has put in their “piece” of the wall!
      Every Christian has to connect with the vision of Ephesians 4 that describes the church as a body “being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies!”

      The local church is not an organization for “superstars”. It is a team [like SRT] that depends upon the willingness of all its members to see the good things leaders set before them and work to accomplish them!

      Thanks TEAM!

    • Carolynmimi

      Because the first of the work was specially set apart to God, it was a way for them to say, “All of this work belongs to You, LORD. This is a special work done unto You

      Love this acknowledgement, because all LASTING work and its results belong to God !

      • Peggy

        AMEN!!!

        I did respond to your question to me yesterday. But more importantly,how's your husband?

        • Peggy

          I read your response to this somewhere now in the comments, Carolynmimi. Thanks!

    • Peggy

      as to my question: DID JESUS PASS THROUGH THE SHEEP GATE? Here's what I found, having not visited the Holy Land, I do the next best thing (like yesterday's devo) GOOGLE it! (lol)

      The Sheep Gate

      "Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and set its doors in place, building as far as the Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and as far as the Tower of Hananel" Nehemiah 3:1.

      The Sheep Gate was the first to be restored, and was rebuilt by the High Priest and his fellow priests (see Hebrews 4:14-15; 7:24-8:2). It was called the Sheep Gate because it led out to the sheep markets, where lambs were sold for sacrifice in the Temple (see John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7). This gate also led to Golgotha, the path Jesus took to the crucifixion.

      The Sheep Gate represents the experience of salvation made available by the Cross. This spiritual gate is the first to be built in our lives and was the first restored truth in the Reformation.

    • Rhonda

      Wow! This follow up is wonderful!! I feel like I got two studies in one :) thank you for taking your time to share your deeper exploration today. It is great insight that I personally got so much from. Have a blessed Friday!

      • Peggy

        Thanks Rhonda! It's my JOY to explore and share (it's part of who I am, a researcher/teacher)! Have a blessed weekend too!

  • I have to admit, as I was reading Nehemiah 3 this morning, I skimmed over the names. I was wondering what the point of this chapter was today. Then I read the devotional.

    Wow.

    I never would have made that connection myself. It is amazing to see one individual’s hard work result in kingdom building even though it seems insignificant at first. Thank you so much for revealing to us that our hardwork may not recieve that instant gratification but if we do it for God then it is significant. Simply working for him in our communities will impact his kingdom.

    What a motivation!

  • I so needed this today. I have been spending a lot of time lately wondering about my life…past, present AND future. Having a bad case of "what's the pointitis" if ya know what I mean. I am at the stage in my life where there is more behind me than ahead, and I'm feeling like it isn't gonna add up to much in the end. Like time is running out for me to do that great thing I'm supposed to be doing for GOD.

    My mom has be deceased for quite a few years. She had a really hard life…only years lived on my part have given me perspective as to how difficult it was for her. I am certain fairly certain she is with Jesus. When she died I of course was heartbroken, but a year or so later I discovered I was also discouraged by her life. It had been so difficult and I could see no "big thing" she had been called to. I asked GOD about it and He seemed to show me a long wall….stretching through time. A wall built together with different parts and pieces. I could see my mom's place in that wall. She had done her part. She had lived her life as best she could and had learned to call upon GOD in the midst of it.

    As I sat and thought about today's devotional, I was reminded again of that wall stretching through time that GOD had impressed upon me. I was encouraged. Thank you. (if you have gotten this far, I'm sorry this was so long)

    • Candacejo

      "What's the pointitis"…Love! The enemy wants us to feel like time has run out for us and it doesn't really matter what we do now Anita. All of those are LIES! Always remember when you hear thoughts like that, anything that is contrary to the Word or will of God,that the enemy is trying to keep you from doing what he knows will be successful in the Kingdom.

      Of course we know time is running out but that just makes us get busy! Don't look back, just think "what can I do TODAY?" And then do it with all your might!

      And I loved the story of your mother, it wasn't too long :) it was a blessing. Now you go build your own place in the wall. God bless you!

    • Margie

      Anita, thank you so much for sharing and it in no way was it too long. That is what I so love about the SRT community; sharing one's heart or experiences always blesses someone. Your sharing about your Mom was a blessing!

      It's amazing how we grow in the Lord and mature in age how truth can be revealed. I love that you received that truth about your Mom.

    • Sue:)

      I love this…seeing your mom's place in the wall. Just lovely!!

  • Carolynmimi

    Adjoining this, Jedaiah son of Harumaph made repairs opposite his house, and Hattush son of Hashabneiah made repairs next to him. (Nehemiah 3:10 NIVUK)

    It struck me that these people rebuilt, repaired the wall right in front of them. I was reminded of Jesus Great Commission…beginning in Jerusalum…then spreading out. Right in front of us there is Kingdom work to be done, do that, then don't sit back , rest and admire what you did…look out beyond..go where God leads and REMEMBER others are working with you first right in front of them and then moving out …There is plenty of Kingdom work to do and Ladies, we are all in this together. Praise God!

