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Tuesday Devotions: A Study in Nehemiah

 

God’s Promises Fulfilled

By: Patty Nicholas-Boyte

 Nehemiah 9:22-25 (NASB)

 “You also gave them kingdoms and peoples and allotted them to them as a boundary.
They took possession of the land of Sihon the king of Heshbon and the land of Og the king of Bashan.  “You made their sons numerous as the stars of heaven, and You brought them into the land which You had told their fathers to enter and possess.  “So their sons entered and possessed the land. And You subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites,
And You gave them into their hand, with their kings and the peoples of the land, to do with them as they desired.  “They captured fortified cities and a fertile land, they took possession of houses full of every good thing, hewn cisterns, vineyards, olive groves, fruit trees in abundance. So, they ate, were filled and grew fat, and reveled in Your great goodness.”

20 Sunrise Quotes - Sayings About the Start of a New Day

 

As the Israelite people dedicate of the re-built walls, Ezra, the high priest continues in his sermon. Here he is re-telling of God’s faithfulness to His people. After they had been delivered from bondage in Egypt and wandered the desert for forty years, they finally entered into the land of promise. And just as God had promised, the kings and people who occupied the land before them, became their possession. Verses 23-25 tells us they not only possessed the land, they also thrived. Every good thing was given to them.

God was faithful to His promise. They possessed the land, they prospered in God’s provision and the Israelite people were fruitful, and multiplied in number during the time of prosperity. God is faithful to His word. We can trust Him.

What I noticed in this passage were a few things. One is the answer to His promise took many years and most of those who the heard the promise died in the wilderness before they saw the fulfilment. Their children saw the answer. The second thing I noticed, is those who did not enter into the land were the ones who died wandering the wilderness because of disobedience.

However, to the ones who remained faithful to God, they received all that God spoke about years earlier. They entered into a land with houses they did not build and wells they did not have to dig, and fields and vineyards they did not plant. God’s provision for His people is perfect.

What can we learn from Nehemiah?

  • After a dry season, God’s blessings will flow.
  • Some of God’s promises may be for our children to see fulfilled.
  • Don’t give up on my prayers if I don’t see answers right away.
  • Look forward to the abundance of His blessings to come.

It took a long dry season for God to get His people to learn to trust Him for food, water and clothing, their very existence. When they had come to a place of total surrender and a close walk with Him, they entered into His promise and to a place of amazing abundance.

Matthew 6:30-32 (NASB)

30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

What questions can we ask ourselves that can affect change?

  1. What promises is God giving me that I have been waiting to see an answer?
  2. Are there promises made to our parents that we can claim the fulfillment?
  3. Are there areas of disobedience in our lives that are holding back God’s answers?
  4. What can we do to be thankful and trust God in the provision during the dry season?

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Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

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Weekly Bible Verse: Psalm 3:2-6

Our weekly Bible verse comes from Psalm 3:2-6 (NIV):

“Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the LORD, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.”

woman praying beside tree

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Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

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A Study in Nehemiah

God of Compassion and Provision

By: Patty Nicholas-Boyte

Nehemiah 9:18-21 (CJB) Complete Jewish Bible

“Even when they cast themselves a metal calf, saying of it, “This is your god
that brought you up from Egypt,” and committing other gross provocations;
 still, you, in your great compassion, did not abandon them in the desert.
The column of cloud did not leave them by day; it kept leading them along the way.
By night the column of fire kept showing them light and the path to take.
 You also gave your good Spirit to teach them, did not withhold man from their mouths and provided them water to quench their thirst.  Yes, forty years you sustained them in the desert; they lacked nothing —their clothes did not wear out; their feet did not swell up.” 

silhouette photo of mountain during golden hour

During the dedication of the walls, Ezra the high priest read from the book of the law, then he reminded the Israelite people of God’s amazing provision for them through the years. Verses 18-19 are an example of God’s mercy and grace. Even after the people created a golden calf and worshiped the idol as the “god” who brought them out of Egypt, God still had compassion on them and did not abandon them. Instead, he provided for them a pillar of cloud during the day and of fire by night to lead and guide them through the desert.

The God who had mercy and compassion on his people then, is the same God who has mercy and compassion on us today. It doesn’t matter what you might have done, return to the Father, and He will lead you and guide you just as He did for his people all those years ago.

Verses 20 and 21 tell us that God gave his Spirit to teach His people. God also not only provided the basics such as food and water, He also sustained them by miraculously keeping their clothing from wearing out. In fact, the word says they lacked for nothing. Even after all of the grumbling and complaining, God did not withhold any necessity in life, and provided the most important gift they could ever receive. His Spirit.

Dear Friend, God will do the same for you, all you need to do is ask.

What can we learn from Nehemiah?

