Nehemiah: Day 19

Remember Me, My God

by

Today's Text: Nehemiah 13:1-31, John 14:2-3

Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 13:1-31, John 14:2-3

The Tower of London was built around the year 1000 AD, and it still stands on the banks of the Thames River today. But a castle that old needs tending to keep looking good, no matter how many famous ravens live there. The regular maintenance is never finished, and every task, once complete, needs to be done again every 75 years. The old castle is never really “finished.” It’s just going through its stages of the 75-year upkeep plan.

When Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem, the walls are still standing, but the people have fallen apart. They have forgotten who they are and what God has called them to do. It’s so discouraging after the celebration and commemoration ceremonies in the previous chapters. We all want a happy ending for these people who worked so hard and endured so much.

On this side of heaven, things will never be perfect. Because of the curse of sin, we will always struggle. But there are three things I think we can learn about the gospel from this passage.

First, notice what Nehemiah does before he lets his righteous anger fly. He gathers the whole community and reads the book of Moses. I think it’s safe to say that he read the Pentateuch—at the very least, the Ten Commandments, and at the most, he sat them down for hours and read the whole thing. Either way, before He brings them to justice for breaking God’s law, he reminds them of God’s law. He establishes their common ground. When we are struggling, we must return to God’s Word to remember who we are and to whom we belong.

Second, remember that Nehemiah is a man of prayer. He prayed before he even answered the king. He is a steady and continuous man of prayer. While he brings judgment to the people, he keeps stopping to pray. He cries out: “Remember me for this, my God, and don’t erase the deeds of faithful love I have done for the house of my God and for its services… look on me with compassion according to the abundance of your faithful love” (Nehemiah 13:14, 22). It’s clear that prayer is an integral part of Nehemiah’s actions. When we find that we are inadequate, when things have gone wrong, we must turn to God in prayer.

Finally, let’s notice that even Nehemiah, the guy who is known for prayer and Scripture reading, couldn’t get it perfectly right. He was a great leader and a true man of God, but he still wasn’t able to create a perfect city. He couldn’t totally stamp out corruption. He couldn’t get people to follow the rules. The people fell into the same sins that sent them into exile in the first place, and Nehemiah couldn’t fix them.

Christ is the only One who can complete the work. He changes hearts, He mends families, and He is making all things new. We are called to read His Word, submit ourselves to prayer, and realize that no matter how dedicated or good we think we are at self-maintenance, we cannot achieve a perfect utopia. We can barely keep the Tower of London from falling down! So we ought to do the work He has called to do, and rest in Christ who is the only One who can truly call a task finished.

SRT-Nehemiah-Shareimage-Day19

  • Holly Hinski

    Remember, my love…
    This has been what the Lord has been continually speaking to me over the past few months. He has grown me and stretched me in so many ways. I’d never read Nehemiah before this, but I have such a love for this book now. He is what we remember, what we look towards when we have fallen. Focusing on how we mess up doesn’t do anything, it only leaves us hurting and broken. Jesus picks us up and reminds us of how He pulled us though those sins. We are supposed to remember that He remembers us, and He loves us still. This is a lesson I am continuing to learn every day of my walk with Christ.

  • Thank you for the reminder to keep turning back to God. Great study, looking forward to the next one.

  • Willonda McCloud

    I have thoughtfully and throughly enjoyed this entire bible Study. Great job SRT Team.

  • Willonda McCloud

    I have thoughtfully and throughly

  • Sharon A

    Be still and wait on the Lord! Psalm 46:10…. Nehemiah prayed and waited for God! I am struggling with stopping myself from taking back the reigns. I fall in the pit of thinking I can help someone understand me if I just keep trying. That being the problem…I cannot do anything apart from Christ. I’m realizing I try In my own strength. But God handles my battles, I just have to remain calm….Exo 14:14. I pray for submission for myself and also the body. I pray we break away from having to have answers, and just rest in the Lord. He already had us anyway! I pray for forgiveness of the times I did it my way. thank you Lord that your mercies are made new every day, we do not deserve it, but we are ever grateful for your grace! Start us fresh in your will today as we are vessels for your kingdoms work….and thank you for understanding us even when no others do. As the song says …. when I’m misunderstood your love understands me…thank you in Jesus name…Amen

  • Hi Ladies. I have been a bit challenged with loneliness and discouragement. Also fears and anxieties have been overwhelming me. May I ask for prayers. Holding close 2 verses today ~The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm Exodus 14:14(NLT) and He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with His wing. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Psalm 91:4 (NLT) Feeling hemmed in but I want to keep faithful and trust in God’s promises. If anyone could pray blessings over me. I would greatly appreciate it.

