For days he grieved the news, weeping over their brokenness and mourning in light of their current living condition. Though he never lived there, his heart yearned to help the people of his father’s land. Their trouble and disgrace became his burden to bear.
God gave Nehemiah a vision, filled his eyes with mercy to see the hurting and sealed his tender heart with compassion that broke for their brokenness. (Nehemiah 1:2-4)
With a bodacious faith, access to the king, and the king’s favor, Nehemiah set out to change the face of a community. He became the face of grace.
While we may never stand before an earthly king or rebuild a significant city wall in record time, we have been called to represent Him to a lost and broken world. A world in grave need of a Savior, desperately seeking to know they matter. We have all been called to open eyes of the blind, to free captives from prison and to release from dungeons those who sit in darkness (Isaiah 42:5-7).
We have been called to be the face of grace because …
You Have Purpose Wherever You Are
Like Nehemiah, you have a great purpose in your strategic position (Nehemiah 1:11). Nehemiah was the king’s cupbearer, but you are the One True King’s image bearer. He has assigned you specific tasks for whatever role you play. He did not haphazardly place you in that position with those people at this time in your life. You are His image bearer, which means …
You Have Access To The King
Armed with letters of approval, the king’s resources, and an army of officers and cavalry (Nehemiah 2:8), Nehemiah set out with God’s hand of approval upon him. As children of God, we have direct access to our King and God’s stamp of approval on His work. The earth and all within it belongs to the Lord (Psalm 24:7), but we have to ask. Nehemiah asked for God’s success and the king’s resources, but it started with asking where the needs were because …
Their Burden Must Become Ours
Nehemiah wasn’t afraid to ask about those living in his father’s land, and when he heard the need, it became his deep burden to do something about it. But, like Nehemiah, we have to become burdened by our Father’s land and His people in great despair. Those whose walls of protection are broken down and whose hope is burned by the fire of pain and suffering. But, sometimes when we see these mountains of needs we become overwhelmed while …
Fear And Opposition Try To Take Center Stage
With each step of faithful obedience, comes some level of risk we must sacrifice. In walks fear! Having faith and doing God’s work doesn’t mean you won’t experience some degree of fear, but faith does determine what you do with that fear. Nehemiah “was very much afraid” (Nehemiah 2:2) but he didn’t allow that fear to stop what God was doing through his life. His fear and the opposition he faced from others (Nehemiah 2:19) catapulted him into prayer.
Everything God has in store for you and others is on the other side of fear, wrapped in courage, and drenched in love.
A few years ago, Pandora created a touching video of blindfolded children moving through a line of moms. One by one, without saying a word, the children recognized their mom. They recognized the gentle hands that fed them and cleaned their wounds when they fell. They knew the arms that wrapped around them guiding the color in their hands as the same arms that openly accepted them back after a mistake. They were familiar with the loving gestures on the face of the one that tucked them in at night as the same gestures that looked lovingly in their eyes after a tantrum.
And I can’t help but wonder, would the world recognize us? Blindfolded by life’s circumstances, would they know we are Christians by our gentle hands lifting them up and dusting them off or would they need to see the pointing finger of rebuke. Would they be familiar with our loving ways or would they have to remove the blindfold to see our car emblems and disapproving glances? Without saying a word, would the world recognize us as His hands and feet?
I pray you watch this video (even if you’ve seen it before) and, as you do, picture the heart of the Father for His children. Then, grab your workbook and join me for “At The Crossroads: Face Of Grace,” letting our lives be the proof of a Good Father!