As I thought about this conversation after she left I suddenly realised what she had been really saying.
Reference: v.4 "Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it." (NIV Bible)
Explore: One of the newest members of our congregation came to visit me the other day. During our conversation she asked me a very pointed question, "So, what's next on the agenda for Linda Bailey?" I was so surprised by this question that it took me a couple of moments to respond. I wasn't 100% sure what agenda my new friend was asking about so I mentioned a few personal things I'd like to do around our new house and then told her that my next ministry task was starting up a mum's walking group. I had spoken to her before about this and she seemed genuinely keen to help out. "Well," she said. "Whatever it is you are planning to do next, whether it's around the house or in the church, count me in. I'm happy to help anyway I can." As I thought about this conversation after she left I suddenly realised what she had been really saying. In these short statements she had acknowledged that I had certain responsibilities but that she was happy to support me in any way possible. Now, where can I get me ten more of them?!!
Application: When Ezra acknowledged the sin in the Israelites he took on the responsibility of making things right… but he wasn't alone. There were a whole group of people who mourned with him and the Shecaniah said something very similar to what my friend said to me, "We will support you, so take courage and do it." Following Jesus is not always the easy path. It is so important for us to have support and encouragement from people around us. Ultimately we have to take responsibility for the task that God has put on our hearts but the journey is made a great deal easier when we have people supporting us along the way.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the people you bring in to our lives that build us up and support us. Help us to be that support for someone else. Amen.
Who is someone who supports you in your life? Who is someone that you could support and encourage?
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.