I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding …” – Nehemiah 2:20a
Happy New Year, PCC!
Hard to believe we are living in the year 2018! Who remembers the Y2K scare? Seems like that was just yesterday. As we begin a new year together, I am excited for us to study one of my favorite Old Testament books, the Book of Nehemiah, as a community. You can click here to see all the resources that we are making available for this series. Please especially note an 8 minute overview video that will give you a fantastic general knowledge of the book. It all starts this Sunday! I can’t wait to journey through this book together in a series we are entitling, Nehemiah: Rebuild, Restore, Renew.
In the meantime, below is an edited version of a reading from my devotional time this morning. After sitting in it, I felt compelled to share it with you all. It is from the devotional book New Morning Mercies, which is probably the single most influential book in my life outside the Bible. (Warning: this book is dangerous and may result in a transformed life!)
Read it slowly, and I will see many of you on Sunday!
The Bible is a big-picture book that calls us to big-picture living. It stretches the elasticity of your mind as it calls you to think about things before the world began and thousands of years into eternity.
The Bible simply does not permit you to live for the moment. In a moment, your thoughts can seem more important than they actually are. In a moment, your emotions can seem more reliable than they really are. In a moment, your needs can seem more essential than they truly are. We are meant to live lives that are connected to beginnings and to endings. And we are meant to live this way because all that we do is meant to have connection to the God of beginnings and endings, by whom and for whom we were created.
It’s hard to live with eternity in view. Life does shrink to the moment again and again. There are moments when it seems that the most important thing in life is getting through this traffic, winning this argument, or satisfying this sexual desire. There are moments when our happiness and contentment shrink to getting those new shoes or to the steak that is just ten minutes away. There are moments when we get lost in the middle of God’s story. We lose our minds, we lose our sense of direction, and we lose our remembrance of him.
God reminds us that this is not all there is, that we were created and re-created in Christ Jesus for eternity. Think about this: if God has already granted you a place in eternity, then he has also granted you all the grace you need along the way, or you’d never get there. There is grace for our fickle and easily distracted hearts. There is rescue for our self-absorption and lack of focus. The God of eternity grants you his eternal grace so that you can live with eternity in view.
– Paul David Tripp, New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional
I love being your pastor!