Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” Nehemiah 2:17
Years of neglect have often left many buildings falling apart and in disrepair. The paint is peeling, holes in the roof, windows broken out, doors falling off and much more. Sometimes this is while people are still living in it, while other times it has been abandoned.
Some of these buildings were great buildings in their time. They were great looking and talked about. People could see them and enjoyed seeing them as they passed by, but now talk bad about it, because it has fallen apart.
Nehemiah had traveled back to Jerusalem to see what the city looked like. The walls and gates were all broken down and left in disrepair. He encourages the people to begin to repair all the damage.
The city of Jerusalem was the heart of the Israelites. It defined them and showed the world that they had God’s favor. Without the city, they had nothing but disgrace.
God had created mankind to be perfect and grand, but because man chose to sin, the walls and gates have been broken down in their lives. Disgrace came upon Adam when he chose to sin against God. This has been passed down to every person since Adam.
Every day people all over the world are walking around, broken down and in disgrace. They have broken walls and gates in their lives. They are no longer showing the greatness of God in their lives.
Some of these people were believers, who have chosen to allow sin to overcome them again. They chose to step back into a life of sin and no longer follow God.
You may be in this position of having allowed walls of life be broken down in your life. Sin has been allowed in destroying your relationship with God and leaving it in disrepair.
Although, you, yourself cannot repair your life, you can allow God to repair the walls of life in you. Jesus can remove the sin and damage in your life and make you who you are supposed to be in Him.
The disgrace of sin can be removed by the blood of Jesus, restoring the glory of God in your life.
Allow God to begin rebuilding your life and work with Him, not against Him.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow Jesus to build you into a mighty servant of God; that you will allow God to clean your life up for His glory; and that God will strengthen you to turn from all sin.
Because you rejoice and are glad, you who pillage my inheritance, because you frolic like a heifer threshing grain and neigh like stallions, your mother will be greatly ashamed; she who gave you birth will be disgraced. She will be the least of the nations–a wilderness, a dry land, a desert. Jeremiah 50:11-12
God had used Babylon to punish Israel for the sin of following false gods. In the process of punishing Israel, Babylon rejoiced and was glad at what they were doing. They took great joy in punishing Israel. Since they chose to rejoice in striking Israel, God said they would be disgraced as a nation.
When someone does something wrong, people like to see justice done. The more public the wrong was or the more damaging the wrong was, the more justice that people want to see happen. People love to see the hammer thrown down on the person who has committed a great crime. They rejoice to see it happen.
This type of rejoicing also occurs inside the church. When a person has fallen into some great sin, people cry out for justice and rejoice when it happens. People are quick express their joy at the destruction of someone who has done wrong.
God weeps when there has to be punishment. He does not want to have to punish any person. He only does it because that is what is necessary.
Think about being a parent. Very few parents rejoice at having to punish their child for doing something wrong. It breaks their heart to have to punish at all. In the same way, when punishment has to occur on someone, do not rejoice.
God has infinite love for every person. When punishment occurs, it breaks His heart. Your heart should break in the same way. The person being punished is only having it happen because of some bad choices. You have made bad choices in your own life. Would you want people to rejoice at your punishment?
Jesus came to this world out of love for all. He came to save them, not punish and rejoice over the death of people. Punishment is done as a need, not as a joy.
Seek to redeem people, rather than just punish. Love those who have done wrong and point them in the right direction. Do not just crush them and then rejoice.
I pray today that you will know God’s love for people; that your heart will break as God’s does for the fallen; that you will seek to redeem the lost for God; and that God will use you to restore people to Him.
“If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.” Philemon 1:18
Onesimus was a slave of Philemon that had somehow came to Paul. He had worked with Paul for some time and became a great value to him. At some point Paul found out that Onesimus was a slave of Philemon who had run away. Paul was willing to return Onesimus to Philemon.
In the returning, Paul was willing to cover any expenses or wrongs that Onesimus had done. Paul saw a changed person in Onesimus. Evidently Onesimus was now serving God with his life.
Paul could have kept quiet about having Onesimus and never returned him, yet he did. He knew that he did not have the right to keep him. Yet, Paul was willing to return him and make repairs for any damages done.
Often people will get something that is not rightfully theirs. The old saying is “finders–keepers, losers–weepers” is what is said. The world is willing to accept this belief, as long as it does not hurt them and is in their benefit.
As a believer, however, your view should be you keep what is yours, and give back what is not yours. Along with giving back, all repairs that can be done should be done. This is going above and beyond just handing something back.
Believers can help people out who have made wrong choices in their past. When a person has made a choice to serve God, believers should stand with him and help him make things right again with those he has done wrong to.
Jesus had stood before the Father and paid for all the sins you have done and will do, before you even asked for help. God charged Jesus with your expense. He took care of all of your expense.
Are you willing to step up and help a new believer out? Work with them to fix their past. Work with them to restore any wrongs done. This is covering others with God’s love, compassion and care.
I pray today that God will reveal ways to help restore others; that God will provide ways to fix past wrongs done; that God will build others up through you; and that you will be filled with God’s love and compassion for others.