Devotional for Sunday 27th June 2021
This devotional for Sunday 27th June has been produced by the North East Circuit for use in their churches, and is made available for any churches/individuals who would like to use it this weekend.
When we started these Devotionals for Mothering Sunday in March 2020, very few would have thought that we would be still receiving a weekly devotional in late June, 2021.
Now that all of our circuit churches are meeting in some format it now comes to receiving this, the final devotional which in one sense is quite a sad moment, yet let us take it as a positive.
Bible Reading – Nehemiah 4: 15 – 17
15 When our enemies heard that we knew their scheme and that God had frustrated it, every one of us returned to his own work on the wall. 16 From that day on, half of my men did the work while the other half held spears, shields, bows, and armour. The officers supported all the people of Judah, 17 who were rebuilding the wall. The laborers who carried the loads worked with one hand and held a weapon with the other.
By the time we reach the middle of Nehemiah 4, we have already seen Nehemiah under attack, and it is quite clear that following a life of discipleship never runs smoothly. The people of Nehemiah’s time soon learnt that the being a part of the people of God requires being ever alert, prepared keeping watch.
But by chapter four, we do learn a couple of things.
Initially we note that everyone within the walls was vulnerable to the enemy’s attach which required everyone to be ready to attack should such an occasion arise. Secondly, whilst being ready to attack, everyone’s primary focus was to continue rebuilding the walls.
By focusing on the rebuilding of the walls and getting the walls completed this in itself would not only be a success but would provide protection from enemy.
When we come to our personal and wider Christian lives, the principles are just the same.
It is the responsibility of every Christian to be involved in Spiritual warfare – even if we take the default position of being open to attack.
Paul, in writing to the Ephesians, encourages them to “Put on the full armour of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, the powers… against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Just as it was for Paul and Nehemiah, we too are involved in this fight whether we want to (or know it) or not. Therefore, we need to be ready. Nobody would rush into a battle and then begin to put their armour on!
Nehemiah ensured that everyone had their armour or their weapons ready before the attack came.
As our churches re-open and plan for the new normal, the call we face is not to just get back to normal, but a call to battle. As we face the coming lifting of lockdown restrictions let us be prepared and ready for the battle we face and will continue to face as time advances.
And let us sing with words of Townend and Getty:
Hymn – O Church arise
O God our Heavenly Father, we pray that we will be ready and prepared for the battle we face. In all we seek to say, do and be help us bring honour and glory to You and to Your name as we battle in Your name. Guide us in how best we can serve You as restrictions start to life.
The Lord’s Prayer
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and forever. Amen.