The summer sermon series on Nehemiah was perfectly timed for me. My husband and I spent the summer getting our house in Norman ready to put on the market. He started working a new job in Oklahoma City and we both feel the call and desire to move to the city. His commute will be shorter, but more than anything, we both feel a desire to Love the City in a more hands-on way than our current living situation allows us. I feel a call to put hands and feet to my faith.
Each week, as Doug and Bobby preached through a book that I was only slightly familiar with, I heard the gospel, I felt convicted, and my excitement for our move grew.
In the first few chapters, Doug and Bobby asked some questions to get me thinking. I was asked to think about where our city is vulnerable and where my heart breaks for it. City Pres affords its members and visitors plenty of opportunities to learn about organizations in OKC doing some amazing work in some very broken and vulnerable places.
I was asked to take risks and be vulnerable. Nehemiah took time to familiarize himself with the city and to name specific broken places. There are plenty of places to volunteer my time, money, and talents that will require risk, inconvenience, and vulnerability.
I was asked to pitch in to the work that needs to be done. Everyone helped rebuild the wall; not just those with special wall-building skills. The priests got their hands dirty, and even outsiders from Jericho pitched in. Every member has a ministry.
The gospel is all throughout Nehemiah. Nehemiah used his position and his personal wealth to help the people of Jerusalem. Jesus gave up his privilege and position to seek, serve, and save. We are all called to serve those around us wherever God has placed us.
We aren’t to find our rest and security in the walls of the city, but in God himself, who is faithful. His faithfulness to us, and his commitment to us, propels us to worship him.
For our family, that looks like listening to the Holy Spirit, taking the new job, putting the house on the market, and moving.
It looks like repenting and committing ourselves once again to tithing.
It looks like showing up for Financial Peace and learning to steward well God’s gifts to us.
It looks like seeking out opportunities to get involved in broken areas when and how we can.
I don’t know what else it will look like but I pray that I’m paying attention and that God will give me the grace to respond.
For far too long, my theology has lived in my head while my hands have remained idle. I’ve been quite content and quite comfortable reading books, listening to stories of rescue, crying during City Vision times, but never acting. I’m thankful for a church that preaches the gospel as it is found throughout the bible, and pushes me to follow the example of Jesus. He didn’t just speak words, he lived them. He didn’t call his believers to give up everything and then stand back and watch. He gave up his very life and calls us to follow his example.
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18