Saturday, August 30, 2014

Restoration and Recovery - 11

This is part 11 of a several part devotion dedicated to the book of Nehemiah chapter 3.


Nehemiah 3:28

Above the Horse Gate, the priests made repairs, each in front of his own house. 
 
Do you ever skip over chapters in the Bible like this? Go read it, Nehemiah 3, it just lists people's names and what they worked on and in what order they did. I almost skipped it, I almost just zipped right through it. I was riding in the car after doing a half good job of reading the chapter when I heard, "the gates, study the gates," in my Spirit. So I went back and I studied the gates. They mean something alright. It's a blue print laid out for us. If you need restoration in your life (who doesn't?!?!?!) or if you are needing to go through recovery (gaining back something that was lost, returning to a normal healthy place!!!!!!), here is your plan.

In part 10 we talked about the Water Gate. The tenth step of restoration / recovery is the lifestyle of The Water Gate. The scriptures don't mention the repairing of this wall. In chapter 8 of Nehemiah it is also mention when Ezra reads the Law to all the people and they mourn. God wants us to live a spirit filled life. Your eyes have been open and now you understand. Don't mourn. The joy of the Lord is your strength!

Next we move on to the Horse Gate. In Jerusalem horses weren't used a whole lot and they weren't used for work as they are used today. They were used in war. Occupying chariots. This gate represents spiritual warfare. Battle time.

 
Ephesians 6:12

For our struggle is NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the POWERS OF THIS DARK WORKD and against the SPIRITUAL FORCES OF EVIL IN THE HEAVENLY REALMS.

 
In life we are going to have battles. These battles aren't with human enemies or humans that hate us or mean people that want to make our lives miserable, they are with spiritual forces of evil. Opposition to the rebuilding of the walls and gates.
 
 
Nehemiah 4:1
 
When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria he said, "What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble - burned as they are?"
 
Nehemiah 4: 3
 
"What are they building - even a fox climbing up on it would break down their wall of stones!"
 
Nehemiah 4:6
 
So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half it's height, for the people worked with all their heart.
 
Nehemiah 4:8-9
 
They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.
 
Nehemiah 4:12
 
Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, "Wherever you turn, they will attack us."
 
Nehemiah 4:13
 
Therefore I stationed some people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears, and bows.
 
Nehemiah 4:14
 
"Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."
 
Nehemiah 4:16-18
 
Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked.
 
 
Are you prepared for battle? I love this story in Nehemiah. Christianity consists of battles. If you are living for God and making strides in your life to serve Him and put Him above everything else. You are going to have to battle. What does the scripture say? He is like a roaring lion, waiting to see what he can devour. We battle spiritual forces of evil. We have to be prepared. We have to fight.
 
 
In chapter 4 of Nehemiah they are in a battle. They have an enemy that is taunting them. The enemy is mad because they are rebuilding the wall. They are rebuilding their protection and the enemy can not stand that. The Israelites were working so hard on their wall. They were working with all their hearts to build this protection back up. Getting our spiritual life back in order takes lots of work also. Lots of work and we have to put our whole hearts in it. We have to be prepared also! When these men were working they worked with a sword in one hand. The Bible refers to sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God Almighty! That is what we fight our battles with! The Word of God.
 
One of my favorite scriptures in Nehemiah is 4:14. "Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."
 
Fight. Fight for how far you have come. Fight to not go back. Fight for your family. Fight for your children. Fight for God and all that He has done for you. Fight for your restoration. Fight.
 
There is always going to be a battle until the return of Jesus. Be prepared. Have your sword in one hand has you work with the other.

Thanks so much for reading!
I would love to connect with you on a personal level!


This is a devotion that will be written in several parts as we discover the different gates and parts of the wall and what that means for us in the process of restoration and recovery. When a new devotion is written I will link here:



I have written several other devotions from the book of Nehemiah  that occur before or after chapter 3. They are linked here:



 

 
 




Friday, August 29, 2014

Restoration and Recovery - 10

This is part 10 of a several part devotion dedicated to the book of Nehemiah chapter 3.


Nehemiah 3:26

And the temple servants living on hill of Ophel made repairs up to a point opposite the Water Gate toward the East and the projecting tower. 
 
Do you ever skip over chapters in the Bible like this? Go read it, Nehemiah 3, it just lists people's names and what they worked on and in what order they did. I almost skipped it, I almost just zipped right through it. I was riding in the car after doing a half good job of reading the chapter when I heard, "the gates, study the gates," in my Spirit. So I went back and I studied the gates. They mean something alright. It's a blue print laid out for us. If you need restoration in your life (who doesn't?!?!?!) or if you are needing to go through recovery (gaining back something that was lost, returning to a normal healthy place!!!!!!), here is your plan.

In part 9 we talked about the repairing of The Fountain Gate. The ninth step of restoration / recovery is repairing The Fountain Gate. This is the gate right after the Dung Gate where you throw all your trash away and then jump into the waters through the fountain gate and rest in the protection of the roof! The cleansing, restoring, protective Holy Spirit. Our comforter.

Now we move over to the Water Gate. The text doesn't mention the Water Gate needed repair. It just mentions it. Could it have been that this gate didn't need repairs? Did it preserve in the destruction of Jerusalem? The Water Gate spiritually is associated with living a Spirit filled life. God doesn't just want us to receive the Holy Spirit at The Fountain Gate, he wants us to live the life.

