#RealTalk-When you have NO strength to complete your assignment..

Hey there BCU Family!

As usual, you have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the podcast blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study!

I trust our Nehemiah study has been a blessing and a call to action for you–it has been for me!  Last time, we started digging into Nehemiah chapter 4, and left off with where Sanballat and his posse were threatening the work on the wall, but Nehemiah set up a watch and prayed, so the work would go on.  Now, though, Nehemiah faces more challenges with his own work crew! Let’s dig right in!

v10And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.

What the Lord pointed out to me here was Judah saying “the strength of THE bearers of burdens”. Notice in chapter 3, Nehemiah took the time to NAME the individual builders, the priests, merchants, Tekoites, sons of so-and-so.  Here it says THE bearers of burdens--in other words, the strength of ALL the workers, the priests, merchants, Tekoites, sons of so-and-so was decayed.  Initially, everyone was willing to work even in the midst of the earlier threats. Now for some reason, the crew started to notice all the work ahead of them and things started to look impossible. Can you relate to that?

Anytime you are into an assignment, especially the middle and end, you start to get tired.
The result? You are NOW fearful, cowering, stressed, thinking this is too much of a trial, too much work, too dangerous, too difficult, you play the song over and over (notice how the enemy gave you the track free of charge) and you start think it, say it, act it and SPREAD it! So now ALL the workers are infected with this poison called fear!

It happens all the time! In the news, the police force, the Zika virus, the shortage of food, the contamination of chicken parts, the plastic we consume in a burger, the pesticides you get, is it organic or not? What is this President going to do? Will I lose my job? What if? Fear will have you DO NOTHING, GAIN NOTHING, and GET NOTHING! God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a power, love, power and a sound mind! (2 Timothy 1:7). GLORY to God!

Back to Nehemiah–on top of these threats, bluffs, ridicule and tiredness, here comes another attack!

v11And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.

They learned the enemy is planning a sneak attack to wipe them out–and THEN the wall will cease. Obviously the enemy was VERY threatened by what was going on, otherwise, he wouldn’t be plotting so hard. Did you catch that BCU Family?

v 12And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, from all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you.

Now the Jews who neighbored by the wall project heard what the adversaries were planning, and told Nehemiah and the crew all about it. At first, I thought about them being lazy and not helping, BUT God had a purpose for them being in place to report back to Nehemiah. This teaches us that sometimes God has people on the wall to watch and warn.

Think about the assignments God has called you to. What have we abandoned because we felt weary? Fearful? It was too much work? Who threatened you? Ridiculed you? Told you so and so was out to stop you? Why did you let it stop you? While threats and ridicule is real and HURTS, it does not negate is from staying on the wall. God gave us the assignment and we must complete it with His help!

We may need to come down and get healed up, but the work should not cease. John 9:4 says: I must works the works of Him that sent me while it is day. The night comes when no man can work. Get your work done NOW while it is day and you are able. Once our night comes (death) we cease from working and we want to be sure we are caught up with the Lord in the rapture–or if we die ahead of that, we hear well done, thou good and faithful servant. We can’t walk off the job now, Family!!!  Now, let’s take a look at what Nehemiah did about the workers concerns.

v13Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows.

Notice how he took their concerns seriously and acted on them. He didn’t tell them, “oh just trust God and keep working!” He set up a WATCH. He organized them with weapons and then was able to speak encouraging words to their hearts.

v14And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.

He reminded them of God’s word, as well as who they were fighting for. Notice how Nehemiah’s faith was backed up by works. Faith without works is DEAD (James 2:17).

Is what we have worth fighting for? Is what God gave us, put in our hearts to do, the task, the assignment, the talent, the gift, the marriage HE ordained, the relationship HE blessed you with, the family member, the friend, even the STRANGER you are witnessing to worth fighting/staying on the wall/staying on duty for?  YES!!!!!

v15And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.

Nehemiah’s crew kept working and the enemy stopped. Sanballat and his team KNEW they were defeated. The enemy KNOWS he is defeated and we do as well. It’s a fixed fight, BCU Fam! We are not to just lay down and give the enemy the victory claiming he stole it! We watch and pray (Nehemiah 4:9), we fight in the spirit RATHER than the flesh and we stay in our full armour (Ephesians 6:10-18).

