Arise and Build

by Stephen Edgecombe | 29 September, 2018 | Devotional |
We learned yesterday that when Nehemiah focused on the “Why”, he was able to inspire others to join the cause. The cause was bigger that just one person. It required a shared vision and a community of workers.
What God has called you to do is most likely larger than you.  It will require purpose, vision, passion and prayer. But it will also require the involvement of others. You will need help. You can accomplish so much more when you have a team with “a mind to work”.
Nehemiah told his people what God had said and some people got involved, and some didn’t. The ones who identified as builders DID SOMETHING! They strengthened themselves for the good work that was ahead of them.  Then they arose and build.
Prayer, planning and preparation are essential, but there comes a time when you must act. Arise and build! Get your hands dirty, mix the mortar, saw the wood, drive the nails! Be doers of the good work!
Say this out loud right now:  “I am a doer!”

Focus on Your WHY

Stephen Edgecombe | 29 September, 2018 | Devotional |
It is interesting that after Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, he takes three more days to size things up before he speaks to the officials, the priests, and the nobles. When he does speak, he doesn’t speak only concerning “how” and “what.” He talks about “why.” (Nehemiah 2:17-18)
We live in a world, like Nehemiah, filled with constant distractions. Unlimited activities are floating around us at all times that can take our attention, and often the ones that scream the loudest win. An easy way to change your world is to focus (and stay focused) on your purpose – your “Why”.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an employee, a leader of a team or ministry, you want to tackle the WHY of your life and work.  Discovering the WHY injects passion into your work. And it’s those who start with WHY that has the ability to inspire those around them.  Nehemiah knew his WHY and inspired others to help fulfill the mission of building the wall.
Most people live their lives by focusing on what they have to do. The endless tasks continue to mount up, and we wonder why we never feel like we’re getting ahead. It seems like we’re sprinting on a treadmill just trying to keep up, and every task completed is quickly replaced by new ones. Life gets a lot simpler when we focus on why we do things. So when a new item comes across your plate, you need to ask “Why”?  Why do you attend church? Why do you give (or not give)? Why do you serve or not serve in a ministry? \
“The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but a life without a purpose.” ― Myles Munroe

Opposition – Sure to come!

T.D. Jakes says “Anytime God answers your prayer, and the opportunity presents itself, there are always going to be opposing factors that make success not taste successful… Success will taste stressful, because your opportunities come wrapped in opposition.”

This was exactly what happened to Nehemiah.  He had a vision coupled with passion, experience favor from the king, motivated his countrymen and took initiative to rebuild the wall.  But not everyone was excited about this new project.

Sanballat , who will show up several times during the project, was the leader of the criticizers and distracters. His purpose was to create fear. Some people sit on the sideline and never ever stepping out for the LORD because they know opposition will come. They somehow think their life will be better or easier if they simply “lay low,” Nothing could be further from the truth!
Tough times are going to come anyway; but remember, tough time do not last. When we are growing and moving forward, we are far more equipped to deal with those tough times.  So use the season of opposition as opportunities to grow stronger, develop resolve and move forward with what God has called you to do. So as you face your opposition, Know that God has called you and He is with you!

Qualities of Initiators

Stephen Edgecombe | 26 September, 2018 | Devotional |
Can you believe it is Day 10? Yep, you made it!.
Yesterday, we learned that world-changers, like Nehemiah, are not afraid to take the initiative.  They see a need and are motivated to action instead of cowering to complacency.  So what are the qualities of Initiators?
In the Maxwell Leadership Bible, John Maxwell identifies five distinct qualities from the life of Nehemiah:
  • They know what they want: In the words of Napoleon Hill, “Desire is the starting point of all achievement.” Nehemiah knew that he wanted the walls of Jerusalem rebuilt.
  • They push themselves to act: At first, Nehemiah acted alone. He pushed to get the facts that would also move others to action.
  • They take more risks: Nehemiah took some major risks as he got permission to go, to get wood, and to survey the job.
  • They make more mistakes: Nehemiah wasn’t afraid to mobilize men who weren’t professional contractors to build or soldiers to fight.
  • They go with their gut: What Nehemiah lacked in experience, he made up for with the passion of his heart.

Take Initiave

Stephen Edgecombe |25 September, 2018 |Devotional|
Have you ever met people who were filled with a ton of ideas but always leave the action to others?   Often many of them surely actionable but they lacked the initiative to act. They are the ones who say “somebody ought to do something” but just never think about the fact that they are somebody.
Nehemiah couldn’t imagine standing still when he heard of the broken walls. He had to act. He had a Popeye Moment – Something has to be done about the “broken down walls” and it might as well be me. That’s the essence of initiative


Timing Matters!