The Water Gate is also mentioned in one of my favorite chapters of Nehemiah. Chapter 8.

Nehemiah 8: 1
 
All the people came together as one in the square before The Water Gate. They told Ezra the teacher of the Law to bring out The Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel.
 
Nehemiah 8:3
 
He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before The Water Gate in the presence of the men, women, and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.
 
Nehemiah 8: 9
 
The Nehemiah the Governor, Ezra the Priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them, "This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep." For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.
 
Nehemiah 8:12
 
Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.
 
 
That was a lot of scripture. Whew. This is seriously one of my favorite chapters of Nehemiah. I can just picture this taking place in my mind. You have these people that have been working so hard on rebuilding this wall and these gates. Going through so much work / processes. Giving it all they have. Spiritually you have been learning so much about yourself. Changing so many things as we go through all the gates. Giving it all you have. Now we all gather at the Water Gate. Ezra presents the Law in a way all of them could understand. They all hear the Law. I am sure they all reflect. Reflect on all the things they didn't measure up to. All the things they wish they had of done differently. Realizing in that moment that even though they have done so much work - there is a long journey left ahead. They mourned. They grieved. Their eyes had been opened. They understood.
 
 
Man. How many times has this happened in my own life. We don't have the Law of Moses to follow. We are under a new covenant now. A better covenant with better promises. Grace is our teacher now. Just like Ezra was their teacher. If you have been going through this restoration / recovery process with us your eyes have been opened. By now God has shown you all kinds of things. Maybe things you need to change. Maybe past mistakes. Maybe areas you need to grow in. You understand now. I think the most natural response to realization in these circumstances is to grief. To just sit back and have a pity party for all the things you really messed up. But, that is not what God wants. He doesn't want the devil to bind you up in that condemnation, that guilt, that I'm not good enough to even work for God attitude. It's a trap, and you need to be aware of it. In Nehemiah he tells them, do not mourn or weep, go enjoy, and send some to those who have nothing prepared, this day is Holy, do not grieve, the joy of the Lord is your strength!
 
 
The Water Gate is a way of life. A spirit filled, grace teaching life style. Your eyes have been opened. You understand now. Now go enjoy. Don't mourn for past sins or mistakes. Take this Gospel to someone that isn't prepared. Let this be motivation.
 
Thanks so much for reading!
I would love to connect with you on a personal level!


This is a devotion that will be written in several parts as we discover the different gates and parts of the wall and what that means for us in the process of restoration and recovery. When a new devotion is written I will link here:



I have written several other devotions from the book of Nehemiah  that occur before or after chapter 3. They are linked here:







Thursday, August 28, 2014

Just A Thought From College

This week I am doing something a little different. I wanted to share with you a FaceBook post from my cousin. He is a recent high school graduate and just began his freshman year of college. This post touch me so and really caused me to think.  My prayer is that it will do the same for you. Thank you Josiah Robinson for allowing me to share with our readers!!!
 
 
Just a thought from college. I know it's lengthy, but stick through it and comment your own thoughts, I'd love to hear them.

I've lived at college for right at a week now and have already overheard horror stories of overbearing, condescending Christians. "They think they can damn everyone with a different lifestyle straight to hell." (That's an actual quote)

Let that NOT be said of us, myself ...definitely included. I'm called to love God first, then my neighbor next. (Mark 12:30&31) How can I lead them to the love of Christ when I become the mascot for hate?

Jesus never stood at a synagogue and wagged his finger at those who weren't there.

Jesus met people where they were.

He met people over food & drink, over a healed loved one, over a loving conversation. He did so with a heart of love, as I am called to:
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12 ESV)

Jesus also approached these people differently to reach them. He spoke to Pharisees about the Mosaic Law and their corruption of it. But when talking in large crowds he used parables of common objects like salt, light, sheep, rebellious sons, seeds, beggars, virgins, and Samaritans because everyone understood those images.

Paul modeled this perfectly, he talks to Jews about the law because it reaches them. But when speaking to Gentiles the law is useless. He understands and relates to others to lead them to Christ:
"To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings." (1 Corinthians 9:20-23 ESV)
Paul met people where they were, and I have to as well.

Jesus understood and related to people, that's why his message was delivered with such sincerity and power. That's why it was effective. I must learn a heart before I can help lead it closer to Christ.

So let me NEVER compromise or change the Gospel, but let me change how I deliver it. I should NEVER be brash, coarse, argumentative, pious, hateful, or condescending. I SHOULD be loving, understand, patient and Christ-like.

I challenge you to do the same.
 
Please share you comments below or at:
Facebook - Beth Reed
Twitter and Instagram - beffie221

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Restoration and Recovery - 9

This is part 9 of a several part devotion dedicated to the book of Nehemiah chapter 3.


Nehemiah 3:15

The Fountain Gate was repaired by Shallun son of Kol-Hozeh, ruler of the district of Mizpah. He rebuilt it, roofing it over and putting its doors and bolts and bars in place. He also repaired the wall of the Pool of Siloam, by the King's Garden, as far as the steps going down from The City of David.
 
Do you ever skip over chapters in the Bible like this? Go read it, Nehemiah 3, it just lists people's names and what they worked on and in what order they did. I almost skipped it, I almost just zipped right through it. I was riding in the car after doing a half good job of reading the chapter when I heard, "the gates, study the gates," in my Spirit. So I went back and I studied the gates. They mean something alright. It's a blue print laid out for us. If you need restoration in your life (who doesn't?!?!?!) or if you are needing to go through recovery (gaining back something that was lost, returning to a normal healthy place!!!!!!), here is your plan.

