Day 1: What Breaks Your Heart?

Read: Nehemiah 1

Nehemiah’s story started with a burden. He saw the condition of Jerusalem’s wall and knew the situation was desperate. Without a wall, people returning to Jerusalem after years in captivity would be unprotected and vulnerable to attack.

Nehemiah was brokenhearted, but he didn’t tackle the problem immediately. Why? He first needed to bring his burden before the Lord.

The state of Jerusalem’s wall reflected the condition of the Jewish people’s relationship with God. Disobedience had left their city and their lives in disarray. So before Nehemiah could fix the brokenness surrounding the city, he asked God to fix the brokenness inside the people of the city. Forgiveness was the foundation everything else would be built on.

Once the people were right with God, Nehemiah began to pray about what was next. All the while, God positioned Nehemiah so he’d have influence with the king and with the people. God had arranged it so a foreign king provided resources to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem.

Imagine what God is arranging behind the scenes, so you can do more than you ever thought possible.

Look around. What breaks your heart? What has God put in front of you that you can’t ignore? Until our hearts are broken for the situations and people around us, we’ll maintain the status quo.

Once you know what your burden is, go to Jesus in prayer. Ask Him what to do next.

Consider This:

What are you burdened about?

Pray:

Jesus, I am burdened about ___________________________. What should I do next? I want to make a difference. Help me make a difference.


Article courtesy of NewSpring

Your Heart and Strength for God

Spiritual highs and lows are completely normal. It’s part of the journey of walking with God. But it’s important to understand the difference between your heart for God and your strength for God.

Our heart for God is rooted in our emotions, and it comes and goes. Our strength for God is rooted in our will. We can’t build a life on a heart for God, but we can absolutely build a life on a strength for God.

Whether we feel like praising God, it doesn’t matter. We must remind ourselves to praise and to remember God’s blessings and favor. Through praise, remembrance, and study of the Bible, we grow our strength for God.

The Power of Prayer Isn’t in Our Words

When it comes to prayer, there’s no power in our words. There’s power in the word of God: in that we can pray to God, the Father, in the name of the son, Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Our prayers can be brief, and our words don’t have to be elaborate or impressive. We should simply speak from the heart, and pray with each other continuously – in good times and in bad times.

The Value of Praise

Praise is not a passive response to anxiety, it’s an active response. It is our active pursuit of God in our lives and over our problems / anxiety.

The power of of praise is the ability to do that over and over again. We’re able to take something that doesn’t change – God’s character and nature – and personalize it for our own lives.

How Should We Speak up About When We See Injustice?

First things first, settle your tone. How you speak is just as important as what you say. Never represent Jesus in a hateful, disrespectful tone.

Go to God about what grieves your spirit and allow Him to guide your response. Only after you’ve settled your frustrations in prayer, go make a meaningful difference.

And beware social media! You must go beyond mere words for your life to point others to fresh hope and transformation through Jesus Christ.

Consider Jesus’ Endurance

When you’re ready to give up and give in, consider Hebrews 12:2-3 and what Jesus faced for you.

The joy set before him – for which he endured the cross – was the glory of God and the fulfilling of the Father’s will. It was the mission of bringing forgiveness, salvation, and redemption to the world.

When you remember all Jesus endured, it’s not as easy to grow weary and lose heart.

What Perseverance Is

Comparing your race to others can lead to discouragement. We’re all at different stages and our lives progress at a different pace.

The good news is God never wastes a season of waiting. In the waiting, He builds perseverance. Perseverance is the ability to stay under pressure – and keep pressing on – until God finishes His work.

God’s Race for You

Jeremiah 1:5 teaches us that God created a special work – a special race – for each one of us. It is through a relationship with Him that you can best determine your calling and strive to fulfill God’s plan for your life.

So don’t treat God like Google Maps, only going to Him when you need direction for your life. Develop a deeper relationship. He will help you get to where you need to be and grow into who you need to become.

Your Relationship With Money

The answer to all our unmet longings is more of God – more presence, more power, more peace, more joy, more fulfillment. The truth is, our relationship with God will always define our relationship with money. When we understand that earthly abundance won’t bring us happiness, we will begin to desire to manage our money as John Wesley instructed: “Earn all you can, save all you can, so you can give all you can.”

Struggling With Greed

Greed isn’t about what’s in your bank account; it’s about what’s in your heart. And we all struggle. That’s why Jesus said in Luke 12:15, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

“The neediness of our soul is a pointer to God.”

Thomas Aquinas

It’s Hard To Forgive

Forgiveness is not something you usually can do on your own; it requires God’s help. It’s a supernatural act, but it starts with you and an act of your will.  You may have to pray every day – “God I want to forgive them. I need to forgive them. God help me forgive them.” – for a very long time. But know that even the desire to forgive is a sign that God is at work in your heart. And when you do find the power to forgive, you’ll also find freedom from carrying that heavy burden.

Jesus Came to Change Our Hearts

Classic Christmas stories are retold every year and revered by millions. We celebrate the heart-change of Ebenezer Scrooge, George Bailey, and the Grinch. But what if true heart-change was possible for you? It’s the real reason Jesus came at Christmas – to change our hearts and our lives, and to restore our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

“I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you.”

Ezekiel 36:26-27 (MSG)

Protect Your First

Your heart settles what is first in your life. When you put God first, everything else then takes its place beneath Him. And out of His righteousness comes the strength and ability for you to live a righteous life.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

John 6:33