Stephen Edgecombe | 23 September, 2018 | Devotional
In 2010 Garrett Hedlund wrote a country song called, “Timing Is Everything.” In it he writes of close calls, what appears to be chance meetings and being hurt by love or healed by the same. Here’s a summary line:
It can happen so fast
Or a little bit late
Timing is everything
There are two words for time in the Bible. The first is chronos, and it refers to clock time or calendar time. It’s where we get our English word chronology. Chronos is sequential—past, present, future. And it is linear, moving in only one direction.


Seek God’s Favor

Stephen Edgecombe | September 21 | Devotional |
Have you ever asked someone for a favor? When you ask someone for a favour, you’re generally asking for something they don’t owe you. The Bible says of God: ‘You bless the righteous; you surround them with your favour’ (Psalm 5:12 NIV). Nehemiah as he faced the challenge of building the walls of Jerusalem, realized the task was bigger than he. So he prayed and reminded God of his promised. Then he sought the favor of God as he planned the project.
If you have a Popeye moment you need to seek God’s favor before you move forward. The Psalmist prayed “Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame” (Psalm 86:17). Then he reminds us: ‘You bless the righteous; you surround them with your favour’ (Psalm 5:12 NIV).
When you have God’s favour, people start favouring you too – often for reasons they themselves can’t explain! That’s what happened when Nehemiah prayed for favor. He received amazing favor from none other than the King himself. In fact, his focus was not on getting favor for himself, but for the work of God. The King in return was pleased to help him. As a result, Nehemiah received bodyguards, a security contingent, letters of recommendation and the required timber, not only for the repairs of the city but also for his future residence in Jerusalem.
Ask God for favor today and watch would God does!

Psalm 86:17

Pray The Promises of God

As Nehemiah prayed he not only exalted the greatness of God, but he prayed the promises of God. He remembers the promises given by God to Moses, His servant, and prays accordingly so that he and the other exiled people could go back to their homeland. Part of our prayer times should involve claiming, trusting and speaking out the promises that God has given us. And, there are plenty of them in His Word!

Faith is always strengthened when we quote the promises of God in response to the attacks we face. Sadly, we tend to speak more about our problems than about God’s great promises! Satan hates the Word of God, and he will surely flee when we resist him with God’s promises.

Speak out the promises of God boldly to your situation.


Read Nehemiah 1:8-10



Appreciate the Greatness of God

As you contemplate impacting your world and community, you have to reflect on the greatness of God. While Nehemiah saw and was broken=hearted about the devastation of his city, he focused on the greatness of his God in his prayer. He identifies his God with the terms, ‘God of Heaven,’ ‘great’ and ‘awesome,’ and as the One ‘who keeps His covenant of love.’ Understanding who his God was, moved Nehemiah to immediate action.
We too need to keep our eyes and faith steadily fixed on “Jesus, the Author and finisher of our faith,” more than on our problems (
Hebrews 12:2) and the challenges. If God puts a burden on your heart, you need to depend on Him to empower you for the task and to provide the resources. After all  He is the Beginning and the End.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The Psalmist said, “I lift up my eyes to the hills… My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2). When we recognize the greatness of our God, it give us courage to face the impossible.
Ask God to open your eyes to His greatness, so that you may ‘walk by faith and not by sight.’ Read: Nehemiah 1:5-7 Hebrews 12:2 Psalm 121:2

The Power of Prayer

If you want to change your world, you must learn to kneel down to pray. Something powerful happens when we pray and stand in the gap for others. That was Nehemiah’s experience.
Nehemiah was a genius leader: He investigated, strategized, delegated and disarmed the opposition. However, all his activities were covered by intense and intimate prayer. Prayer must always be a primary spiritual practice of a Christ follower.

Prayer accomplishes four things:

  1. Prayer internalizes the burden, which in turn deepens our ownership of the observed need.
  2. Prayer slows us down to hear God’s voice and receiver directions from Him.
  3. Prayer infuses the vision, enabling us to see what God wants to do.
  4. Prayer initiates the vision’s completion, acting as a catalyst for us to act.
What walls are down in your life and seem impossible to rebuild?   Share your burden and earnestly seek God direction in prayer. Remember, with God all things are possible. He can empower you to rebuild what seems hopeless.

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