Daily Devotional – Rich, Poor, Enemies or Friends

The book of Provers is a contrast between Wisdom and Folly.  The same can be said for someone who only prays for those they love, their own needs, or  never those around them. 

Pray The Bible: Promoting, Encouraging, and Assisting God's People in Biblical Prayer

DAILY DEVOTIONAL FOR DEC 31, 2020

Pray for the Rich and the Poor; your Enemies and your Friends

For those who are rich and prosperous in the world, some of whom perhaps need prayers as much as those who request them.

Lord, keep those who are rich in this present age from being haughty and setting their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, and give them to trust in God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy: That they may do good and be rich in good works, generous and ready to share; that they may store up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future. 1 Timothy 6:17-19(ESV)

Though it is hard for those who are rich to enter into the kingdom of heaven, yet with you this is possible. Matthew 19:24-26(ESV)

For those who are poor and in affliction, for such we have always with us.

Lord, make those who are poor in the world rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, James 2:5(ESV) and give to them to receive the gospel.

O that the poor of the flock may wait upon you and may know the word of the LORD. Zechariah 11:11(ESV)

Many are the afflictions of the righteous; good Lord, deliver them out of them all. Psalm 34:19(ESV) And though for the moment all affliction seems painful rather than pleasant; nevertheless, later let it yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11(ESV)

Pray for the least of these Matthew 25:31-46 (added by me) 

For our enemies and those who hate us.

Lord, give us to love our enemies, to bless those who curse us, and to pray for those who despitefully use us and persecute us. Matthew 5:44(ESV)

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do; Luke 23:34(ESV) and do not hold their malice against them; Acts 7:60(ESV) and work in us a disposition to bear with others and forgive in love, Colossians 3:13(ESV) as you require we should whenever we pray. Mark 11:25(ESV)

And grant that our ways may so please the LORD, that even our enemies may be at peace with us. Proverbs 16:7(ESV)

Let the wolf dwell with the lamb, Isaiah 11:6(ESV) and let there be none to hurt or destroy in all your holy mountain; Isaiah 11:9(ESV) let Ephraim not be jealous of Judah, nor Judah harass Ephraim. Isaiah 11:13(ESV)

For our friends and those who love us.

And we wish for all those whom we love in truth, that all may go well with them and that they may be in good health; we especially pray that it may go well with their souls. 2 John 1:2(ESV)

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with their spirits. Philemon 1:25(ESV)

Devotional Thought for Today – 11/01/2020

Praise God now and experience His power! Amen.

PSALM 22 

PRAISING GOD

Many modern translations of the bible have headings and my Amplified Bible haA Cry of Anguish and a Song of Praise for Psalm 22, the CSB has From Suffering to Praise and the NKJV The Suffering, Praise, and Posterity of the Messiah. All are appropriate titles, but I think the NKJV captures the entirety of the Psalm. 

 This Psalm clearly written by David begins with maybe the most tormented cry ever My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?  Luke 16:19-31 gives us but a small glimmer of what it must be like to be separated from God, to have Him truly forsake us.  Imagine the despair David must have felt v.1-2 as he feels God has abandoned him.  I will not get into the clear Messianic overtones of this Psalm today. 

Yet even in his despair, David makes a remarkable declaration, v.3 But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel. Another way of saying this might be ‘You are The Holy Holy, the One who can be found where Israel raises it’s voices in praise.’ 

In the midst of the worst of troubles Davis recognizes God is still worthy of all the Glory and Praise that can be heaped upon Him.  He makes this abundantly clear in v.22; I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.

The question today is what are you doing? Are you on that mountain praising God great, hopefully you are just as prepared and willing to praise Him in the valley’s of life too. 

 

Devotional thought for Today – 10/31/2020

God is my Fortress – God Adventures

Psalm 18 

PRAISE AND REST


Most Bibles have a heading for this Psalm with a title something like; To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who spoke the words of this song to the Lord on the day when the Lord rescued him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. And he said:….   This Psalm is in stark contrast to Psalm 11 we posted a few days ago when David was running for his life. Then he was seeking refuge and rest, now that he has it he is praising God for it.

