Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Cures for Discouragement, Part 2

Scripture: Nehemiah 4:15-17         
When our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had frustrated their plan, then all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work. From that day on, half of my servants carried on the work while half of them held the spears, the shields, the bows and the breastplates; and the captains were behind the whole house of Judah. Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens took their load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon.

Insights: Today we will be looking at the third cure for discouragement.  It is serving with a balance between thoughts and actions.  Notice how the Lord God placed a thought on the heart of Nehemiah regarding the best course of action to take in order for the productivity of the wall to resume.  Today’s verses give you that balance between Nehemiah’s thoughts and the action of implementation.  Even within his plan we see the balance of thought and action.  You have those with the swords standing guard and thinking as to what an enemy is really and what a shadow next to a tree is.  At the same time you have the workers actually doing the work of rebuilding the wall while they are being watched over.  In so many ways this balanced life was what Paul and James were writing about when it came to the subject of faith.  Paul was writing to an audience of people that were so overly zealous for action that they were trying to earn their salvation through their extensive works.  Paul writes to them, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).”  James on the other hand had this intellectual crowd who did not want to do anything but think about their faith.  James writes to them, “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself (James 2:17).”  There must be a balance between thinking and doing in our Christian service.  John Wycliffe is a great example of such a balance.  He was a great thinker and knew languages, but he knew it was not enough to just think about those words.  He knew he had to put action to his knowledge and translate an English Bible.  His reward was they burned him at the stake, but he had a proper balance between thoughts and action in his service to the Lord.

  1. Are you more of a thinker or a doer?
  2. What disciplines do you need to acquire in order to be more balanced?
Prayer: Father, help me to not be so rash that I jump in to the fray without thinking; and at the same time, give me the courage to act once I have finished thinking and know the direction to take. Amen.

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