In part 8 we talked about the repairing of The Dung Gate. The eighth step of restoration / recovery is repairing and using The Dung Gate. This is the step in the process that you come to after God has revealed to you the trash in your soul that He wants you to clean up. This can be a really hard step. When anyone is revealed the Law and they understand the revealing, it can cause mourning. Mourning for their sinful nature. The important thing is shovel all the mess out. Let this be a strengthening point to honor God and pursue Him.

The next gate that is talked about is The Fountain Gate. This is a good gate. This is a gate / area where lots of meaningful things in the Bible happen. A man was healed here that had been blind from birth. This is where cleansing takes place. This is where spiritual healing takes place. This is where the infilling of the Holy Spirit is brought to light!

Remember how long it was from The Old Gate to The Valley Gate? The whole length of The Broad Wall. And, remember how long it was from The Valley Gate to the Dung Gate? It was over 1,600 feet. This gate is speculated to be very close to the Dung Gate. The scriptures don't mention any of the wall being repaired in between these two gates. I think it is because it represents the Holy Spirit. The ever present Holy Spirit. It doesn't need repair. It doesn't need rebuilt. He is just there. Its up to us to use Him. Its up to us to make sure this gate is operating in our lives properly. He is a protection to us. I love how the scriptures about this gate mention a roof. I have this image of someone on the path of restoration and finally making that long walk from The Valley Gate to The Dung gate and throwing out all their soul trash and then just literally leaping through The Fountain Gate. Jumping in the waters there and staying under the roof for protection. For renewal from the hardness of the last two gates. Living waters! Cleansing!

If you have been in filled with The Holy Spirit let this gate be a renewal of that. Remind The Holy Spirit that you need Him in your life. You need His protection. You need His cleansing. You need His comfort. You need His guidance.

If you have never received the second baptism of the Holy Spirit let tonight be the night! When anyone is saved they receive the Holy Spirit. It is what wakes up their spirit inside. But, the infilling of the Holy Spirit it is a second event! It is nothing to be scared of and you don't even really have to understand. Just believe and receive! That is all that is required!


Thanks so much for reading!
I would love to connect with you on a personal level!


This is a devotion that will be written in several parts as we discover the different gates and parts of the wall and what that means for us in the process of restoration and recovery. When a new devotion is written I will link here:



I have written several other devotions from the book of Nehemiah  that occur before or after chapter 3. They are linked here:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Restoration and Recovery - 8

This is part 8 of a several part devotion dedicated to the book of Nehemiah chapter 3.


Nehemiah 3:14

The Dung Gate was repaired by Malkijah son of Rekab, ruler of the district of Beth Hakkerem. He rebuilt it and put its doors with their bolts and bars in place.
 
Do you ever skip over chapters in the Bible like this? Go read it, Nehemiah 3, it just lists people's names and what they worked on and in what order they did. I almost skipped it, I almost just zipped right through it. I was riding in the car after doing a half good job of reading the chapter when I heard, "the gates, study the gates," in my Spirit. So I went back and I studied the gates. They mean something alright. It's a blue print laid out for us. If you need restoration in your life (who doesn't?!?!?!) or if you are needing to go through recovery (gaining back something that was lost, returning to a normal healthy place!!!!!!), here is your plan.

In part 7 we talked about the repairing of The Valley Gate. The seventh step of restoration / recovery is repairing The Valley Gate. One of the hardest gates, and a gate that you could possible be at the longest. Valleys represent sorrow, trials, and humbling places. A look around from this gate lets us see the level of our spiritual health. A glimpse of what needs to be cleansed. A glimpse into the condition of our mind, will, and emotions. Where trails come and the line is drawn in the sand. Where do you stand and how bad do you want to get to The Dung Gate.  

The next gate repaired was The Dung Gate. A gate located a long way away from The Valley Gate. 1,600 feet away. A long track for someone wading through the valley. But, once reached a place to through the trash out. A gate dedicated to removal of the dung. The mess in your life. What you just worked so hard on dealing with in the valley. God opened your eyes to the issue, taught you how to deal with it, and now it is time to shovel it out of your life.

Rubbish. Dung. What is it exactly? 


1 Corinthians 5:8


Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
 
Old bread. Malice and wickedness. Your old self. Sinful natures. Becoming a Christian is a beautiful process. Much like the process of restoring the wall and gates of Jerusalem. He reveals things to us little by little. Things in our old life that we did that were acceptable, or even common, but now He wants to clean us. It's the process we go through in the valley. The realization of the wickedness. The battle to overcome. Then the removal. 

It sounds easy, but it is not. It's a process. A process that you are going to have to really depend on God during. 

Everyone has things in their life they need to work on. God will reveal them to you and take you through this valley / dung gate process. I would love to tell you that this only happens once in your life, and then you are good to go. Not that way at all though. I have been a dedicated Christian for the past 12 years and I go through this process still. The more and more we give ourselves to God the more and more He will expect of us. When He reveals. Throw the trash out!!!
 
In Nehemiah chapter 7 and 8 it talks about when Ezra begins to preach the Law of Moses to the Israelites in Jerusalem. He gathered them all together and taught from a pulpit basically. He preached so that the people could understand what was being read. The people began to weep when Ezra was reading the Law of Moses. They were grieving. They were grieving because through the Law of Moses God was revealing their sins.
 
