Friday, July 30, 2010

Can You Feel the Hand of God On You?

Dear Readers,

Can you feel the hand of God on you? What does the hand of God feel like? Is the hand of God heavy on you? Does it bring peace, fear, or awe? When you feel it do you feel so antsy that you absolutely have to take action to do something? Do others see the hand of God on you and do they immediately want to help you, or perhaps to thwart you?

Nehemiah in Chapter 1 recorded several times that he felt the hand of God on himself. Following are the events leading up to him feeling it:

Nehemiah was an exiled Israelite cupbearer to the king of Persia. When he heard of the plight and distress of his people in Jerusalem his heart was very heavy.
Nehemiah wept and prayed day and night for his people and Jerusalem.

Artaxerxes, the king of Persia saw Nehemiah’s sadness and asked him what was wrong. Nehemiah said that he was sad for his people and for the broken down walls of Jerusalem which gave easy access to enemies. He wanted to return to Jerusalem to help his people. Artaxerxes granted his request and made him governor of his homeland.

Nehemiah recorded the following (verse 8): “And the king granted them (materials to rebuild the wall) to me according to the good hand of my God upon me”

When Nehemiah went by donkey around the city walls and returned he told the Jerusalem officials the following (verse 18): "And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good to me, and also the king’s words that he had spoken to me.” 

Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite, and others tried to thwart the hand of God working in Nehemiah to rebuild the wall and help the Israelites, but the hand of God was too strong and the wall was built to protect Jerusalem from it’s enemies, and the people celebrated.

Several things we can surmise from the story of Nehemiah:

1. When we are broken and pray to God He hears us.
2. He wants to put His hand on each of us.
3. God’s hand on us is good.
4. God wants to use His hand on us to inspire us to do great things for Him.

See you next time,

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rebuke: Biblical Principle, But Should Be Used Sparingly

Dear Readers,

Thanks for coming back to this blog. Again, I am trying to send a positive Christian message to counterbalance the not-so positive Christian messages we hear so often.

Rebuke is a Biblical principle (see Proverbs 15:31) but I believe it should be used sparingly and very specifically as it can be very discouraging to new believers, and more experienced ones for that matter. I also think a rebuke should not be broadcast to a general audience unless the problem exists with the majority of the general audience. Even then I think the messenger should qualify specifically to whom the message is intended.

Also, if the messenger is rebuking himself as well, and is saying that he has a problem with the same thing, all the better. That way he/she will not appear superior over the hearers and their defenses may come down. .

I am posting this as a qualifier to what I will post in the future. I feel very strongly about the principle mentioned above. I believe God is very good and He wants our best, and I feel that by His Holy Spirit He wants to be more encouraging than rebuking.

See you next time,

Monday, July 26, 2010

Positive Feedback to Christians

Dear Readers,

Just like ebay sellers and buyers need positive feedback to show they are valuable and reliable ebay participants, I am beginning this blog to provide positive feedback to fellow Christians in church and on internet boards, blogs, and the like. Jesus is majestic and wonderful, and I desperately feel there is a need for Christians to have a healthy dose of feeling valuable to Him.

I do not have my head in the sand to believe that everything in the world is sunny and rosy, and that all Christians have their priorities straight. I do believe, however, that many of us need positive strokes from time to time.

My wife has had a blog for some time, so she is somewhat of an expert. Please be patient with me, as I am a newbie. I will consult with her a lot to make it perfect...right?

I chose as my theme Living Water Springs. I have always been intrigued by the term "living water" used by Jesus in John 7:38. "Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."

Can you imagine living water springing up in yourself! Wow! Think of a geyser where the lake cannot contain the springing water. Is that what living water in a person is like? Jesus love springing out to all those around us. It cannot be contained!

More to come,