It can be broken down this way:

v.1-3 blessing God for all he has done

v.4-19 declares the mercies God has shown

v.20-24 declares God’s righteousness

v.25-29 declares his joy in knowing the Lord helps the righteous

v.31–36  describes the defeat of his enemies

v. 37–42 describes his rising up over them

v. 43–45 Praises God for rescuing and exalting him

v. 46–50  and ends the psalm by proclaiming God’s faithfulness to the Davidic royal line

When those “difficult times” in life have past what is the first thing you do? I hope we can all be like David and find rest AFTER we Praise the Lord for v.32 equipping me with strength and made my way blameless.

 

 

Saturday’s Military Devotional – Watchmen

Watchmen, Who Are They? — Fulcrum7
Ancient soldier standing guard on the wall of a city/fort
Stand Guard Over the Nation — Generals International
Modern soldiers standing guard duty

Isaiah 21:6

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

Chapter 21 v.1-10 is a repetition or better put confirmation of the promise given to the captive Jews in Chapters 13 and 14. The promise was simple their oppressors the Babylonians would be overthrown and they would be delivered. As with most all biblical prophecy an exact date and time was not given. 

Isaiah chooses a very interesting way of addressing the coming war, instead of relating the account in the first person as events unfolded, he chooses to tells the story in the third person as a Guard or Watchman doing his duty. 


BREAKDOWN:

God has related to Isaiah the coming invasion and then tells him this v.6:

For thus hath the Lord said unto me, –  God has spoken and Isaiah must obey. We all know the consequences of disobedience to God Deuteronomy 11:26-28, Jonah, or Ananias and Sapphira to name a few. For our military, the UCMJ provides for disciplining of military personnel who fail to obey orders.  

Go, set a watchman, – This request is simple and worthy, set a guard a watchman to let everyone know when the invaders are near. But not any lackadaisical sentry this one declares himself v.7 a Lion that is someone alert and ready to roar the alarm.

Guards and Watchmen have been a critical part of any defense against aggression and chaos since the beginning of man. We use them in everyday life as crossing guards, police, home security services, airport screening and so much more. 

In the military this task, especially in areas of combat and armed aggression is a must. From the beginning of Basic Training Army recruits (used) to be taught their 11 General Orders:

1: You will take charge of this post and all government property in view. 

2: You will walk your post in a military manner, always on alert and observing everything that takes place within your sight or hearing. 

3: You will report all violations of orders you are instructed to enforce. 

4: You will repeat all calls from more posts more distant to the guardhouse than your own. 

5: I will quit my post only after I am properly relieved. 

6: To receive, obey and pass on to the sentry who relieves you all orders from the commanding officer, officer of the day, and non-commissioned officers of the guard only. 

7: You will talk to no one except in the line of duty. 

8: You will give an alarm in case of fire or disorder. 

9: You will call the Sergeant of the Guard in any case that does not have instructions. 

10: You will salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased. 

11: You will be especially watchful at night, and during the time for challenging, to challenge all persons on or near your post, and to allow no one to pass without proper authority. 

Somehow the army now thinks folsk are either too dumb or incapable of that much memory so they have chopped it to three. Other services still have something similar.

let him declare what he seeth. – Like any good  guard, sentry or watchman this one is told to yell out as soon as he sees the enemy. In v.9, he does just that calling out all he sees and then closes this section in v.10 with God has said all this to me. 


APPLICATION:

What is it you have need of being on guard for today? Maybe you are not being invaded by a foreign enemy as Babylon was, but one has only to look around at the happenings in America and most other countries to see that Judeo-Christian values are under constant attack. If you do not think you need to be a watchman for you family values and for your own self you are sadly mistaken.

Maybe you are not yet convinced repent and trust Christ as Lord and Savior (I pray that will soon change). If you are ex-military you still have a sworn duty to be on guard against all enemies foreign and domestic. Anyone who would pervert the constitution need be of concern. 

Maybe it is just something even simpler, as your heart or mind just do not seem to be in sync all the time. I hate “Flip Wilson” theology, that is folks who put all the blame on Satan and claim the “Devil made me do it”. However there is no denying the fact that is we let our “guard down” Satan will attack and attack in force. Daily we need to post the sentry that protects us from spiritual attacks. 

