Bible Reading Blog — April 24, 2016

24 Apr

TODAY’S READINGS — Nehemiah 1-3 & Luke 6:1-11

Nehemiah is such a popular book for sermon series . . . it is about building, it is about restoring, it is about prayer, it is about leadership. Thousands of pastors have preached through this book because it seems to provide a story background for us to address all that is needed in the church today. It is a story of revival.

There is one aspect of today’s reading that struck me in a special way as I thought about it in relation to the church. Chapter 3, with its list of names and families and its description of repairing the wall, is a beautiful picture of the life of the church. Side by side, each one doing his or her part, each one given something of the task but not the whole, here we find a portrait of the kingdom in our own day. As each person serves, the body is strengthened. As each person gives of themselves to the work, something great is built. In the case of Nehemiah, it was the destroyed walls of Jerusalem rebuilt. In our case, it is a less measurable but no less real matter of lives changed from within, heart’s burdens lifted, love overflowing. Side by side, each one taking a part. What part of the wall has God assigned you? Flourish there with your brothers and sisters and watch the whole body grow so that Paul’s words in Ephesians become our daily experience . . .

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

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