Pastor Joynt's Devotionals

Under Construction, Week 6, Day 40

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NEHEMIAH 4:1-3 | Now when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry and greatly enraged, and he mocked the Jews.  He said in the presence of his associates and of the army of Samaria, “What are these feeble Jews doing?  Will they restore things?  Will they sacrifice?  Will they finish it in a day?  Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish—and burned ones at that?”  Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “That stone wall they are building—any fox going up on it would break it down!”

No great project of renewal and restoration will go unopposed.  In today’s passage we hear the discouraging words of Sanballat and Tobiah.  They pour scorn on the rebuilding efforts and mock the intention of the Jewish inhabitants.

How quickly skepticism can derail things.  Israel hesitated on the brink of the promised land because of discouraging voices.  Here it took determination to keep building, doggedly, despite critics.

Our reformed heritage is under siege.  But it is valuable to God and to the Kingdom.  We must not allow skepticism to stop our efforts of renewal.

When has skepticism or scorn impacted your life?

How did you overcome it?


Under Construction, Week 6, Day 39

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NEHEMIAH 2:1-5 | In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was served him, I carried the wine and gave it to the king. Now, I had never been sad in his presence before.  So the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This can only be sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid.  I said to the king, “May the king live forever!  Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my ancestors’ graves, lies waste, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”  Then the king said to me, “What do you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven.  Then I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor with you, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my ancestors’ graves, so that I may rebuild it.”

After praying Nehemiah got practical.  He appeals to the king for permission to go and inspect the damage.  He surveys the city.  He seeks resources and support for the coming restoration— permission, plans, and resources.

In the same way, we have assessed our campus and ministries, planned, and sought permission to rebuild here at VPC.  The spiritual and the practical have to unite to build God’s kingdom.

Pray for our Building Committee, Architect, and our builder.

Why not continue this prayer until we are done with construction?


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