Finally everyone going into battle needs to be Armored up. Today’s modern soldiers are far more prepared ballistically than I was 30 years ago for battle. Yet many are ill prepared for personal battles. That is why the Bible says we must never start the day without the FULL ARMOR of Christ


Today’s Questions:

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on Being on Watch?     

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?

Saturday’s Military Devotional – Pray and Guard!

Check out the other resources at the end.


 

Sunday Prepper Bible Study- Nehemiah 4:9
US Military Standing Guard

Nehemiah 4:9

AMP and RVR 1960

 


CONTEXT:

For a complete background on the book of Nehemiah, see this link to the first in a series I preached a number of years ago.

A brief overview is needed to set the scene, Nehemiah is a Jewish cupbearer in the court of Artaxerxes the king. He recently hears of the devastation (complete state of disrepair) of Jerusalem his homeland and becomes very sad.

The king notices he is out of sorts and inquires why, Nehemiah tells him of the state of Jerusalem (which Artaxerxes rules) and the king does something miraculous. He sent Nehemiah to rebuild Jerusalem.

Chapter 4  tells how the Jews are  made fun of, ridiculed and hindered at every turn by their enemies (basically everyone in the city in or with power) 

 


BREAKDOWN:

Nevertheless – This is a pretty bold and in your face type statement. Regardless of who you are, regardless of what you attempt. In others words we DO NOT CARE!

we made our prayer unto our God, – Why don’t we care about your evil efforts, because we have prayed God will intervene.  We have prayed Be on Guard for a power that far exceeds anything you can even conceived to intercede on our behalf. We will not stoop to your level and make fun of, ridicule or get physical. 

and set a watch against them day and night, – We will however be ever vigilant, we will set a watch and be ready to defend what is right. 

because of them. – Though we pray for God’s divine intervention we will not neglect the means He has given us to defend ourselves and those incapable of defending themselves. 

 


APPLICATION:

Nehemiah understood who his true enemies were. He also understood his duty was to defend the mission assigned to him by God and king. Nothing has changed for the Christian or Soldier in nearly 2500 years since the Book of Nehemiah was written. 

We have a duty to ignore insults and only worry about serious threats. We need to be in prayer and continually ask God for guidance and divine intervention against our enemies. We need to be prepared to stand Guard and defend and protect that which God has provided for us.

A reminder: 

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

 

I encourage everyone to PRAY FOR AMERICA, BE ON GUARD and PREPARED TO support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic!

 


Today’s Questions:

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on Prayer and being on Guard?    

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?

 


Logo

We invite you to join us on Saturday, August 15 for FRC’s Stand Courageous Men’s Conference Live Stream event that will bring men together across the country to see and hear from God in this unprecedented time. The men across this nation need a fresh, God-inspired message to rise up: renewed to be men who lead and serve by following Christ’s example.

Stand Courageous Men’s Conference: Live Stream event

Live from Household of Faith | Gonzales, LA

Saturday, August 15, 2020
9:00am — 5:30pm ET | 8:00am — 4:30pm CT | 7:00am — 3:30pm MT
Live Stream for West Coast 9:00am — 5:30pm PT

Led by retired Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin, founding member and commander of the U.S. Army’s Delta Force and FRC President Tony Perkins — men who have a calling from God to help men develop character, build relationships, and make commitments that will move them closer to God’s good purpose and design.

Other confirmed speakers include Bishop Larry Jackson, Pastors Mark Stermer, Scott Bledsoe, Darryl Smith and Philip Pimlott — all who have demonstrated uncommon courage under fire. This event is a full day covering key areas for men: Man as a Provider, Instructor, Defender, Battle Buddy, and Chaplain.

The Stand Courageous ministry will also provide practical videos and resources to equip us as men to lead and dig deeper into biblical manhood. This is the time we need to bless and challenge men. Together, we can unite and Stand Courageous.

For all the details on this event, go to www.standcourageous.com/LIVE

To register for the Live Stream event, click here.

 


Make the Connection

Steps for Getting a Better Night’s Sleep

Steps for Getting a Better Night’s Sleep

Many Veterans may have trouble sleeping, whether it’s due to nightmares, a racing mind, or an old military routine.

But there are steps you can take to create a healthier sleep routine.

