January 31, 2014


Nehemiah 13:10-22

Remember me … my God, and show mercy to me according to your great love.
—Nehemiah 13:22


There’s an old nursery rhyme about “an old woman who lived in a shoe” and who “had so many children, she didn’t know what to do.” I think Nehemiah might have felt like her. He had so many people to watch. When one group was doing well, another was behaving badly. He kept going to his knees and asking God to remember him.

Nehemiah was putting out fires all over Jerusalem. Each time he dealt with a new situation, he worked to make it better, and he prayed something like “Remember me for this, my God.” He could not stop people from sinning, but he could bring them before the Lord in prayer. Prayer is the only solution for many of the world’s problems.

By sending Jesus, who fulfilled the Old Testament law perfectly for all who believe in him, God showed that he kept his promise to make Israel a blessing to all other nations. Believing in Jesus, we can be assured that God forgives us for Jesus’ sake, crediting us with his righteousness (Romans 3). That’s all we have, when we think about it. So we pray continually for his help, that in his strength we may honor God in all we do.

When we pray, we know that God controls the world, loves us, and promises to work in and through us. We trust that God will bring glory out of terrible situations, because he alone can do it. Daily, then, let’s remember the one true God, who holds the whole world in his hands and saves us!

Dear Lord, we trust in you. Have your way in us, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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