 
Nehemiah 7:9
 
 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, "this day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn and weep." For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.
 
 
The difference between us and the people of Jerusalem is they were under the Law of Moses and we aren't. We are under Grace. The new covenant established when Jesus was crucified and resurrected. Our "law" is the Holy Spirit. The Word of God says the new law is written on our hearts.
 
Hebrews 10:16
 
"This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds."
 
 
The Holy Spirit is our Ezra. The people were so grieved when their sins were pointed out to them. Same with us today. When the Holy Spirit reveals things to us and takes us through this valley / dung process. It can be heart breaking. It can be hurtful. It can even want to make you give up. But, listen to what the scripture says in Nehemiah. This day is Holy to the Lord your God! Do not mourn and weep. Basically don't waller around in sorrow for your sins that are being pointed out. Shovel them out of the dung gate. Move on. Let it encourage you to rejoice. Let it lead to strength to further honor God's ways.
 
 
Even sorrow for sin must not hinder our joy in God, but rather lead us to it. When they understood, they rejoiced.
 
Matthew Henry
 
 
Nehemiah 7:12
 
Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.
 
 
Thanks so much for reading!
I would love to connect with you on a personal level!


This is a devotion that will be written in several parts as we discover the different gates and parts of the wall and what that means for us in the process of restoration and recovery. When a new devotion is written I will link here:



I have written several other devotions from the book of Nehemiah  that occur before or after chapter 3. They are linked here:

Monday, August 25, 2014

Secret Place of Prayer

In Psalms 46:10 the word of God says Be still, and know that I am God. In the secret place of prayer we become still. We go to a quiet place with no distractions and just pour our heart out to God. Alone finally from all the responsibilities of life we go to a secret place where only you and God meet. It is a very sweet place.

Prayer is a time of relationship with God. It is a time when we get to know him in a personal way. The secret place is not just a list of prayer requests to God. It is a place where we go to relate with Him. He speaks to us and we speak to him. He loves on us and we love on him. Like in any relationship we have to set aside time for that person. Married couples with children soon find out they need time alone away from the kids so they can once again connect to the love they have just for each other. So coming to the secret place of prayer connects us back to our relationship with God. Not that he ever left us, but we possibly have lost track of hm because of all the busyness of life.

When I come to the secret place of prayer I like to start out by singing to him with praise and worship songs. His sweet presence comes in the room and then a wee small voice speaks to my spirit. The precious Holy Spirit of God. He is always there with me, but in the secret place of prayer I hear him clearly. 

Psalms 91:1 says He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 

I want to stay under the protective hand of almighty God. Don't you? In the first part of this verse it states what we have to do.  He that dwelleth in the secret place is my part of the relationship to God. I have to do something and that something is to always have him on my mind and heart. The secret place of prayer places me back under the shadow of his wings. Like a bird flys to his nest for shelter, provision, and protection from the world. Let me encourage you to go to the secret place of prayer today. There is no other sweeter place to be! 

This devotion was written by the heart of Pat James. You may comment at ptrc_maher at yahoo.com.













Sunday, August 24, 2014

God's Love

The Victorious Power of God's Love.
From Over Coming Fear ,Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.  Did you know that the key to truly walking in victory and success in your life is through having a working revelation of God's love for you? What Jesus did put God on your side for ever, and there is nothing that can separate you from His love. Romans 8:31-32
l We know God loves us because He did not withhold His only Son. When you are grounded and rooted in God's. love for you, it will empower you to do all things.This love will expel fear from your life and keep you in perfect peace, just as it did for the Apostle John. Jesus wants to be everything to us, and it's time for us to receive Him as our everything. We must confess everything qe need Him to be.Our Healer, If we need Him to be our financial prosperity, we have to say it out of our mouths. God Loves Us , meditate on how much He Loves You!!! Kathy Bradford

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Restoration and Recovery -7

This is part 7 of a several part devotion dedicated to the book of Nehemiah chapter 3.


Nehemiah 3:13

The Valley Gate was repaired by Hanun and the residents of Zanoah. They rebuilt it and put its doors and bolts and bars in place. They also repaired five hundred yards of the wall as far as the Dung Gate.

Do you ever skip over chapters in the Bible like this? Go read it, Nehemiah 3, it just lists people's names and what they worked on and in what order they did. I almost skipped it, I almost just zipped right through it. I was riding in the car after doing a half good job of reading the chapter when I heard, "the gates, study the gates," in my Spirit. So I went back and I studied the gates. They mean something alright. It's a blue print laid out for us. If you need restoration in your life (who doesn't?!?!?!) or if you are needing to go through recovery (gaining back something that was lost, returning to a normal healthy place!!!!!!), here is your plan.

In part 6 we talked about the restoring of The Broad Wall. The sixth step of restoration / recovery is restoring this massive wall of protection for your spiritual foundation. Preparing for battle.

The next gate repaired was the Valley Gate. The Valley Gate was the gate that lead out to the valley. Spiritual valleys are always linked to trails, sorrows, and humbling places. This is where it gets real in life. We talked about The Broad Wall being restored last session, and how long it was. There is a lot of wall in between the The Old Gate and The Valley Gate. I really feel like it is God strengthening you for The Valley Gate. Almost like a honeymoon period where He is wanting you to build your faith up and make that foundation strong. If you get to The Valley Gate and you didn't spend a lot of time at The Old Gate and The Broad Wall, hang on because it could be a tough ride.