Read Now

Daily Devotional – Lead Me O Lord

Image result for Lead me, O LORD"

Psalm 5:8

 Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face. (KJV)

 Guíame, Jehová, en tu justicia, a causa de mis enemigos; Endereza delante de mí tu camino.  (RVR 1960)

Context: This is a Psalm or prayer v.1 Give ear to my words, O Lord, v.2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry given in a time of great need not a normal daily conversational prayer with God. v.3-6 the Psalmist tells how he will honor God and reminds God how much He hates unrighteousness. 

So let us break it down: 

v.7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple. After declaring God’s hate for those who refuse to obey and worship Him, the Psalmist declares he will do just that, come and worship in the holy temple (tabernacle). He will worship in thy fear or in complete reverence to God’s mercy, grace and righteousness. 

v.8 Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face. Again the Psalmist is crying out to God; Lead me, O Lordnot in my own ways (for we all know how corrupt and wrong those are) but in thy righteousness, God’s ways because His are always proper and right. Note the circumstances, because of mine enemies; you have heard me say this many times, if you are a true born again believer and do not have enemies (those living in the world ready, willing and able to attack you) you are not (with few exceptions) living for God. Lastly the Psalmist asks God for a simple straight path one he can follow in the midst of the battle with his enemies. 

v.9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue. How bad are the enemies we face? There is no righteousness in their mouth; their heart is the personification of wickedness; and their mouths are as an open sepulchre; or grave spewing forth nothing but dead things. 

Conclusion: We need god to lead us every day. It is the fool hardy “Christian” that thinks they can go up against the enemy alone. Our daily prayer (not just in times of trouble) needs to be Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies!


Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible

8.O Jehovah, lead me forth, etcSome explain these words thus: Show me what is right, and make me wholly devoted to the practice of that righteousness which adorns thy character; and do this because of my adversaries; for the saints, impelled by the wicked practice and deceitful arts of the ungodly, are in danger of turning aside from the right way. This meaning is unquestionably a pious and a useful one. But the other interpretation is more suitable, which views the words as a prayer that God would lead his servant in safety through the midst of the snares of his enemies, and open up to him a way of escape, even when, to all appearance, he was caught and surrounded on every side. The righteousness of Godtherefore, in this passage, as in many others, is to be understood of his faithfulness and mercy which he shows in defending and preserving his people. Consequently, in thy righteousness means the same thing as for or according to thy righteousnessDavid, desiring to have God as the guide of his path, encourages himself in the hope of obtaining his request, because God is righteous; as if he had said, Lord, as thou art righteous, defend me with thine aid, that I may escape from the wicked plots of my enemies. Of the same import is the last clause of the verse, where he prays that the way of God may be made straight before his facein other words, that he might be delivered by the power of God from the distresses with which he was so completely surrounded, that, according to the judgment of the flesh, he never expected to find a way of escape. And thus he acknowledges how impossible it was for him to avoid being entangled in the snares of his enemies, (75) unless God both gave him wisdom, and opened up for him a way where no way is. It becomes us, after his example, to do the same thing; so that distrusting ourselves when counsel fails us, and the malice and wickedness of our enemies prevail, we may betake ourselves speedily to God, in whose hands are the issues of death, as we shall see afterwards, (Psalms 69:1.)


 

Daily Devotional – Mortification of Sin

by John Owen – February 17th, 2019  

Chapter 6 “WHAT MORTIFICATION IS” Continued 

b. Know the enemy

To labor to be acquainted with the ways, wiles, methods, advantages, and occasions of sin’s success is the beginning of this warfare. This is the way men deal with enemies. They inquire about their counsels and designs, ponder their goals, consider how and by what means they have formerly prevailed, so that they may be prevented. In this consists the greatest skill in conduct. Take this away, and all waging of war would be brutish, even where there is the greatest use of human wisdom and industry.

Indeed, men who mortify lust deal with it in this way. Not only when lust is actually vexing, enticing, and seducing, but in their quiet moments they consider, “This is our enemy; this is his way and progress, these are his advantages, thus has he prevailed, and thus he will do, if not prevented.” So, it was with David: “My sin is ever before me” (Ps 51:3). Indeed, one of the choicest and most eminent parts of spiritual wisdom, practically applied, consists in finding out the subtleties, policies, and depths of any indwelling sin.