We ALL get tired in the battle, myself included! In addition to the above Scriptures to encourages us, we can also wait on the Lord to renew our strength, so that we will mount of with wings of an eagle, run and not be weary, and walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).  Amen? Amen!

Well, BCU family we have to get ready to wrap things up, but Nehemiah has plenty more challenges for us to explore and apply to our lives in the remainder of chapter 4, so please stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, there are additional podcasts for you to enjoy–you are welcome to peruse the BlenCouragesU.com site 24-7!  You can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes.

Before you go, please comment below and tell us what are your favorite Scriptures to encourage you?

Until we are together again,  thank you for stopping by and may God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you! #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

 

BCU

 

 

Series: Gated community living! Nehemiah chapter 3 (part 2)

Hey there BCU Family!

As usual, you have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the podcast blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study!

How have you been enjoying our Nehemiah study? I pray it’s been as much as a blessing to you as it is to me! In a recent podcast, we talked through 5 of the 10 gates in Nehemiah 3 and looked at how they apply to us today. You can check here for complete information and meanings for the first 5 gates but for now, here are the ones we covered:

  1. The Sheep gate
  2. The Fish gate
  3. The Old gate
  4. The Valley gate
  5. The Dung gate

As we look at the remainder of the gates, please have your Bible as we’re going to skip through the chapter noting talk the importance of the gates that we rebuilt. Let’s begin!

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The 10 very amazing gates of Nehemiah chapter 3! (Pic from FreeBibleImages.org)

v15But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallun the son of Col–hozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool of Siloah by the king’s garden, and unto the stairs that go down from the city of David.

This was a near a pool is where you cleaned up after the rubbish burning. I do not like taking out the garbage, but I do like the sense of accomplishment and freshness once the trash goes out. I immediately wash my hands afterward, too and try and keep things clean. So in our lives once we’ve been purged, we clean ourselves off and with God’s help and live without reproach! “Who shall ascend unto the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in His Holy place? He that has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul unto vanity nor sworn deceitfully”(Psalm 24:3-4).

v26Moreover the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel, unto the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that lieth out.
Fountains and water go together! This was near a spring and it represents the Word of God and how it’s reflected in our lives. We continue to wash ourselves in the Word to stay clean! Psalm 119:9 asks “How do we cleanse our way? By taking heed to thy word.” James also reminds us to be doers of the word, and not hearers only, otherwise we deceive our own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was” (James‬ ‭1:22-24).

v28From above the horse gate repaired the priests, every one over against his house.

This is where the horses were kept in case of war they were ready. We war DAILY so we have to be and stay ready. Ephesians 6:10-18 says:

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints..”

v29After them repaired Zadok the son of Immer over against his house. After him repaired also Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the east gate. 

 The east gate was referenced in Zechariah 14:4.  It looks toward the Mount of Olives and speaks of the return of Jesus Christ. Another reminder to stay rapture ready.

V31After him repaired Malchiah the goldsmith’s son unto the place of the Nethinims, and of the merchants, over against the gate Miphkad  and to the going up of the corner.

The word Miphkad in Hebrew has a military connection and according to tradition it was at this gate that David would meet his troops to inspect them. God will “inspect” and reward us properly. “And behold I come quickly and my rewards with me to give every man according as his work shall be”(Revelation 22:12).

v32And between the going up of the corner unto the sheep gate repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants.

This verse rounds out the gates. Notice how the gates/chapter started and ended with the sheep gate, just like things start and ends with Christ. ” I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end the first and the last”(Revelation 22:13).

Isn’t our God amazing? See how He spoke to our hearts using a gate as a tool? He knows just how to break things down so we can understand His Word!  So, with His help we can apply the Word to our lives daily as we strive for perfection in Him. Amen? Amen!

Thank you so much for stopping by! If this was a blessing to you, please comment below and share it with someone–you’ll never know how the Lord may use you to encourage someone else! And if you have not done so, please like BlenCouragesU on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram!  And PLEASE subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio and iTunes. You’ve already done that? Then tell someone you love AND your enemy–I’m trusting they will soon become your friend! 🙂

Until we are together again, may God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you–and #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

Series: Gated community living! Lessons from Nehemiah chapter 3

Hey there BCU Family!

