Sometimes when I’m reading my Bible certain verses stand out more than others. Other times I get certain impressions from what I’ve read. Today was a mixed sort of day with impressions and verses standing out. Therefore, I’d like to take a moment and share these thoughts with you.

Although the book of Nehemiah is a historical book of the Bible, I think there’s a lot we can learn from it. For example, in Nehemiah 3 we read about all the people who were helping to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. For the most part, the text is straightforward and to the point citing who worked on the wall. However, there are a few instances where we see a little bit more. For instance, “The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors” (Nehemiah 3:5 NIV). This verse can be encouraging, because it reminds me, even when it seems like everyone is working together for the good, there will be some people who are resistant to what’s going on. People will be people. I guess the nobles of Tekoa might have found the work beneath them. Note, however, they were still doing something.

Just as there will be people who are resistant to the work, there will also be people like Baruch son of Zabbai, who “zealously repaired another section” of the wall (Nehemiah 3:20). As I was reading through the third chapter of Nehemiah, and thinking about all of the people listed here, who participated in the work, I wondered what a chronicle would look like for all of us who are building the Kingdom of God. That’s what we’re doing here on earth when we serve God and serve people. Will I be like the nobles of Tekoa who worked, but did so grindingly, or will I be like Baruch who worked zealously for the Kingdom?

While I was reading through the fourth chapter of Nehemiah, a few things stood out to me. First, the entire time the Jews are repairing the wall they’re doing so under the threat of attack. It’s bad enough they were having to work in the heat of July but to have to do so under the threat of death. Second, because they were under threat of attack only half of the people could do the work! The other half had to be on guard against sudden attacks. Sometimes our lives can feel that way. We’re doing the best we can in our circumstances but other things keep begging for our attention. The last thing that stood out is the men never let down their guard; “Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water” (Nehemiah 4:23 NIV). This is how we have to be in our lives. We can’t let down our guard no matter what we’re doing. When we become complacent in our lives, the next thing we know we’ve given sin a foothold. This state of being on guard is kind of what I think of when I think about keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus.

While I was reading through the passion of Christ today in Luke, there was so much there. So much to grab hold of. If you don’t mind, I’m just going to cite the verses that stood out to me along with my thoughts.

When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort.

Luke 23:8 (NIV)

When I read about Herod’s response to seeing Jesus it’s not exactly what I might have thought. On the other hand, it’s exactly what one could expect from someone who isn’t a believer. Herod seemed to regard Jesus as some sort of magician or performer from whom he excepted a trick. I’m reminded of the parable of the beggar, Lazarus, and the rich man (Luke 16:19-31). The rich man, in hades, asks Abraham to raise Lazarus from the dead and send him to warn his brothers. However, Abraham tells him, “‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead’” (Luke 16:31 NIV). This was the nature of people almost 2,000 years ago. How much worse it would be today! Between all of the special effects we’ve seen in movies, and our own hardened hearts, people could see miracles, whether they be filmed or in person, and doubt their veracity. As much as we would like people to see one great miracle or sign, and believe, it’s hearts that need to change.

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Luke 23:42-43 (NIV)

This verse tells me, as long as someone is cognizant, with breath in their body, they can be saved. This criminal had lived a life that brought him to his end on a cross, and yet, in believing in Jesus, he is saved and, if I understand this verse correctly, might have been the first person to enter into the Kingdom with Jesus. Wow! The thing is though, none of us know how we’re going to die. I think we’ve all seen too many films where someone has all of the time in the world while they’re dying to make their peace. However, we all know how quickly life can end. Therefore, the best time to make your peace with God, and accept the gift of salvation Jesus has for all who believe, is right now.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.