A good part of our warfare is to consider and know:
  • wherein its greatest strength lies;
  • what advantage it takes of occasions, opportunities, and temptations;
  • what are its pleas, pretenses, and reasonings;
  • and what are its strategies, colors,(52) and excuses.
A good part of our warfare is
  • to set the wisdom of the Spirit against the craft of the old man;
  • to trace this serpent in all its turnings and windings;
  • to be able to say, at its most secret and (to a common frame of heart) imperceptible(53) acting’s: “This is your old way and course; I know what you aim at”;
  • and so, to be always in readiness.

 

 (52)        colors – disguises; pretenses.
 (53)         imperceptible – so slight as not to be detected.

 

 

Excerpts from Mortification of Sin by John Owen from:The Chapel Library •  chapel@mountzion.org

Rebuilding a Future Nehemiah Part XII

Grieving Our Enemies a Good Thing

image

9 Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.

10 When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.

Nehemiah 2:9-10

            Normally one would not associate causing someone else grief (anguish, heartache or pain) as a good Christian trait. I hope in the next 45 minutes to unpack God’s word in such a manner to show there is occasion to do just that in a righteous manner.

We start this sermon with some action. Nehemiah says “Then I came (or went)”.  He busts a move in the modern vernacular of my grandson. He does this after, as we learned in the last two sessions, he has (or one must) Cease the Day or the opportunity(s) God puts before him (us). Then in order to accomplish those opportunities now he had to (we must) Find Favor with God and man.

            The next step in Rebuilding our lives and Our Future is to do as Nehemiah and take action. After months of mourning, praying and planning Nehemiah leaves the comfort and safety of the palace and travels approximately 800 miles to Jerusalem. Now this today may not seem like much. Folks in America regularly drive farther than that on vacation. Yet in Nehemiah’s time this was quite the undertaking.

            It was typical for a person to travel about 20 miles a day on foot in that time. This journey had it been on foot would have then taken 40 days. The question must be asked, how many of us would walk for 40 days into the unknown for God? Let us assume for a moment that Nehemiah had a ship of the desert that is a camel or as verse 9 suggests was on horseback. He would have been able to make a little better time and cut his trip by 8 days. No matter the mode it shows a commitment to and a determination to God’s work that many today are sadly lacking.

David Guzik in his commentary on Nehemiah writes:

i. Many people have a heart touched like Nehemiah’s. They may also have the heart for prayer, the wisdom, the vision, the plan and the faith of a Nehemiah – but they stop short of actually going out and doing what needs to be done for the goal to become a reality.

ii. Sometimes we substitute talking about something for actually doing it. It is one think to stand around with other believers and talk about doing some evangelism; praying about it, planning it, talking about it – it is another thing to actually go out and do it. God is in the doing of the thing.

            One other thing I believe worth mentioning about verse 9 is Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me. What may seem as trivial I think has significance. The King sent a military escort with Nehemiah. The obvious reason is for protection. No one would mess with the Persian Army at that time.  Yet I believe greater significance is that these “guardian” let everyone know that Nehemiah’s mission was not to be messed with. He was on a mission for the King and lest we forget God. The presence of the Army sent a clear message to all that this was an important mission.

            Verse 10 opens with When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it… First heard of what? The coming of Nehemiah and the kings troops to Jerusalem. So big deal two guys hear about it what is so special I am sure many more heard too.

            Well let me see if I can shed some light. It appears Sanballat was from a city in Moab and Tobiah from a city in Ammon.  If you remember back to Genesis 19:37:38 the biblical account, Moab and Ammon were born to Lot and Lot’s elder and younger daughters, respectively, in the aftermath of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Bible refers to both the Moabites and Ammonites as Lot’s sons, born of incest with his daughters. Throughout history the nation of Israel had a love hate relationship with the Moabites and Ammonites. Sometimes they got along well and other times it was all out war. Both were leaders of anti-Jewish regions and peoples adjacent to Judah and Jerusalem, fearful of any returning/renewed influence of the Jews.

             The second part of verse 10 clarifies why the mention of these men specifically is says: it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.  Seriously someone comes into town and wants to do good deeds and these guys are saddened by the news.  A key to understanding this part of the text is the word the KJV translates grieved. It is the Hebrew word Yara` which is otherwise translated displease, grievous, evil, ill, harm, and sad. The ESV renders it:  it displeased them greatly that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel and the Amplified Bible: it distressed them exceedingly that a man had come to inquire for and require the good and prosperity of the Israelites.

