The great preacher and pastor Aiden Wilson Tozer once wrote “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Nehemiah wept mourned and prayed over the very same things that tore at Gods heart. Will we take Jesus' exhortation to 'take heed how we hear?' Will we, like Isaiah offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God....'Here I am. Send me.'
As this series comes to an end, we see that the Jesus is the greater Nehemiah. As Nehemiah rebuilt the walls, Jesus rebuilds our lives. Whilst Nehemiah struggled to keep the people faithful, Jesus transforms our hearts so that we can faithfully follow him.
What does it mean to live a full life taking responsibility for God? The people of God came together in Nehemiah to take responsibility for the upkeep of the Temple. With Jesus dwelling in us, we are now the new Temple and are therefore responsible for our hearts, our relationship with God and for the Church. How will we choose to live?
Philip Yancey wrote, 'Too many churches have become mausoleums for the dead rather than coliseums of praise for a living God. They have lost the spirit of Pentecost. They have lost their enthusiasm. They have lost their joy for Jesus'. Lack of joyfulness in the church today is a major barrier to salvation and mission. Laughter and celebration are marks of Spirit filled churches - a jubilation not based on unstable desires but rather a rock solid God. Do you want this radical joy? Do you want a happiness that can grow even in suffering? This is the promise of the Christian God. Let the temperature rise!
How do we work towards caring for those around us? Nehemiah was passionate that this was done and determined his life would model it. Jesus shows us how, in the kingdom of God, generosity will flow from a transformed life.