Redeeming Life Family,
As we continue through the book of Nehemiah, chapter by chapter, verse by verse, we've hit what I know is most people's favorite kind of narrative--the long lists of names and numbers. This is where we learn that there were 845 sons from the line of Zattu that returned to Jerusalem from the Exile. 1,254 descendants of Elam came back. Wow! Facinicating. Right?
Even the commentator, Dr. Charles Fensham (who has lots to say on every verse) has almost no commentary to offer. We're often tempted to skip over it and jump into the next chapter. "It doesn't have anything to offer us today," we might argue. Wrong! It would be irresponsible and unwise to so quickly overlook God's Word. It's here for us for a reason.
Pastor Brett will be preaching from Nehemiah 7:5-73 this Sunday and I'm excited to sit under his teaching (although I'll have to listen to the podcast because I'll be a volunteer mentor helping in Children's Ministry this week.)
I'd like to share some thoughts, but first, here's a quick video update:
It's not the list in Nehemiah 7 that I find so interesting (although it does contain some interesting stuff), but the location within the book. Nehemiah had finished the wall and determined that he needed to take some kind of census or assessment of his situation. But unlike David's sinful motivation (see 1 Chronicles 21:1), Nehemiah had godly intentions behind his need to stop and take stock of where they were at. Then they found a very interesting list. It's the names and numbers of everybody who came back. What's also interesting--after they take a moment to evaluate from where they came and to where God wants them to go--is what happened next. (But I don't want to spoil that. I'll be preaching from Nehemiah 8-10 as a single event. . . if you want to read ahead.)
Last year during Pastor Appreciation Month, our church gave Lisa and I a framed Church logo with messages written around it. We hung it up in our living room as an encouragement. But it is also a good reminder for me. There are messages on it from people who are no longer a part of our mission in Rose Park. And there are messages from people who are!
It is really helpful from time to time to stop and remember from where you came. This greatly helps to see where God is taking you next.
To help us do this as a church, I'd like to share our journey (thus far) in 50 seconds. Don't blink!
What will our next 50 second video look like? What's our next step as a church? What season are we headed into? For Nehemiah and his people, they were getting ready to dig deep into God's Word and let it transform them. (I'm praying that's what God has for us too!)
Be praying for Brett as he'll be delivering God's message to us this Sunday. And take some time to think about where you've been this year and where God wants you to go. Could you imagine how thoughtful your New Year's resolutions could be if you started thinking about them now? Satan tries to show us our past to condemn our future; but God shows us from where we've come so we trust in in all the more and remain even more hopeful about how much God has in our future.
See you Sunday!