            The importance is not what word is used but the meaning is clear. These men were grieved, upset, unhappy, troubled, peeved call it what you will that someone was concerned about Jerusalem and the Jews. 

G K Chesterton wrote that the Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.

This certainly was true in Nehemiah 2. Nehemiah’s arrival in Jerusalem was a threat to Sanballat and his associates (Neh. 2:10), who wanted to keep the Jews weak and dependent. A strong Jerusalem would endanger the balance of power in the region, and would also rob Sanballat and his friends of influence and wealth. When things are going well, get ready for trouble, because the enemy doesn’t want to see the work of the Lord make progress. As long as the people in Jerusalem were content with their sad lot, the enemy left them alone; but, when the Jews began to serve the Lord and bring glory to God’s name, the enemy became active.

Opposition is not only evidence that God is blessing, but it is also an opportunity for us to grow. The difficulties that came to the work brought out the best in Nehemiah and his people. Satan wanted to use these problems as weapons to destroy the work, but God used them as tools to build His people.

            This should not be a news flash for any true believer. I have often said if your walk with God is covered in a bed of roses you probably are not on the correct path. Man and Satan will always attack those doing God’s work.  Let’s look at a few verses on the matter:

Psalm 9:13 (AMP)  Have mercy upon me and be gracious to me, O Lord; consider how I am afflicted by those who hate me, You Who lift me up from the gates of death

            We will be afflicted by or suffer at the hands of those that hate us for doing God’s work.

Jeremiah 20:11 (AMP)  But the Lord is with me as a mighty and terrible One; therefore my persecutors will stumble, and they will not overcome [me]. They will be utterly put to shame, for they will not deal wisely or prosper [in their schemes]; their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten.

            We will have persecutors who attempt to make us stumble. But if we are faithful in our work for the Lord it is they who will stumble.

            Matthew 5:12 (AMP)  Be glad and supremely joyful, for your reward in heaven is great (strong and intense), for in this same way people persecuted the prophets who were before you.

            Our experiences will be nothing more than has been seen before. The faithful stewards of God’s word have been persecuted for grieving those opposed to God from the beginning.

John 15:20 (AMP)  Remember that I told you, A servant is not greater than his master [is not superior to him]. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word and obeyed My teachings, they will also keep and obey yours.

            Like Christ was persecuted so too will be His church.

Romans 8:35 (AMP) Who shall ever separate us from Christ’s love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword?

            But the Glory of God is He promises us that this persecution will be nothing compared to His love.

            It was Charles Spurgeon that said God had one Son without sin, but He never had a son without trial.  If we spend time pondering the enemy’s attacks, we will give Satan a foothold from which he can launch another attack even closer to home. The best thing to do is to pray and commit the whole thing to the Lord; and then get back to your work! Anything that keeps you from doing what God has called you to do will only help the enemy.

Less someone thinks I am encouraging everyone to go about provoking trouble with those who oppose God that is definitely not the case. Look with me at what the word of God tells us:

Romans 12:20 ESV  To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

            Paul encourages us to be kind to those who would oppose us. He says this kindness will be as heap burning coals on his head. Paul is quoting Proverbs 25:21.

Luke 6:27 ESV “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either.

            Pray, Pray, Pray I often hear from men and women that they are being falsely accused of this or that. My response is always pray for you accusers. We must always pray for those who would oppse us.

Romans 12:14 ESV Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

            Who are you to pronounce a curse upon anyone? You who apart from the love of God and the shed blood of Christ at Calvary were mired in sin as your oppressor.

Proverbs 24:17 ESV Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,

            Do not rejoice at the fall of your enemy no, pray for their righteous recovery.

            I hope I have made my point. By going about and doing what God has for us to do, as was the case with Nehemiah we will undoubtedly cause some who oppose God grief. That is Okay, it is a good thing as long as the grief we inflict is not because of some outward act outside what God would have us do.  In other words if we are being faithful to God’s charge (mission) as Nehemiah, not going about instigating troubles and that distresses (grieves) folks, so be it.

Let the enemies of the Lord be grieved while we are busy for His glory.