Week Two: Who Is The Leader And Rebuilder?
While God appoints human leaders for times and seasons, He is the one who inspires, creates, and provides what is needed. He is our leader. How have we seen God lead us? To what extent are we willing to serve Him? Are we willing to count the personal cost and still persevere in serving Him?
Scripture Reading: Psalm 22:3-11
In this Psalm of lament we hear the words of Jesus from the cross. The Son of God, the one through whom all things were created; whom the angels delight in and adore, gives himself over to be disgraced and physically destroyed, that we would obtain the grace and mercy of God. This “broken man,” is our King! The writer here, and Jesus himself, may have been on the edge of despair, yet he comes back repeatedly to trusting his heavenly Father. The Father allowed the Son to suffer and the son willingly gave up his earthly life that life abundant would be showered upon all who believe in him and follow him as savior and lord. What does it mean to serve a disgraced leader like Jesus? What benefits were there for Jesus to gain from what he suffered? What benefits were gained for us by Jesus’ suffering? Do we appreciate that all of this was God’s plan? Jesus was not a victim, but one who gave himself up for us. How have you/we suffered injustice? Do we understand that God allows this and, in his good time, brings a better outcome from it? What examples can you think of in your life and in the life of the church? Pray for God to open your mind to the good things he has for you. Be thankful to him for all of it. Close in praying Psalm 22:23-31.
Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 3
In Nehemiah chapter 3 we see the restoration of the wall of Jerusalem, and the leaders who oversaw different sections of the wall’s rebuilding are named, along with a description of the part of the wall they built. God gave Nehemiah the wisdom to assign different sections of the wall to be built simultaneously by different teams, so the wall would be built quickly and efficiently, and be high enough (half its eventual height) before strong opposition was able to mobilize against it. While Nehemiah was the superintendent of the entire project, he and the workers knew it was God’s project and all were under His sovereignty. How have you experienced God working through multiple people to see His work accomplished? Are you willing to play the part God has for you, even though it may seem menial, and you may be nameless in it? How has God blessed you when you’ve responded to him in this way in the past? Spend time in quiet contemplation with Him and ask him to reveal to you his call to serve him and be willing to accept whatever he has for you. Close by praying through Psalm 4.
Scripture Reading: Mark 10:17-22
This is a familiar passage concerning the wealthy man who came to Jesus asking how to inherit eternal life. Jesus’ two part answer disheartens him, because he was not willing to part with his wealth. Jesus still loved him, yet there is a lesson for us if we would be true disciples of Jesus, and not just admirers of him. There is a cost to being a disciple, a true Christian. Are we willing to give up what we’ve perhaps spent years in attaining, whether that be monetary wealth, stability, security, or comfort? Yes, Jesus tells us the poor will always be with us, yet he also calls us repeatedly to share generously what we have with others as he leads us. Are we willing to ask Jesus what he is calling us to give, knowing it will cost us? Put yourself in the place of this rich man and have this conversation with Jesus. Take joy in knowing you cannot out give him. Whatever he asks you to give he will give back to you even more, and do good in the world through what you give for the benefit of others. Close with praying Psalm 8.
Scripture Reading: Mark 10:23-31
After the action comes the lesson. Jesus teaches on how difficult it is to be with Him in His kingdom if we hold too tightly to our wealth and possessions. He says on human terms it is impossible! Only by being generous toward God can we fully be his disciples. Pray and spend time with the Lord and ask him to show you how he wants to bless you and others, by having you loosen your grip on your money and possessions. Pray though 1 Corinthians 9:6-11.
Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 29:1-22
In the midst of this passage we see David’s prayer acknowledging the sovereignty of God over all provision. We say the words every week at offertory time: “all things come from you o Lord, and of your own do we give to you.” David encourages the people to join in the building of the temple as God puts on their hearts to contribute, and he sets the example of giving generously himself. In Nehemiah’s time, the people of Jerusalem contributed their gifting to the building. In our time we have seen, and many of us have contributed sacrificially to our building project. Thank you and may the Lord bless you for doing so. As we near completion we will have needs in bringing things to fruition in this building to bless the community we are in. Pray to God to show you, if and how he is calling you to play a role in bringing this to fruition. Pray Psalm 150 in tankful celebration for who God is.