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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Building with the Heart"

November 2, 2004

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So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half of its height, for the people worked with all their heart. Nehemiah 4:6

What a task! Rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. The city lies in shambles. After years of captivity in Babylon, a small group returns to the scene of former glory. Where to begin? Led by Nehemiah, the people begin to rebuild the city walls. Opposition mounts. Nearby peoples threaten to attack every day. The Jews have to build with a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other. What obstacles!

But the walls are getting built because the people work with all their heart. Previously Judah’s heart strayed from God to idolatry and personal gain. But now, chastened by captivity and repentant, the returning exiles desire with all their heart to restore the sacred city as a monument of praise to God. They are willing to struggle and sacrifice to accomplish the task.

What building does God have in mind for you? A church? A Christian school? Your own Christian family? Whether or not brick and mortar are involved, God calls us to build. What a task! Money seems lacking and relationships often lie in shambles, with much brokenness, misunderstanding, hurt, and jealously. Opposition mounts as other people say it can’t be done. What obstacles!

But we can build when we work together with all our heart. When our hearts stray from God, we get wrapped up in selfish desires and seek material gain. But God shatters our self-serving dreams and points us to His heart, a heart willingly broken on the cross in payment for our sins. Chastened, repentant, restored, forgiven, we begin to build. God gives us a heart for the work. The building proceeds to the glory of God. God’s kingdom comes. His church is built into a temple of living stones. What joy to participate with all our heart!

PRAYER: Dear Father, fill our hearts with courage for the task of building Your kingdom. Amen.

(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit

Today's Bible Readings: Jeremiah 31-32    Hebrews 8

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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