Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Moved to Action
“And they said to me, ‘The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.’ So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” (Nehemiah 1:3–4)
Alexander McLaren said, “You tell me the depth of a Christian’s compassion, and I will tell you the measure of his usefulness.” How deep does your compassion go? God is looking for such people.
How does it affect you, knowing there are many people who do not know Christ, knowing they are basically on their way to a certain judgment? Does it move you? Until you are moved in the depths of your soul, you will not be moved to take any action. Nehemiah was a man in a position of great influence and power as he served under the king. He was not a preacher or priest or scribe. He was what we might call a layman today. But Nehemiah loved God.
One day, someone told him about the plight of the Jews and how the city of Jerusalem was now lying in ruins. Nehemiah began to weep and pray and say, “Lord, what can I do about this problem?” After his weeping came working. After his despair came determination.
The devastation of Jerusalem touched him, and he wanted to do something about it. So he prayed and he devised a plan. Then that plan began to unfold.
These are two essential ingredients for effectively sharing our faith. It must start with a God-given burden, leading us to prayer. And then we need to go out and do something.
Summary sentence: How deep is your compassion? What is the measure of your usefulness?
Copyright © 2011 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. Scripture quotation is taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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