When Nehemiah first was allowed to go to Jerusalem he got his first look at the walls and gates at night. The way he entered Jerusalem was through The Valley Gate. The Valley Gate was in the low point. He would have had a great view of all the walls and gates from there. When you enter through this gate you have a great spiritual view of yourself. The condition of your soul - mind, will, and emotions. The valleys in your life, the trails, the sorrows, the battles, those all let you know where you spiritually. This is a gate for personal growth. This is a gate for personal cleansing. 

In the valleys is where being a Christian gets hard. I'll just be honest and say it can get really really hard. Christians battle. Some might not want to talk to you about it or even admit it out loud, but we do. Everyone struggles. The enemy is always trying to get you to retreat, to get you to stop working on this city of Jerusalem. To just wave the flag of defeat. And then there are the trials. The trails that grow us spiritual. And they are all hard. And it's hard to tell them apart sometimes. And I feel like it is so easy to get stuck in the valley. If I'm honest, I get stuck there sometimes. That is exactly where the enemy wants you also. Stuck in the valley making no ground. You have two options on how to get out of the valley if you get stuck there. The first thing you could do is run back past The Broad Wall to The Old Gate and work on your faith. If you are stuck and you can't push through you need to repair your foundation again. There is no shame in that! The second thing is to march that 1,600 feet to The Dung Gate and shovel out your mess. That is the next gate The Dung Gate. 1,600 long feet from The Valley Gate. 1,600 feet can seem like a long way in the valley. It can seem impossible. You know Nehemiah's job seemed impossible to all the people around him too. But, he accomplished it through God. Any battle, any sorrow, any depression, any addiction, any life circumstance can be overcome. It might be a fight. You might stay in the valley longer than you expected. You might run from The Valley Gate back to The Old Gate more times than you would like to admit. It's ok. You are still in the city. You are still an overcomer! One day you will march on over to The Dung Gate and shovel the trash out. 


John 16:33

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.


Thanks so much for reading!
I would love to connect with you on a personal level!

This is a devotion that will be written in several parts as we discover the different gates and parts of the wall and what that means for us in the process of restoration and recovery. When a new devotion is written I will link here:

I have written several other devotions from the book of Nehemiah  that occur before or after chapter 3. They are linked here:




Friday, August 22, 2014

Restoration and Recovery - 6

This is part 6 of a several part devotion dedicated to the book of Nehemiah chapter 3.

Nehemiah 3:8

They restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall.

Do you ever skip over chapters in the Bible like this? Go read it, Nehemiah 3, it just lists people's names and what they worked on and in what order they did. I almost skipped it, I almost just zipped right through it. I was riding in the car after doing a half good job of reading the chapter when I heard, "the gates, study the gates," in my Spirit. So I went back and I studied the gates. They mean something alright. It's a blue print laid out for us. If you need restoration in your life (who doesn't?!?!?!) or if you are needing to go through recovery (gaining back something that was lost, returning to a normal healthy place!!!!!!), here is your plan.

In part 5 we talked about the repairing of the Old Gate. The fifth step of restoration / recovery is repairing your scriptural foundation. Coming back to those ancient truths of the never changing Word of God. Issuing judgments on disputes in your own life. Building that solid foundation on the truths of The Word.

Then they restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall. The Broad Wall is an interesting wall. It has everything to do with The Old Gate placement wise. It was this huge wall of protection past the Old Gate in the circle of Jerusalem. Protection for our foundation. Once the Old Gate was repaired the Broad Wall was restored.

The Broad Wall was an ancient defense wall. It was almost 23 feet thick. Over 213 feet long. And over 10 feet tall in some areas. This was a massive wall. A wall of protection. As a Christian, especially a Christian fighting a battle (whatever that might be...addiction, depression, fear, or even just fighting life in general, you are going to need a strong foundation and a wall of defense that protects that foundation. The enemy is going to fight you. Trust me. There will be a fight. When I think of the Broad Wall I think of where I am at spiritually in this moment. My wall might be pretty tight right now. I have my faith built up pretty strong right now, been listening and reading lots of Word. But, there are still little cracks in the wall. No one is perfect. We still let flesh take over and a little anger might get it, or we open a little crack by putting something in our spiritual eyes and ears we probably shouldn't have. We are human. Christian humans, but humans. All in all our Broad Wall is functioning pretty well. Guarding and protecting those ancient foundation scriptures our faith is based off of in our hearts. If that wall was to ever break completely down our foundation would be wide open for attack. Wide open for false doctrine. Wide open for disbelief. Wide open for failure. That's why it is so important to keep that Broad Wall restored daily! We have to keep our scriptural foundation in order.
Psalms 11:3

If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

Thanks so much for reading!


I would love to connect with you on a personal level!

This is a devotion that will be written in several parts as we discover the different gates and parts of the wall and what that means for us in the process of restoration and recovery. When a new devotion is written I will link here:

I have written several other devotions from the book of Nehemiah  that occur before or after chapter 3. They are linked here:




Thursday, August 21, 2014

Just Obey!

When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” (Luke 5:4-5 NKJV)


 Notice Simon Peter's response to the words of Jesus: We have toiled all night and caught nothing. But because You say so I will let down the nets. Basically what he is saying is Lord I'm tired but I will do as you say! 