  • jesusgirl71

    What hit me today washow everyone worked closest to their own homes. Start close to home! wow! amazing to think the job I do every day has kingdom significance! I echo Tabitha's prayer, "Help me find joy in my rebuilding today." I also appreciated the connection to the early church.

  • Instant gratification. It's what my generation usually gets and has come to expect. This passage from the Old Testament reminds me today that discipline, waiting, and actually doing work is what it's all about. There is no instant gratification in God's plan. There never has been nor will there ever be one. God doesn't work that way. Each of those people named heard their call, got up and did their part with discipline. Never complaining, never asking for a break, and never expecting anything in return. Oh how I can learn from that! I pray today that I can go about my day, doing the "little things" with discipline and without complaint, not giving myself the usual excuses for why it's so "hard" or I have no "will power" or whatever it is….just do the work. God has a larger plan!

    Happy Friday sisters =)

    • JuneBug

      Amen to that. I think of the 17th century monk, Brother Lawrence here. He wrote, "We can do little things for God; I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for love of him.." in The Practice of the Presence of God. Whenever I feel like complaining about the work I'm doing I imagine this happy little monk scrubbing floors and cooking pancakes. Lol!

      We just never know what impact our "little things" may have for eternity. Love that.

  • Candacejo

    There I was reading along slowly trying to figure out where Jessi was taking us……and she still blows me away!

    Wow….I never knew that about Shallum! How cool to have played such an integral part in the future of the early Church! And to realize our actions not only matter NOW but for generations to come if the Lord doesn't takes us out of here.

    I want what I do every day to count. I want to be touching lives and rebuilding walls where needed or tearing them down if that is what is necessary. As the Brookyn Tab song says, "Let my life, oh Lord, praise You!"

    Lord You formed me out of clay
    And for Your glory I was made
    Use this vessel as You choose
    Let my life O Lord praise You

    Be blessed friends!

  • I love that this is so encouraging and quite a bit "toe-stepping" all in the same. And I so love the pictures painted, almost behind the scenes, of the early church as it formed and as the Gospel of Christ spread across regions. This study is such a blessing!

  • Wow oh wow! I am one of those who usually skims through the OT names, but this morning a connection was made, and my heart was feeling convicted, how is it that an entire community could come together to rebuild a city, but so many of us lack the knowledge of the importance of community, we struggle to come together as a community to pray for revival, to pray for the rebuilding of our communities. Chapters such as this are such a reminder of how far removed we are as a body of Christ from Jesus and the idea of community. I am praying this morning for my own community, that we would appreciate and value the idea of community, that we would pray and that we would "rebuild" our communities!

    Am I the only one feeling this conviction?

    • Carolynmimi

      No Colleen, I too felt convicted about the importance of community in the fullest. The Greek word used in the New Testament is complex but deeply expressive of what Christian Community should be:
      Koinonia is the anglicisation of a Greek word (κοινωνία) that means communion by intimate participation. It identifies the state of fellowship and community that should exist within the Christian Church.

      Intimate participation, the cells of the body performing their unique functions, so that the whole body benefits. Bound together, but not identical.

    • Peggy

      No, me too! (added in my multiple comments below) Thanks Colleen!

  • Wow this was one of those goosebumps moments for me – I've never read Nehemiah before and I certainly wouldn't have made the connection to the Pool of Siloam! All too often I get caught up in wanted the "instant gratification" of doing work for God – but here is a perfect example of a time when that definitely would not have occurred! I need to focus on WHAT it is God is calling me to do, not the WHY. Dear Lord, please help me recognize what it is you want me to do in and with my life. Here I am, Lord. Send me.

  • amykelly213

    I love, love, love this! I have read this chapter of Nehemiah before… And skimmed through the names like the "begat" chapters of Genesis. I never knew the connection (I don't think most would). Thank you so much for making the connection for us today, Jessi!! We may feel small and insignificant in God's plan sometimes, but He sees the bigger picture and knows how important our role is in the building of His Kingdom!! Praise God!!

  • Tabithas

    Hehehe, this would be one of those passages you would have nightmares about if you had to read it out loud in church!
    Our church is currently doing Rick Warren's 40 Days of Community and this section of Nehemiah is very relevant to what we've been focussing on this week, meeting the practical needs around us and having a big vision for God.
    Sometimes it can feel like the unglamorous, hard-graft stuff we do is not really making an impact for God's kingdom but I'm really encouraged by this record of the wall builders. I'd not previously made the connection with the Pool of Siloam in the New Testament so this was a revelation too.
    Lord, please give me joy in my wall building for you today!
    Have a Good Friday all.

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