    • Lakeiya

      Hi Julie, thanks for sharing. Just wanted to let you know that I’m praying for you. Yesterday’s devotional spoke to me and has me thinking a lot about celebration and joy. I’ve been going through a challenging time as well for the last few months, but yesterday helped me remind of how God has constantly and consistently taken care of me. So I’ll be praying for both of us that even as we experience this difficult time, that they’ll be moments of joy and celebration for all that God is doing (even if we can’t see or feel it just yet).

      • Julie

        Thank you for your kind and reassuring words. Bless you :) I will pray for you as well. I will reread yesterday’s devotional thank you so much for sharing and praying with me. <3

    • CJ

      Praying! I was anxious today too and I kept thinking of the verse “do not be anxious about anything but with prayer and thanksgiving make your requests known to God”

      • Julie

        Yes Cj, that’s a good one to draw near as well. I will write that down in my journal. Praying for you too!

  • “Christ is the only one who can complete the work.” Those words really spoke to my heart this morning. I keep telling myself that I can do better…be more consistent in the “self-maintenance” department, but in reality, I just need to be about my Father’s business… loving my Lord with all of my heart, all of my soul, all of my mind, and accept that HE WILL complete the work He began in me.

  • Heidi GrovattKrihak

    Tochi I’m praying you will feel this community praying for u and surrounding u with His love. That you will not be tempted to forget you followed God’s leading, that he will show you your next steps and he is your love and strength. He knows you and you are not forgotten He loves you.

  • It’s both comforting and a bit unnerving to read the extreme frustration that Nehemiah worked through in this chapter. He was frustrated to the point that he hit, cursed and pulled out the hair of some of the men who had inter-married, chased Sanballat’s son- in-law away, and did some major furniture tossing. His frustration is understandable. But it’s also a sign that he at times forgets the work and the outcome is ultimately, Gods. He does what I’ve done many times, and that is attempt to fight the injustices we see in the flesh and not completely rely on God. God is so merciful and understanding and to be honest He was probably as frustrated as Nehemiah, and more so, since this was a battle since the fall of man. Sometimes I think we are given grace when we express in the flesh what God feels! Remember Jesus in the temple?
    I love to read, know and remember that Nehemiah asked God to remember him and to not “erase the deeds of faithful love” and to “look on me with compassion according to the abundance of Your faithful love”. And He does. He is faithful, true and compassionate. He knows what He’s doing when He continues to accomplish His word through us, His imperfect, cracked vessels. His grace is always sufficient.

  • this is beautiful!

  • what a timely devotion!
    Reading through Nehemiah has been a struggle.  But today, as we end, what we refer to as season 7, (the 7th year our charter school has been in existence), this is such a great reminder… 

    As a leader, I need to remember that I can not create Utopia. Not everyone will like me, not everyone will follow the rules.  I must stay in prayer, and be bold when I need to be.

    This has been a tough year, civil suit, CDE complaint, civil right complaint, miscinceptions, down right lies…. but God has been good.  In the last couple of weeks, God has been telling me that I need not defend myself.  Today’s verse of the day, was that he would fight for me, I just need to be still.  And in the midst of the unethical, downright mean action of one staff member, He has given me peace. 

  • “Remember me for this, my God, and don’t erase the deeds of faithful love I have done for the house of my God and for its services… look on me with compassion according to the abundance of your faithful love” (Nehemiah 13:14, 22).

    This is such a beautiful way to go to God in prayer! I genuinely hope that each time I come to God in prayer I can stand on the work I have done in His name and that the busy-ness of life doesn’t cause years to pass with nothing in between. Prayerful that my service for Him grows greatly because of the ongoing love I have for Him and that in the seasons of my life I continue to remember to turn to God in it all; celebration, hardship and even in the redundancy of a simple day.