Have you ever found yourself in Simon Peter's shoes?? Have you been tired but knew The Lord was giving you instruction? How did you responded? I'm sad to say I've not always responded as I should. I wonder just how many blessings I have missed out on due to my lack of obedience? When we continue reading we learn that he caught so many fish that his net began to break and they had to call for help! Isn't it amazing what a simple act of obedience can do?? 


Many times our obedience is not about our blessing but about being a blessing to someone else! 

So today let me encourage us all to "just obey"! God may be using us to bless someone's life which in turn will bless ours!! 


This devotion was written from the heart of Beth Reed!! I would love to hear from you!!
Email - beffie221@gmail.com
Instagram & Twitter - beffie221 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Restoration and Recovery - 5

This is part 5 of a several part devotion dedicated to the book of Nehemiah chapter 3.

Nehemiah 3:6

The Jeshanah Gate was repaired by Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah. They laid its beams and put its doors with their bolts and bars in place.

Do you ever skip over chapters in the Bible like this? Go read it, Nehemiah 3, it just lists people's names and what they worked on and in what order they did. I almost skipped it, I almost just zipped right through it. I was riding in the car after doing a half good job of reading the chapter when I heard, "the gates, study the gates," in my Spirit. So I went back and I studied the gates. They mean something alright. It's a blue print laid out for us. If you need restoration in your life (who doesn't?!?!?!) or if you are needing to go through recovery (gaining back something that was lost, returning to a normal healthy place!!!!!!), here is your plan.
In part 4 we talked about the restoring of the wall. The fourth step of restoration / recovery is actually working and committing to the work. It mentions in Nehemiah that the nobles didn't  put their shoulders under the work of the supervisors. Be content with who God has placed  you under. Work with them, let them bless you, and work for them also.

The Jeshanah Gate is what we see being repaired next. Jeshanah means old. The Old Gate. This is the gate where it is said that the elders once meet there. Discussing matters of community importance and issuing  judgment on disputes. Hang on this could be a tough gate. This gate represents your spiritual guidance of the ancient paths of God. Age old, the Word of God says it in black and white, biblical truths. I think it's so important to look at the wording used here. This gate wasn't rebuilt like most of the other gates. It was repaired. You see the scripture is always there but sometimes we justify things. Sometimes we hear things but aren't doers. Sometimes we hear things and it never plants in our hearts. How are we going to be fully restored to what God has envisioned for us if we don't have basic Biblical truths stored away in our heart. We have to have a foundation. We have received salvation, we understand the protection of the wall, we know we have to believe in this life saving message enough to share the gospel and literally go out of the Fish Gate to retrieve more people, but what are our truths. What do we stand on? What do we believe? What is our foundation. What judgments are we making in our own souls (mind, will, emotions?) What disputes are we settling with scriptures.

Jeremiah 6:16
Thus says the Lord "Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.


We have to repair this gate often. Always making sure it is functioning in our lives. It's called renewing of the mind. We do this by reading the Bible. Renewing that faithful, victorious mindset.
Romans 12:12

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
 

Thanks so much for reading!
 
I would love to connect with you on a personal level!
 
 
This is a devotion that will be written in several parts as we discover the different gates and parts of the wall and what that means for us in the process of restoration and recovery. When a new devotion is written I will link here:

 
 
I have written several other devotions from the book of Nehemiah  that occur before or after chapter 3. They are linked here:


 



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Restoration and Recvery - 4

This is part 4 of a several part devotion dedicated to the book of Nehemiah chapter 3.

Nehemiah 3:4-5

Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired the next section. Next to him Meshullam son of Berekiah, the son of Meshezabel, made reapirs, and next to him Zadok son of Baana also made repairs. The next section was repaired by the men of Teko, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors.

Do you ever skip over chapters in the Bible like this? Go read it, Nehemiah 3, it just lists people's names and what they worked on and in what order they did. I almost skipped it, I almost just zipped right through it. I was riding in the car after doing a half good job of reading the chapter when I heard, "the gates, study the gates," in my Spirit. So I went back and I studied the gates. They mean something alright. It's a blue print laid out for us. If you need restoration in your life (who doesn't?!?!?!) or if you are needing to go through recovery (gaining back something that was lost, returning to a normal healthy place!!!!!!), here is your plan.
 
In part 3 we talked about the building of the Fish Gate. The third step of this restoration / recovery process (witnessing). Some people might not enter through the Sheep Gate on their own, eventually they will, but we might have to open that Fish Gate and go do some work on the outside. Do you believe in what you are learning enough to tell someone else.
 
Next Nehemiah talks about doing some repairing. Repairing to the wall that is. The gates and been burned down but the wall had been just broken down. Remember in part one where I talked about what I saw in the spiritual about the broken down walls? Cracks, chunks missing, the enemy could easily spy and see what was going on in the city, and a sneaky enemy could easily slip right in in one of those broken down places.
 
In this part of Nehemiah chapter 3 it just talks about working on sections of the wall. Seems kind of trivial, but that is how we are going to approach this restoration recovery process in sections. Clean something up, rebuild a little, gain strength in one are, gain knowledge, then move to the next. It's a spiritual process and believe it or not every section doesn't have to perfect before we move on the next. Just repaired enough to work. We can go around the circle of the wall and gates of Jerusalem as many times as we need.
 
I thought it was interesting the Nehemiah mentions the statement about the nobles at the end. 
 
 
Nehemiah 3:5
 
But their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors.
 
