Let’s begin doing this today by reading Psalm 23…
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Scripture Memory Verse – Time to start working on another new verse. How are you doing with our two previous verses (Proverbs 4:23 and John 14:1)?
Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust him.”
Take some time to consider how to help yourself learn this verse. You may want to write it out somewhere where you’ll see it regularly or maybe pray through this verse each day this week.
We’re going to be looking at a prayer in Nehemiah 1 this morning, but before we do that let’s watch this short overview with the help of Sunday School Lady from What’s in the Bible.
Message Part 1
For the last number of years, I’ve had a large sticky note on my desk with the following written on it…
- Compassion – Can you sit with someone & be moved to compassion?
- Brokenness – Does your own sin bother you?
- Peace – Are you anxious?
- Passion – Are you moved by Jesus? Is He your first love?
- Listening – Is the voice of Jesus clear or is it faint/distant?
- Stress – Are you out of step with Jesus and leading from flesh rather than the Spirit?
I glance at this almost daily and it gives me a quick check in with Jesus to see if life is causing me to drift from him in anyway. Much like the gauges in the dashboard of our cars tell us when we need gas, oil, are going to fast or slow, these gauges help me see when I am in need of something. None of the questions are meant to bring guilt, but simply to shed light on where attention is needed. By attention, I mean I need to spend some time with Jesus about whatever is lacking for he is the Good Shepherd and through him I lack nothing.
Most of these gauges are quite personal in my relationship with Jesus, but the first one (Compassion) highlights the expectation that as a follower of Christ, we are to share his compassionate care for other. In the prayer we are looking at today from Nehemiah 1, we are going to see that this prayer is born out of Nehemiah’s compassion for his fellow Israelites.
The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:
In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
3 They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”
4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
In these first four verses we see that Nehemiah is moved to compassion by learning that “those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace.”
The troubles of others were not unimportant to him. He did not give a token, “that’s too bad” and carry on with his day. He was moved to compassion for them. We are told that “after hearing these things, he sat down and wept.” But he went even further than just feeling deeply for them, his compassion leads him to fast and pray about what God would have him do.
- Can you sit with someone and be moved to compassion?
- What types of things move you to compassion?
- What kind of actions has God invited you to take on behalf of others?
As you spend some time in prayer regarding your own compassion towards others, consider the compassion of Jesus found in Matthew 14:13-21…
When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
5 Then I said:
“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
8 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’
10 “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”
I was cupbearer to the king.
Prayer – Overflowing in prayer for Others
- Who is God placing on your heart now? Pray for them!
- Have you asked the Lord what he desires of you for them?
- Are you prepared to be bold in what the Lord asks you to do or not do?
- Kids Zoom – a reminder that Zoom Kids Church is this Wednesday, 4:15-5:15 PM for those Preschool to Grade 3, and from 7-8 PM for those Grades 4-8. Keep an eye out for the link that will be sent out from the church office.
- Youth – Youth is back on Fridays at 7pm. Watch your email for further details. Our primary youth leaders this year will be Amy & Cam Golberg and Josh and Charline Cleaver.
- Prayer – This Tuesday night will be our BAC Life prayer meeting. You can join us at the church at 7pm or online through zoom (link will be emailed on Tuesday)
- Office schedule – The Office is open Monday to Thursday. Visits continue to be by appointment only at this time, so be sure to call ahead or email. Katie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, Pastor Greg can be reached at email@example.com, and Pastor Dave can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I encourage you to do two things with your giving that may help a little.
- Do your giving each week as part of this devotional/worship time. I know it is not exactly the same thing, but it does help us view our giving as worship rather than simply a financial transaction
- Take time to pray as you give. Thank God for what he has given to you, acknowledge your trust in him for tomorrow, and tell him why you give to him and the work of his church.
- Best – E-Transfer (no fees)
- email@example.com is the email address you will need to make an e-transfer
- Please include your first and last name in the memo box
- If you know your envelope number please include it in the memo box (*Do not include the # sign as it will not accept that)
- Still good, but with fees – Canada Helps
- https://bayridgealliance.ca/give-with-canada-helps/ and click on the donate button to give
Thank you for honouring God by supporting the Church.
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’