A Well Said Point
Is Worth A Thousand Words
Pure prose, even when well written, can easily become long winded which in turn stifles rather than stimulates the thought processes. We’ve all been there.
That may be the reason poetry became so popular. It says a lot in very few words and very graphically. It’s hard not to like. But, theology doesn’t fit too well in poetic rhyme. It needs definition and explanation.
In recent times, however, the art of taking long drawn out, slow building concepts and encapsulating them in a few carefully chosen words has become popular. It is one way to reduce a big idea to one easy to remember sentence or phrase. That’s the idea behind headings also.
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Mark does this often in “To The Wall” and I thought I would mention a few to give you a glimpse of what you can expect.
One of the discoveries in the story of Nehemiah has been around how prayer directs action. Prayer can be easily reduced to a religious duty. Along with the religious duty we sometimes seek to formularize prayer. We use acronyms to provide models on how we should pray. These acronyms and formulas are not wrong in themselves. But they become religious when we reduce them to mere duty or obligation and they become devoid of passion or intensity. Surely speaking to God should extend beyond a ritual!
What Motivated Nehemiah’s Active Prayer
When your troubles are psychological and spiritual, then not only are you trapped by your circumstances, but you become trapped by your view of your circumstances.
Brilliant! And relative to time’s natural tendency to dampen motivation:
Missional living and Missional prayer have to stand the test of time. We have to push through what I would call the emotion of the moment and gain a sober, honest conviction about things.
Regarding Things That Limit Action
Often we make the starting point what we don’t have as opposed to what we do have.
Pushback from people:
. . . Pushback is aimed at two main things: Firstly personal worth or identity and secondly, personal ability.
Regarding Resistance To Action
To think we can make a big Ask, have this Ask become an all-out Mission and that there won’t be any pushback, is nothing less than naive and dare I say it, downright misguided.
Adversity is not only the initial reason that gets us embarking on a journey of Missional prayer, but adversity is also a part of the journey.
The work has nothing to do with proving yourself to God or earning God’s favor because you have done everything right. The work is and expression of faith.
Concerning The Nature Of Religion
One of the hallmarks of religion and Pharisaism is the perpetual need to over-define every issue of life into an either/or understanding, a right/wrong category.
Concerning Nehemiah’s Sense Of Sacred
It was easy for me to see that the reading and explanation of God’s Word would be called sacred. But having a celebration feast of good food and drink and sharing with others, which would be called sacred, is sometimes too much for my reformed roots. Remember, I grew up in Christian culture that had an unspoken message that too much joy is worldly.
Concerning The Ultimate Goal
Spiritual complacency and entropy will undoubtedly set in when groups of Christian communities no longer experience new lives coming to Christ.
The Definition Of Biblical Jusitice
Biblical justice could be defined as being an advocate for the disenfranchised or in simple English, to be someone who gets involved with those who have no voice, and the Bible (Zech. 7:10) describes them as follows, “the widow, the orphan, the poor and the stranger or foreigner.”
And many more.
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