 
As we move on in this process the gates are going to get deeper and deeper spiritually. When you are rebuilding and fixing, the enemy is never going to love the process. Don't be like these nobles. Put your shoulders to the work under the teachers/ mentors you have in your life. God has placed you where you are for a reason. Whether you have found this curriculum online or are sitting in a small group with someone teaching you this. God has let you stumble on this for a reason. Be serious about. Put the work in. Through God let's use the plan Nehemiah used  to accomplish the impossible. Let's restore! Let's recover! 
 
Thanks so much for reading!
 
I would love to connect with you on a personal level!
 
 
This is a devotion that will be written in several parts as we discover the different gates and parts of the wall and what that means for us in the process of restoration and recovery. When a new devotion is written I will link here:

 
 
I have written several other devotions from the book of Nehemiah  that occur before or after chapter 3. They are linked here:

Sit Down. Weep. Mourn, Pray, and Fast - How to Handle Horrible News
Interceding Prayer
I Was Cupbearer to the King



Monday, August 18, 2014

Abundance of the Heart

What is in your heart today? Is joy peace and the love of God or is bitterness, unforgiveness, and anger in control? The hardest thing for me to do sometimes is to examine my own heart to see where I am spiritually. A good indication of our spiritual condition can be metered by what we say and what kind of fruit we are bearing. In Luke 6:43 Jesus says "For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither does a corrupt tree bringeth for good fruit. Jesus is saying you get what you plant. How do we plant negative or positive things into our heart? We do it by what we say and we say what we think! Isn't that the way people are today? Someone may say "Well I think that is wrong or my thought is blah blah blah.

Jesus states in Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the ABUNDANCE of the heart his mouth speaketh. When we have abundance we have a large quantity of something or it is overflowing. So when we have joy in our heart it shows abundantly by what we speak. Our tree is bearing good fruit. On the other hand when we have bitterness in our heart it shows by what we say and our tree will bear corrupt fruit. I believe the tree Jesus is talking about is representative of our life. Have you ever met a person who was so bitter that every conversation they had with you was negative and eventually turned toward the hurt in their life caused by the bitterness? Very sad to see isn't it? There life is stunted by an event that hurt them.  As they continually SAY what happened it stays alive in their heart and grows stronger. I have also had the joy to be around a person who is always positive and smiling. They speak words of faith and hope. They continually praise God in every circumstance in life. There life is bearing good fruit. I love to be around those type of people. By Gods mercy and grace I am becoming a positive person. He has delivered me from so much. My heart desire is to bear good fruit in abundance for the kingdom of God. So what is in your heart today? 

This devotion was written by the heart of Pat James. You may comment at ptrc_maher@yahoo.com.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fear of The Lora

The Truth about the Fear of the Lord. Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.To fear God is Honor and respect Him in every decision we make. When we fear the Lord we have a reverence for Him that moves us to obey His Word.The Fear of the Lord in our relationships ,God is all about relationships, and how we interact with  and treat others is equally important to Him.Ephesians 5 connection between family and the church and instructs us  to submit to one another in the fear of the Lord.The Bible says the person who will live in the fear of the Lord will have great peace.PS.128:1-6 the satisfaction many of us are looking for is only found by submitting to and honoring God.Reverence For God Empowers Us To Prosper.  PS.128:1 says , Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; and walketh in his ways.This is the keys to our victory.The more we read and meditate on His Word , the more knowledgeable we will become about what it means  to walk in Gods way.As a personal level I will stand in the mist of the storm and Trust God with a Fear and Reverence for God in All areas of Life He is more than enough in such a time as this.Thanks  Kathy Bradford

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Restoration and Recovery - 3

This is part 3 of a several part devotion dedicated to the book of Nehemiah chapter 3.

Part 1
Part 2


Nehemiah 3:3
The Fish Gate was rebuilt by the sons of Hassenaah. They laid its beams and put its doors and bolts and bars in place.

Do you ever skip over chapters in the Bible like this? Go read it, Nehemiah 3, it just lists people's names and what they worked on and in what order they did. I almost skipped it, I almost just zipped right through it. I was riding in the car after doing a half good job of reading the chapter when I heard, "the gates, study the gates," in my Spirit. So I went back and I studied the gates. They mean something alright. It's a blue print laid out for us. If you need restoration in your life (who doesn't?!?!?!) or if you are needing to go through recovery (gaining back something that was lost, returning to a normal healthy place!!!!!!), here is your plan.

Just a little pre-blurb about Nehemiah. He was cupbearer to a King in a place far away from Jerusalem. His brother came to visit. Nehemiah asked about Jerusalem. His brother gave him the horrible news that the walls were broken down and the gates had been burned. Nehemiah sat down, wept, mourned, fasted, prayed, and then spoke to God. He waited some more. Nehemiah looked sad in front of the king. The king asked him what was wrong. Nehemiah stopped and prayed. Nehemiah told the king what was wrong. The king asked him what he wanted. Nehemiah laid out his vision. Nehemiah went to Jerusalem. They start rebuilding the walls and repairing the gates.

In part 2 we talked about the rebuilding of the wall as far as the Tower of the Hundred and the Tower of Hananel. The second step in this circle process of restoration and recovery (security / promise / knowledge). God wants us to know that He is going to show us His mercy. He also wants us to be secure in the fact that if we exit the Sheep Gate He is going to go after us. The security of our salvation rest in that knowledge. That knowledge alone should help motivate us to stay in the gate.

