Saturday, July 14, 2012

nehemiah: a heart that can break (session four).

Things I've Learned Lately [Session Four]
  • The power of God's Word that frees ourselves from ourselves is the portal to the most fulfilling experiences in the universe.
  • Sometimes I just want God to tell me what to do - and when I look closely enough at His Word, most of the time I realize He already has.
  • I am so drawn to Jesus because in Him there is no condemnation, favoritism, exclusivity, no running around trying to find our documents of OK-ness. The belief system of Christianity may be exclusive, but the invitation is anything but.
  • If Jerusalem's walls were about anything, they appeared to be about division. Under God's direction, Nehemiah and the Jews vigilantly rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem expressly for the Jews, making a way for a Jewish Messiah to one day come for the purpose of tearing down those dividing walls.
  • God's Word is a gift He has given to us for fullness of life and relationship with Him. Ordinary life is to be inspired and directed by the rule and reign of God.
  • Where would we be if God had not spoken? Where would you be if God had kept silent? What I believe about God and how I respond to His voice affects every dimension of how I live. When we understand God's Word as truth for all of life, it changes everything.
  • Though at times we certainly need to "go into the house of mourning," there are also days when we should celebrate. God loves celebration, community, feasting, and lightness of heart, especially when it is directly connected to Him and His grace in our lives.
  • It can be easy to let morality and behavior patterns slip if we look to one another to set our standards.
  • The Enemy often turns remembrance into grief and regret; grief and regret usually stem from something done in the past. If we have been forgiven, then God has also taken up our grief and regret; therefore to hang onto those emotions and give them a front row seat in our emotional life doesn't honor God and what He has done to forgive us. It also just steals our joy and freedom. We need to choose to remember what God did to forgive us and set us free.
  • We look for little pockets of happiness to sustain us, but true joy is different. Unencumbered, uncomplicated joy needs nothing but the presence of Christ to light its wick in our hearts. Joy frees us.

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