“When I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven”  Nehemiah 1:4

Dear Women Who Serve:

I love the book of Nehemiah because I admire the main character, Nehemiah himself.  When I look at him I see loyalty, love for the brethren, compassion, determination and some one who is very organized (a trait I love!).  He also has a reverence for God, and he takes everything to Him in prayer. Nehemiah hears of a problem with the brethren in Jerusalem and he gets right on it.  He asks God for guidance and then formulates a plan.  He is devoted to the brethren and so he fasts, weeps, and prays for them.

He takes his responsibility for meeting the needs of the brethren very seriously.  Part of our responsibility as a believer is to do the same as Nehemiah.  We are to grieve and mourn when a believer is in trouble or in sin.  We should try to meet the needs of the brethren, taking every need to God to see what He requires of us.  We should adopt the same response Nehemiah had; petition God and fast for them.  Sincerely caring for each one.

Recently my mom passed away, she was 91 years old.  We thought that there would hardly be anyone at her funeral, but we were pleasantly surprised.  There was probably 150 people attending.  They came for us, to tell us a story of our mom or those who didn’t know her were there to comfort her children.  Helping the brethren.  Their gestures of comfort brought so much joy to us; one hug after another, one caring remark, a smile.  It was so uplifting. These people were doing what Jesus said, “take care of the brethren”.

Do you take extra time to look around for needs within the body of Christ? When you hear of a need, do you petition the Lord like Nehemiah and allow God to guide you?  Or do you say, like I have, “I’ll pray for you” and then it slips from your mind and you fail to do the one thing you said you would for them?

With my recent illness I have had many sisters & brothers in Christ praying for me, caring like Nehemiah.  But I have also experienced many people making statements like “I will come to visit you” and then they never come.  Some have even put a date and time and then not show up. It happens more times than you think.  We need to be reminded of Matthew 7:12 “In everything treat people the same way you want them to treat you for this is the law and the prophets”.  Or Matthew 5:37; “But let your statement be, yes, yes or no, no; anything beyond these is of evil “. Two scriptures Nehemiah lived by.  He saw the need, the distress.  He put his own needs aside and helped the brethren. He had a plan, he took it to God. He went forth a man with a plan - making his yes a yes and a no a no.

Let us do good.  Let us, like Nehemiah focus on others needs, and as Pastor Mike reminded us “put away the idols that stop us from lifting up the brethren." Let your yes be a yes!  Let us be women of our word.  Let us have eyes and hearts like Jesus.  I know my illness and my mothers death has made me want to look deeper into others lives, not just my family, but the family of God.

Let us be….