Letters to the Family of God

by Joe Franzone | January 19, 2023 | Pastor's Blog

Family of God - Website (600 × 282 px)

January 19, 2023


If there’s a rebuild going on, I won’t be a part of that…


Aaron Rodgers, speaking on his future with the Green Bay

Packers football team.


They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So, they began this good work.


The reply to Nehemiah’s request to rebuild the wall

around the city of Jerusalem. Nehemiah 2:18

Dear Friends.


Rebuild is a word used frequently in the world of sports. Often it means to build to the position of being able to win a or many championships.


Rebuild in the Book of Nehemiah is the true story of God’s people returning from exile and rebuilding the broken-down city of Jerusalem. It is also the true story of God’s people rebuilt according to His Word.


Pray, Pray, Pray


When a rebuild begins, it is not uncommon to first think, “let's go, go, go.” That is, let’s turn to each other and do something physical and external. However, the first thing Nehemiah does after hearing about the wall (vs.4) is spiritual and internal—He turns to God in prayer, and He does a lot. The opening chapter is foundationally a prayer. The second chapter is about God's answers.


In praying, he turns to the one person who loves his people more than Nehemiah does. The one person who is more committed to the future of Jerusalem; and has the power to deal with all the trouble, all the shame, all the needs, the direction, protection, provision, etc. needed.


And he was not just praying to any God. He was praying to the one God with a long history of protecting, providing, strengthening, and forgiving His people.


Therefore Nehemiah, in his prayers, as we ought, is not asking because they or he deserved anything from God; he's asking for God to give them what they do not deserve but greatly need. In essence, he is asking for grace.


We should follow this same pattern, for that is grace. Grace is getting what we do not deserve.


Nehemiah also prays to ask God to do what He has promised (vs.9). The same for us. God, you said...is a pleasing to God line in our prayers. Much of prayer is asking God to do what He has promised from His word, asking God to accomplish what He has promised from His word.


Therefore, for all the many things Nehemiah asked for, God gave. And wonders upon wonder God gave it through a pagan King. God gave what He promised, not what they deserved.


Grace, Grace, Grace


As we read of the leader Nehemiah giving directions in the rebuilding, we are watching the Lord God directing history according to His promises—all of which were fulfilled in the promised Christ who came from this people's line.


The study of Nehemiah helps us understand our history as believers in Jesus Christ. It helps us understand how necessary confessional repentance is, to learn to walk in faith according to God’s Word, even in times of weakness and rebuilding.


We are praying to the God who, in the New Covenant, even though we have sinned against Him far too often, has made promises far beyond and is not dependent on our capacity to perfectly obey.


As this church, Christ's church, begins a new year continuing to have rebuilding on our minds. We should take heart and take note of the pattern Nehemiah has given and take great joy in the fact that the one person Jesus Christ, who cares more about the future of the church than we do, is the one who intercedes for us and has a long history of building His Church. Therefore, we pray.

Thou art coming to a King,

Large petitions with thee bring;

For His grace and power are such,

None can ever ask too much;

None can ever ask too much.


With my burden I begin:

Lord, remove this load of sin;

Let Thy blood, for sinners spilt,

Set my conscience free from guilt.


                                    John Newton


God bless you and remind yourself how safe you are in Him.


Pastor Joe