The congregation were friendly and welcoming to this new family but there was one mother who would constantly go out of her way to connect with them.
Reference: v.5 Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites – everyone whose heart God has moved – prepared to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. (NIV Bible)
Explore: When I was a chaplain at a public primary school I had the opportunity to bring one of the families in to our church. While I was their first contact in to our church, when they started attended our services I was able to introduce them to other great people. The congregation were friendly and welcoming to this new family but there was one mother who would constantly go out of her way to connect with them. Karen was an incredibly friendly person as well as being very creative and a brilliant mother. One day when the new family had not come to church, Karen came up to me to ask after them. After having a brief conversation I thanked Karen for being so caring and concerned for this new family. "That's okay," said Karen. "There are some people that you meet that you have a different feeling about, like there is a real importance that you connect with them, and I have that feeling about this family." While I had never put it in to words, I definitely understood what Karen was talking about. I meet many people throughout the week and I think we should be kind and considerate to all our neighbours, however there are some people that you get a deeper feeling about. It's at these times that we need to stand up and go the extra mile.
Application: God is able to put things on our hearts that are important to Him. The decision is still up to us as to whether we put these feelings in to action. While Karen knew that this family should be important to her, it would still have been easier for her to just catch up with her friends after church. But she decided to put that feeling in to action.
In the book of Ezra we hear that, even though God's people had been exiled to Babylon, there was opportunity for them to return to Jerusalem to rebuild God's city. God put the idea on people's hearts but it would have been easier, in some ways, to just stay in Babylon. We don't know how many 'hearts God had moved' but we can guess that some people would have stayed behind regardless. When God puts something on our hearts it is still our decision as to whether we act or not. We might feel prompted to act but we can always come up with excuses or justifications to not do anything. While God knows what is best, it is still our choice as to whether we act.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for choosing us to be Your hands and feet. May we put all our excuses behind us and be willing to act for You. Amen.
Has God placed something on your heart lately?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.