 The next step in the circle was the Fish Gate. They rebuilt it. Laid its beams and put its doors and bolt and bars in place. Spiritually the Fish Gate represents witnessing, sharing the Gospel. The Fish Gate was like the fisherman's wharf. It was one of the main gates into Jerusalem and was heavily traveled. The gate saw lots of visitors from foreign countries and outsiders. It is where they brought their fish in to sell.
Matthew 4:19
Then He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."

I think it's interesting that this door isn't always "open" like the Sheep Gate. When the scriptures talk about rebuilding this gate it says they put it's bolts and bars on. Not everyone is going to freely walk through the Sheep Gate of salvation to start off with. Eventually everyone has to go through that gate, but sometimes we have to open that Fish Gate and go do some work on the outside. It is a huge part of this whole restoration and recovery process. Do you believe in God enough, do you have enough faith in what you are learning, to witness to someone else? Is this gate functioning in your life. That's the whole purpose of this step by step process. We are rebuilding the gates, we are repairing the walls. We are restoring. Is this gate functioning in your life. It's not our job to clean the fish (that is what the rest of the gates are for), but it is our job to open up that Fish Gate and go get the ones who won't walk through the Sheep Gate alone.


Thanks so much for reading!
I would love to connect with you on a personal level!
This is a devotion that will be written in several parts as we discover the different gates and parts of the wall and what that means for us in the process of restoration and recovery. 

When a new devotion is written I will link here:


I have written several other devotions from the book of Nehemiah  that occur before or after chapter 3. They are linked here:

Sit Down. Weep. Mourn, Pray, and Fast - How to Handle Horrible News
Interceding Prayer
I Was Cupbearer to the King









Friday, August 15, 2014

Restoration and Recovery - 2

This is part 2 of a several part devotion dedicated to the book of Nehemiah chapter 3.

Part 1

Nehemiah 3:1
Elishib the high priest and his fellow priest and his fellow priest went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and set its doors in place, building as far as the Tower of The Hundred, which they dedicated, and as far as the Tower of Hananel.

Do you ever skip over chapters in the Bible like this? Go read it, Nehemiah 3, it just lists people's names and what they worked on and in what order they did. I almost skipped it, I almost just zipped right through it. I was riding in the car after doing a half good job of reading the chapter when I heard, "the gates, study the gates," in my Spirit. So I went back and I studied the gates. They mean something alright. It's a blue print laid out for us. If you need restoration in your life (who doesn't?!?!?!) or if you are needing to go through recovery (gaining back something that was lost, returning to a normal healthy place!!!!!!), here is your plan.
Just a little pre-blurb about Nehemiah. He was cupbearer to a King in a place far away from Jerusalem. His brother came to visit. Nehemiah asked about Jerusalem. His brother gave him the horrible news that the walls were broken down and the gates had been burned. Nehemiah sat down, wept, mourned, fasted, prayed, and then spoke to God. He waited some more. Nehemiah looked sad in front of the king. The king asked him what was wrong. Nehemiah stopped and prayed. Nehemiah told the king what was wrong. The king asked him what he wanted. Nehemiah laid out his vision. Nehemiah went to Jerusalem. They start rebuilding the walls and repairing the gates.
In part 1 we talked about the rebuilding of the Sheep Gate. It is the gate of salvation. The first step of the restoration / recovery process (salvation). The last step in the process (Jesus was the final sacrifice). And the continual open step (sheep loose their way easily.)
The next thing that they worked on after the Sheep Gate was part of the wall. They kept rebuilding the wall as far as the Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and as far as the Tower of Hannel. Remember in part one I did a brief description of what walls were in the spiritual realm? Protection. This is what they are working on now. Protection for the Sheep Gate. And the Sheep Gate represents our continuous salvation.
The Tower of the Hundred is said to be linked to the scripture Luke 15.
Luke 15: 3-7
So He told them this parable, saying, What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? “When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. “And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
The Tower of Hannel is said to be linked to the mercy of God.

Hebrews 4:16

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

See this represents our protection for salvation. Jesus is concerned about that one lost sheep and will go after him to bring him back home. Back through the Sheep Gate. Also our protection is God's mercy. Mercy is different from Grace. Grace is receiving something non deserving. Unmerited favor. Mercy is being given a sentence, judgment, and not having to pay the consequence. Mercy.

Think of the city of Jerusalem as a big circle with the Sheep Gate being at the top and then to the left on the wall the Tower of the Hundred and then the Tower of Hannel. Once you enter through the Sheep Gate God wants to remind you of His mercy. He wants to remind you that He knows that the Sheep Gate is an open gate. It has no bolts or bars on it. He knows that you can come in and go out as you please. But He also wants to get the message to you loud and clear that He will go after you. Even if it is just you that stepped out of the gate, He will go after you.

Sometimes the security and knowledge of this statement alone: God wants you, He wants to show you His mercy, and He will even go after you if you stray back out of the Sheep Gate, is enough motivation to stay in the gate. That is what He wants from you. Stay in the gate.

Thanks so much for reading!
I would love to connect with you on a personal level!
This is a devotion that will be written in several parts as we discover the different gates and parts of the wall and what that means for us in the process of restoration and recovery. When a new devotion is written I will link here:

I have written several other devotions from the book of Nehemiah  that occur before or after chapter 3. They are linked here:

Sit Down. Weep. Mourn, Pray, and Fast - How to Handle Horrible News
Interceding Prayer
I Was Cupbearer to the King