Archive for July, 2012

Nehemiah Week 3

In Nehemiah week 3, Kelly’s study takes us through the completion of the wall and what God laid on Nehemiah’s heart: Now bring back My people. The goal of rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem was only half of the goal. The wall’s completion was only the beginning. After insult, and intimidation, Nehemiah finishes the wall in 52 days! An amazing feat for sure. It amazed even the surrounding nations and “They realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.” (6:16)
But Jerusalem was nothing without its people. The Jews were in exile, and now it was time to call them back. Nehemiah had rebuilt the wall- now it was time to fill it with her people. To understand God’s heart for His people, Kelly had us read Isaiah 43:1-7. I am going to put it here so you can read it right away. It is such a beautiful glimpse into the heart of our God. He truly loves His people.
But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush[a] and Seba in your stead.
4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth —
7 everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made. ”

God’s heart is for His people. This section of scripture in Isaiah was written about a century before the events in Nehemiah. God’s prophecy is being fulfilled through Nehemiah. Wow!
Kelly also reminds us that this prophecy in Isaiah 43 is also for His children in Christ that He will gather since we are now spiritually part of chosen Israel. (“This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 3:6)

Oh- isn’t it to beautiful to know how precious you are to God? I love what He says in verse 3-4. He will give nations for your ransom, and give people in exchange for your life. He gave the ultimate gift of His Son on the cross for you. What an amazing and loving God we serve!

Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”

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Nehemiah Week 2

In Kelly’s Bible study on Nehemiah week 2, she points out how the Israelites worked side by side to accomplish God’s plan. And it got me thinking. In today’s world we are so independent. But it is clear it should not be this way. God uses the body of believers to accomplish His plan.
1 Corinthians 12:12-27 speaks of the body of Christ and how we are all members of the same body. We are all unique; we are all necessary; we all have a purpose to accomplish the kingdom’s cause.
What a great reminder in Nehemiah that we need each other. Can I boldly say- We will not accomplish God’s great plan alone. He will put us side by side with other believers to help us and we will help them accomplish God’s purpose and plan on this earth.
What has God called you to do?
Pray about this. I pray that you and I will hear His call and go and fulfill it according to His plan. This week Nehemiah has shown me a beautiful picture of God’s people working together to accomplish God’s purpose.
May our lives go and do the same.
“You are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” 1 Cor. 12:27

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New Marriage Blog

Hi there!

I want to announce that I am writing and creating a marriage blog with 5 other wonderful ladies called:

Priority Male Ministries

the address is http://www.prioritymaleministries.com

It is about complete and we will be up and running soon! You will find lots of encouragement, tools to improve your marriage and fun things like give aways! (And who doesn’t love free stuff!?) 

Sign up for the newsletter and we will send you updates to our give aways and encouragement that will keep you strong in your marriage and in your walk with God. 

God bless!!

Cari

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Nehemiah Week 1

Hello again! I am doing a new study in the book of Nehemiah with my women’s Bible study. It is by Kelly Minter, Nehemiah: A heart that can break. As a teacher on a summer schedule, I am so thankful to be doing this study with our group. And so far- it is amazing! Thank you ladies who are on this journey with me! I pray it is speaking to you in amazing ways and God is revealing more and more of Himself to you through His Word. He is so good!

I find blogging through my journey is very therapeutic for me. And if anyone cares to read this- then great 🙂 I hope it encourages you and blesses you. Kelly is doing such a great job with this study and it is so clear, God has given her a message to give to all of us. 

In the beginning of Nehemiah we see the state of Jerusalem as Nehemiah inquires about his city. They tell him of its horrible condition: the people are “in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates have been burned with fire.” (1:3) When Nehemiah heard the condition of his city, his heart broke. He wept and mourned and fasted for days, then prayed to God. His prayer is journaled in v. 5-10 in chapter 1. It is a prayer of a broken-hearted man, humbling himself before God, and asking favor for he was about to ask the king something huge. 

Now- I didn’t realize how huge of a thing Nehemiah was asking until this study. Nehemiah is cupbearer to Artaxerxes, king of Persia (1:10). In Ezra 4:8-23 we read the background of king Artaxerxes- he was the one who stopped the Jews “by force” from rebuilding Jerusalem (v. 23). And now, Nehemiah was about to ask the king to leave and go back and rebuild the city that he stopped from rebuilding? Nehemiah had every reason to be afraid of asking the king for such a thing! When the king asks Nehemiah “What is wrong? What is it you want?” The Scriptures say Nehemiah’s response is:

“Then I prayed to the God of heaven and I answered the king.” (2:4)

I can only imagine the uncertainty Nehemiah felt. How would the king react? Would he be indignant? Offended? Shout- “off with his head!”? This is a huge risk for Nehemiah. But the conversation that follows has God’s hand all over it. Not only does the king grant Nehemiah the privelege to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the wall, the king gives Nehemiah letters of safe conduct, lumber and a military escort on top of it! (2:6-9) I would say Nehemiah’s prayer of “God’s favor” was answered! (1:11) God is so good!

When we are willing to step out and speak up, God promises to be there on our behalf. And He always does abundantly more than we dare to ask.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!” Ephesians 3:20-21

Be encouraged that God has a great plan for your life. Listen to what He has put in your heart and then boldly answer the calling! He is with you 🙂

God bless!

“Do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say,  for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” Matt 10:19-20

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