As usual you have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the podcast blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study!

So…we have gotten a LOT of mileage out of a chapter that looked like it should be skipped! LOLOL! Just when you thought there was NOTHING else to talk about in Nehemiah 3, we have some interesting information here about the gates here.

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The ten very important gates of Nehemiah chap 3! Pic courtesy of FreeBibleImages.org

You really need your Bible as we’re going to skip through the chapter and talk through the importance of the gates that we rebuilt. Recall that they were burned by fire (Nehemiah 2:3) and with the wall, they needed replacing. The walls are for safety and protection and the gates keep the good in and the bad out. Let’s explore what these gates were and how they apply to us!

 

 

v1Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it;  even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel.

The sheep gate is where the shepards brought in sheep and lambs that were brought in for sacrifice. Who is our Lamb? Jesus. Are we His people and the sheep of His pasture? (Psalm 100:3). Yes! Is Jesus the good Shepard? Doesn’t Jesus tell us He is the door and if we enter in, we are saved and find pasture? Did nor He lay down His life for the sheep? (Read John chapter 10 for these references). We can see how this gate directly points to Jesus! 

v3But the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build, who also laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.

This gate is where the fishermen brought their catches in to be sold. After we have been saved, we are fishers of men (Matthew 4:19). Something to think about here, when one goes fishing, you have to use bait. What bait are we using? The Word of God or our words? Any words at all? More importantly, do our lifestyles line up with the Word of God? Titus 2:12 says we should deny ungodliness, worldly lusts, LIVE soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. Your consistent Christ-like lifestyle is the “bait” the will draw people to Christ.

v6Moreover the old gate repaired Jehoiada the son of Paseah, and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, and the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.

This represents the “old” or established way of salvation. Jesus made it plain. Repent. Be baptized every one in the name of Jesus and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38).  Moreover, once we are saved, we should LIVE life as Jesus commands. Where do you start?  Luke 10:27 says to love God with all your heart, soul and strength and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. That’s the law in two commandments. If you love the Lord, as you seek to please Him you will not intentionally, willfully and consistently practice sinning. On top of that, if you love your neighbor as yourself, (and yes, you do love yourself–you take time to bathe, eat, etc., that’s love), you won’t practice doing anything wrong to others. The Word of God makes it plain–no loopholes or “new”alternatives for living God’s way.  “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrew 13:8).

v13The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and a thousand cubits on the wall unto the dung gate.

There were several valleys surrounding Jerusalem and that reminds us that we will go through the valleys (tests, trials and tribulation) in this life.  How do we conduct ourselves in the valley ? Some of these experiences can last for years. What are we doing in the valley? Who are we reaching? Who are we ministering to? How much prayer vs. complaining are we doing? While the valley experiences press you, the have a lesson (we need to ask God to show us what that is) and a purpose. “But the God of all grace, who has called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus after you have suffered awhile, make you perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you” (I Peter 5:10).

v14But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Beth–haccerem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.

This gate was where trash was dumped and burned. How does this apply to us? As we come out of the valley, and loading up on the Word, old ,tired, non Christ-like habits, attitudes and actions and thoughts are dumped or purged. Take away the dross from the silver and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer (Proverbs 25:4).

WHEW!!!! As we wrap up this podcast episode, we are reminded that God is awesome enough to speak to us in something as basic as a gate, yet leave us a powerful message and call to action. As we meditate on the Word, let’s work on applying what God said, so we can become more like Him. Amen? Amen!

Lord will, next time we are together, we’ll plan to go through the the remainder  of the gates–you do NOT want to miss that!

Thank you so much for stopping by! If this was a blessing to you, please comment below and share it with someone–you’ll never know how the Lord may use you to encourage someone else! And if you have not done so, please like BlenCouragesU on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram!  And PLEASE subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio and iTunes. You’ve already done that? Then tell someone you love AND your enemy–I’m trusting they will soon become your friend! 🙂

Until we are together again, may God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you–and #StayOnTheWall!

 

Love,

BCU