    On a side note, I can not thank you wonderful women enough for your prayers and words over me yesterday, they made all the difference, I can’t begin to tell you. So much peace grew in me yesterday and given the sadness I was overcome with in the morning, there is no explanation for the heart change outside of your lifting me up. THANK YOU! Courtney, Susan, MiniM, Tina, Churchmouse, Trayce, Kelly Chataine, Rachel, Kimberly and Lizzieb85 and anyone else who sent a prayer on my behalf! Thank you so much, by the time my daughter was willing to share her experience, I was wholly open to listen to it and ask questions, tell her how proud I was of her and how excited I am for her and she received it all very well! Thank you again!

    • Rachel

      So wonderful!!

    • Julie

      Really like this…Prayerful that my service for Him grows greatly because of the ongoing love I have for Him and that in the seasons of my life I continue to remember to turn to God in it all; celebration, hardship and even in the redundancy of a simple day. Yes and Amen!

  • Is it weird to feel encouraged by quickly they all messed this up? It’s somehow comforting that straying despite the very best intentions isn’t something new or specific to our era. I mean, they had pretty much just said we aren’t going to neglect the temple and someone turns around and neglects the temple, causing ripple effects through the whole community.

    I’m also struck by the wisdom of shutting the gates on the Sabbath. If we are serious about change, make structural changes help make the behavior you want easier. I’ve been trying to avoid working on Sundays, but I keep checking my email and then getting sucked into just a little work here and there, which sometimes turns into a lot of work. The reading today tells me I need to close the gates. If you want something to happen, don’t let it into your life!

  • I have just started something new, finished orientation yesterday, and I can’t tell you how encouraging this was for me this morning. It doesn’t have to be perfect and neither do I. The goal that is set before me, before all of us, is to follow Christ. Thank you for the reminder!!

  • I’m going through a season of change. I feel like God is pulling my life in a different direction and even though I know it will get me closer to Him, I’m still going kicking and screaming. Today’s reading makes it so clear to me that I would be and am one of the people inside Jerusalem who immediately went back to their old ways as soon as the wall was up. I keep praying for God to change my heart and change my mind but in the mean time I find myself humbled and grateful that He even cares about me or keeps showing up and coming in and trying to get me with the program again and again.

    • Amy E.

      Amen, Kate. I too am going through a season of change, and my response is very much the same.. kicking and screaming. I believe the struggle is part of the journey because it forces us to rely on Him when all we want to do is run. Praying that He will enable us to stand firm in the winds of change and not be moved by stubborn hearts and minds.

  • Such conviction for me today.

    No matter how good we think we are at self-maintenance . . .Christ is the only One who can complete the work.

    • Becky Smith

      being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
      Phillipians 1:6

  • Kelly Chataine

    Prayer! I asked God to help me with today’s reading before I began. The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and blessed me! I see parallels between me and Nehemiah, me and the broken city, me and the restored city, me and the people. Thank you God!

  • Churchmouse

    Nehemiah had done his best to set the Israelites up for success. He made sure they knew the Law. He surveyed the rubble and drew up the plan for rebuilding. He stationed the workers and dealt firmly with the opposition. He didn’t take all the credit but rejoiced alongside all the people as they celebrated the completion of the wall. He bid them a fond farewell, passing the baton of leadership. When he left, his heart remained and so he determined to return to see how they were doing. How devastating it must have been for him to see what had happened in his absence. They had rebuilt the wall and it was still standing. But they had not rebuilt their hearts. They had gone back to their old lives. They had lost the vision of who they were supposed to be – not merely restorers of a city wall but, more importantly God’s chosen people, restored to Him. I forget as well. I can be busy building and doing yet still forget who I am and my true purpose. I need reminding. I need pointed back to the Word, keeping my heart focused first and foremost on Him and His plan for my life. I can too easily drift back to who I used to be if I’m not careful. I can too easily abdicate my personal responsibility to know the Word and live the Word for myself. It is time to stand on my knowledge of His Word and not just merely lean on what others have taught me. They have shown me the way but I must then stand firm on my own two feet, dressed in the armor of God, ready to go in to battle alone if necessary. I am forever appreciative of the bricks which have been laid. Let me trust in the foundation and move forward in Who He says I am and what He would have me do next. And when I tremble with the responsibility, I see Him beside me, before me and behind me. All is well. I step out. You do the same. We are an army, emerging from a fortified city. We know victory is ours. Let’s be about our Father’s business. No turning back. Come on. Let’s go!

