Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 20, 2018
When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Nehemiah 1:4
It breaks my heart when I learn of leaders who don’t finish well. It’s doubly painful when someone I respect is discovered to have been living dual lives. One publicly moral persona, while at the same time a privately immoral one. These men and women, somewhere along the way, traded trust in God with trust in themselves. They became exceptions to the standards they once expected of others. It grieves me to perceive how it must feel for the fallen to face their family and friends in disgrace. Christ’s Kingdom continues, but my heart still breaks for broken leaders.
Nehemiah sat down to weep, fast and pray once he heard and understood the serious plight of his people. He enjoyed the status of serving the King, while his family and friends struggled to survive back in his home city—Jerusalem. Nehemiah was moved by compassion for those who suffered without while he had plenty. He was compelled to use whatever influence and resources God had given him for the good of his people. Nehemiah was burdened to help the burdened.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
What needs around you deserve your passionate support? What breaks your heart, because it breaks the heart of your heavenly Father? Maybe you suffered from the heartache of divorce. Now your empathy naturally engages with those in divorce recovery. Because of your experience you can love them through this process of healing to wholeness. Or, you might help young couples avoid the common mistakes made early on in marriage. Teach them the skills of effective communication, authentic forgiveness and how to emotionally engage. What breaks your heart?
Once we identify a need that moves us to action, let’s first fast and pray for the Lord’s plan. A prayed through process is much better than a knee jerk reaction in our own strength. It’s important we start with a clean heart. We confess our sins, so we are able to best serve those scarred by sin. By God’s grace we organize and implement ministry methods that give God the glory, not ourselves. We are free from self-serving motivations, so we can bring to bear the best resources for those under a heavy burden. A heart broken by God is a heart blessed by God.
“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand” (1 Chronicles 29:14).
PrayerHeavenly Father, move my heart to serve those who suffer under a heavy burden.
ApplicationHow can I be more accountable to not drift into bad habits that don’t end well?
Related ReadingMark 10:45; John 12:26; Romans 7:6, 9:12; Galatians 5:13
Post/Tweet todayA heart broken by God is a heart blessed by God. #heartbroken #wisdomhunters
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