Focus Verse: Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king. (11)
God hears all prayer, but He is especially attentive to the prayers of those who are obedient to Him. James 5:16 says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
Focus Verse: And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?” And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests. (8)
Nehemiah was only the king’s cupbearer. This was an important position, but it wasn’t a very influential one. Nehemiah didn’t take credit for his success. He recognized that it was only God’s gracious hand upon him that allowed King Artaxerxes to grant his requests.
Focus Verse: Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section with the help of his daughters. (12)
These people were serious about rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls. Everyone worked side by side regardless of age, gender or tribe. The high priest, regular priests, goldsmiths, perfume-makers, merchants, sons, fathers and daughters, and district rulers all helped one another in rebuilding the wall. Teamwork truly made Nehemiah’s dream work.
Focus Verse: And Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah. (16)
Christ came through those He created. God could have sent His Son any other way, but He chose to send Him through imperfect human beings. Rahab was a prostitute who wasn’t even Jewish. David was an adulterer and a murderer. And all of the other guys or girls mentioned in Jesus’ genealogy had their personal vices as well. But God used them. And God is still in the business of using imperfect human beings like me and you to bring about the impossible in our world.
Focus Verse: When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child. (17)
The shepherds were the first to hear the good news that Jesus the Christ was born. The beginning of the Gospel had arrived, and the shepherds did not keep it to themselves. They became the first missionaries when they spread the word about the birth of Christ.