  • We are a people that forgets!
    We just do!

    When our churches life fell apart, with the revelation of our senior pastors sin, to listen to some of the comments was hard… comments like ‘was he ever a man of God’ ‘how can I believe what I’ve heard him preach’ we probably lost 1/3 of the congregation… because of what they believed …
    They had forgotten that this man had lead the church for 20 odd years, that he had brought us hope in Gods Word so so so many times.. that God had used him powerfully often, that he had wept with us when we were broken, that he had lifted us up when we were down… that he HAD been a man of God.. but a man of God who made and makes mistake.!

    But God… He is not just bigger than what ever stuff we have to deal with, He is well, WELL equiped to deal graciously, faithfully and justly with what we have done or is going on… His love for us goes way way beyond the boundaries we impose on ourselves, He has grace bigger than we could ever imagine, waiting in the wings, His faithfulness, a sign of Who He is faithful and true to all He has promised, and His justice is hope filled in love and grace for a better tomorrow.

    He remembers, but not the sins we commit that hurt Him, but the good, the obedience and faithfulness that shows reverence to Him. The relationship we have with Him. The importance of Him in our lives… these are things He remembers…
    God remembers me not because I have sinned against Him, I pray, but because I have a relationship with Him and I try each day to be a better person for his Glory…
    The wall has been built, ànd celebrations ongoing, i am changing, praise God, and though I try to be the person God intended me to be, I will never get it right this side of heaven because I am a carrier of Eves’ sin..
    God remembers… He remembers not my sin, but because He loves me… Amen.

    Happy Friday loved ones.. hugs…. xxx

    • Amy E.

      Thank you for reminding me this morning of God’s faithfulness to me even though “I will never get it right this side of Heaven”. Praise Him.

    • Julie

      Tina you are the sweetest lady with such a kind and loving heart. You have so much wisdom. I wish I could sit and have tea with you <3

  • Tochi Heredia

    To be remembered. That is something that terrifies me, because I know that most of the things I do are better left forgotten. I don’t want to be remembered by my failures, my sin, my inadequacy.
    Right now, I feel tempted to say to God, “Lord, look: I followed You all the way across an ocean, I left everything behind… Remember that!”. It’s like I’m trying to bargain with God (“I did this for You, now You do this for me”).
    Oh, Lord, forgive me. My self-righteousness and pride are liying to me. Forget my iniquities but remember the sacrifice on Christ, look at me through Him.

    • Tina

      Tochi, Good morning!
      My walk with the Lord has been, has had to be raw and honest… it has had to be on occasion, the whole rubbish feeling, no holds barred truth of what is going on inside…. He already knows so why hold back… holding on will just mess with you and your heart… let it go by giving it to God. He is absolutely bigger than whatever is going on and He will work it to the right for you..
      Dear Tochi, God knows you, He knows every hair on your head, He knows you by name… and best of all, though He sees and knows what you have or haven’t done, where things have been sticky or tricky for you He holds you in the palm of His hands.. and if He’s holding you, I believe He remembers you.. YOU and not what you have done.
      Cut yourself a little slack and let God do the rest sis…
      Every blessing and prayers wrapped in the hope of God showing you today, Who you are in Him and that He remembers you totally and utterly in love..
      I love you my sister…xxx

    • Chris Gruhlke

      Tochi, that is always my first response as well! It’s laughable that I should think that anything I do is a bargaining chip! I’m grateful that I’m seen through Jesus, every single day. Blessings, sister!

    • Melissa S

      Tochi, praying you will instead remember that God called you, safely brought you across the ocean and will complete the work he has for and in you! Look to Him!!

    • Julie

      Praying for you Tochi! God loves you. You are already forgiven. He sees you and is caring for you right where you are. Blessings <3

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