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DAY 11

Partners

[5 minutes]
Mindsetter Moment: Do you have a specific interest? What about an interesting testimony? How can you offer this to God? Take special notice of what it looks like when Nehemiah says yes to being God’s partner in the rebuild effort. What would it look like for you to say “yes” to being God’s partner?

[15 minutes]
Scripture reading:

Nehemiah 1:1 - 3:14
1 Corinthians 7:1-24
Psalm 31:19-24
Proverbs 21:4

Devotional thought
Today we are starting the book of Nehemiah. Did you know that in the Hebrew Bible the stories of Nehemiah and Ezra are combined into one book? That book is titled Ezra because Nehemiah’s story is the continuation of the story that we have already been reading about the temple project.

So far there have been three leaders of the temple project. The first leader was Zerubbabel who started the building project at the beginning of the book of Ezra. Then Ezra arrived and led the project until Nehemiah took over. This project has been quite the undertaking with multiple hiccups along the way.

We have reviewed the differences between the Babylonian empire and Persia in a previous devotional, but one key difference is the level of religious freedom the Jewish exiles in Persia were given. In this environment, Nehemiah was cupbearer to the king, a prestigious position.

At the beginning of the story, Nehemiah has some friends visiting from Judah and they are talking about the temple project when Nehemiah is seized with concern for the situation. Have you ever experienced this? It is often how God works. You’ll be going about your life and God will say, “see that, notice that, do something about that.”

What applies to me?
No matter where we are or what our status is, God has a plan for each of us. There is something you are meant to do. Nehemiah responds to his “call” with prayer and steps of faith. He speaks the truth even though he is afraid.

It can be easy to see a calling as something akin to gaining celebrity status. We may think that the calling God gives us will give us an elevated place in our circle of friends. When we think of a calling, we think of microphones and stages, or adventures in foreign countries.

It is more likely that God will begin to give you a heart for something like helping those in poverty, or showing grace or sharing generosity. First, you will start to pray about it, then you’ll find yourself looking for opportunities to live it out.

One day when you are walking down the street you might sense that God wants you to bless someone you wouldn’t normally notice. Then you see them on a concrete bench, asking for water and you know this is part of your calling. It is unpretentious and quiet. No one gets healed, there’s no moment of glory, but in the simplicity of that one action, you have stepped into a portion of your calling. You are finding out not just who you are, but who God made you to be.

[10 minutes]
Write it out: God is looking for partners. Will you say yes? Is there something God is laying on your heart to do? Write it down. What can you do today to say yes to the call?

Pray it out: When Nehemiah sensed God’s call he prayed and fasted. If you are sensing that God is wanting to do something new in you or that God wants you to do something new for him the first step is prayer. Say yes, but don’t run ahead. Ask God for patience and wisdom to take the steps toward the calling God has for your life.

Live it out: God is looking for partners. Will you say yes to the call?