DEVOTION:DO YOU RECOGNIZE THE SOURCE OF THIS?

After rebuilding the wall and setting up the security for it, Nehemiah takes up another major project. As it was in the first project, Nehemiah gives us insight on how he got into these major projects. In the first project he said:

I went to Jerusalem, and after staying there three days I set out during the night with a few others. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no mounts with me except the one I was riding on. Nehemiah 2:11-12

 

Did you get that? Just in case you did not get it, here it is:

I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem.

 

Very interesting! The reason Nehemiah left his prestigious work in Babylon is because God put in his heart a burden to go back and rebuild the wall for the city of Jerusalem. Then in today’s passage, he says:

Now the city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it, and the houses had not yet been rebuilt. So my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles, the officials and the common people for registration by families. I found the genealogical record of those who had been the first to return. Nehemiah 7:4-5

 

Again, God put it in his heart to embark on this new project of taking the census of the people who came out of Babylon. This is how Ezra attributes the favor from King Artaxerxes.

Praise be to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, who has put it into the king’s heart to bring honor to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem in this way and who has extended his good favor to me before the king and his advisers and all the king’s powerful officials. Because the hand of the Lord my God was on me, I took courage and gathered leaders from Israel to go up with me. Ezra 7:27-28

 

APPLICATION:

  1. It is important that we recognize what God lays in our hearts and give Him credit. Mankind can easily take credit for this because it is something that God puts in our hearts. Only you and God know the source.
  2. When people go about doing that which God has put in their hearts, the temptation is to credit humans for their good heart instead of recognizing their action as something God laid in their heart.
  3. Here are a few examples of how we can benefit from what God puts in other people’s hearts.
    1. We may receive an incredible favor from an earthly king.
    2.  Someone may do an extra ordinary thing for us.
    3. A stranger may meet you and say, “I feel my heart telling me to give you this money,” at a time that you were truly desperate for the exact amount.
    4. You may relocate to a new country or city and you are received by your neighbors and your transition goes very smoothly.
    5. Your boss may decide to give you promotion out of ten other people who are qualified and have been in there longer than you.
  4. God controls the hearts of mankind whether they like or not. This is why God can change the hearts of unbelievers to do things they would otherwise not do by their natural inclinations. God can soften or harden a man’s heart depending on what he wants to accomplish.  He hardened Pharaoh’s heart until He had completed the miraculous signshe wanted Moses to perform. On the other hand, he softened the hearts of the Egyptians toward the Jews such that they gave them all kinds of valuable gifts.
  5. On the other hand God may put a burdened in our hearts to do something for the church or for someone else. Or He may put a burden in your heart to pray for someone who later you may discover was in great need of prayer, and that your prayer made the difference.  Our tendency is to say, I did it! Nehemiah said God put this in my heart. We should always be quick to recognize the source of the good things we do because naturally we are rebellious, selfish, and proud of what we do. Any good thing from us has its source in God.
  6. Have you done anything for which you failed to give credit to God? Are you doing something now that you should be giving credit to God but you have not done this yet? Or have you received something from someone whom you have given all the credit and failed to give credit to God who had put this burden in this person’s heart?

Praise be to the Lord, the God of our ancestors,

Who has put it into the king’s heart

To bring honor to the house of the Lord

In Jerusalem in this way

Ezra 7:27

When you encounter what is from God

 

DO YOU RECOGNIZE THE SOURCE OF THIS?

By Pastor Shadrack Ruto

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