  • Repent daily and seek God’s forgiveness. He is compassionate and ready to forgive.
  • Seek God’s guidance. He will give you His light (which is the Holy Spirit) to follow.
  • God truly is slow to anger and great in His compassion.
  • He will provide our every need.
  • God truly is slow to anger and great is compassion. Do not turn away, and seek the Holy Spirit. He will provide.

woman praying beside tree

Psalm 145:7-9 (CJB) Complete Jewish Bible

 “They will gush forth the fame of your abounding goodness, and they will sing of your righteousness.  Adonai is merciful and compassionate, slow to anger and great in grace. Adonai is good to all; his compassion rests on all his creatures.”

What questions can we ask ourselves that can affect change?

  1. What have I made into an idol and put before God?
  2. Is there anything I’ve done that I wonder if God will still have compassion on me?
  3. Do I worry if God will provide all that I need?
  4. What can I do to be more thankful for what God has already provided?
  5. What can I do to be better at acknowledging where my provisions come from?

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Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

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Weekly Bible Verse: Psalm 146:8

Our weekly Bible verse comes from Psalm 146:8 (NIV):

“The Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.”

white printer paper with kanji text

As we begin our week, may we trust in the Lord knowing that He is our portion and the rock on which we stand. Let our prayer be to continually open our eyes to see how He sees and to love how He loves.

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Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

 

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‘God Always Has a Plan’: Encouragement from Will Graham

2020 has been a year for the books, and these uncertain times may have you worried.

Yet, even when life gets difficult or shaky—God is unmoved.

“It’s been an unusual year,” Will Graham recently told visitors at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. “But it’s been one of the greatest years of ministry that we’ve ever seen.

“That’s what God does. He never disappoints. God always has a plan.”

Graham, executive director of The Cove, recently held an in-person and virtual conference on faith, pulling from 1 and 2 Samuel. He’s been studying those books of the Bible in his personal time and with Cove staff for about eight years.

Graham believes these lessons from the life of David speak to the needs of people around the world today:

Lesson 1: Get back to God

“David was a wanted man … a hunted man,” Graham said. “His own father-in-law hates him. … And of all the places, he’s living in the wilderness.

“I can only imagine his faith being shaken.”

Yet, God continued to show up in David’s life. And through the Lord’s faithfulness, David’s own faith was renewed and his heart restored.

When doubt and fear creep in, making this turn back to God is key.

“Sometimes we fail to connect the promises of God with our reality. And when we’re in unstable times, that shakiness in our lives causes us to fail to connect the dots,” Graham said.

“But God is on our side. He fights our battles for us. All the angels, all the hosts of heaven fight our battles for us.”

Lesson 2: Open your eyes to divine appointments

When David was at his lowest, he started to seek revenge. He allowed the actions of those who wronged him to harden his heart.

Graham explains: “David put his faith in his sword instead of God. Things had rocked his world. … He didn’t wait on God. He said, ‘God, I’m going to take care of this myself.’”

When situations don’t go the way we expect, it can be easy to respond like David, wanting to take matters into our own hands.

But as Graham put it, God will often send someone to stop us from making “stupid mistakes.” For David, this was Abigail, the wife of his enemy, Nabal. Thankfully, David listened. And it’s a reminder that when God sends wise counsel, it’s best we do the same.

And David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from blood guilt and from working salvation with my own hand!” —1 Samuel 25:32-33 (ESV)

Lesson 3: Fear leads to disobedience

Though fear is a natural response in hard times, we can’t allow fear to “run rampant” in our life, Graham warns.

“It’s in times like this that we can identify with David. Even the mightiest men have their moments of weakness,” Graham said.

“[But] when you don’t live by faith, fear is going to grab your heart. And when you have fear in your heart … you start to disobey God.”

This is proven through the stark contrast we see in 1 Samuel between Saul, the current king, and David, the future king.

Both were chosen by God. Both experienced fear. But David chose to soften his heart, while Saul did not.

“Saul’s disobedience would lead him down a path that he never came back from,” Graham said.

Lesson 4: There’s a Savior for the sin we see

Whether it’s your own actions that have you weary or the circumstances around you—steady faith is possible.

“If we’re going to live in troubling times, unstable times like we’re seeing today, then [we need to] understand our place in this world,” Graham said.

“We are created beings by God. [But] we are not God. … We’re sinful, rebellious—yet whom God loves.

“If we’re going to live in this modern world, we need to have a faith that understands [this] position.”

It’s only then that we begin to see our need for God and how fear and disobedience keep us from Him.

“That’s what I love about the Bible. It doesn’t hide sin. It doesn’t misrepresent sin. It shows it for what it is.

“Sin is a destroyer. But the Bible also gives us the answer and that’s the person and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

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Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

 

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Weekly Bible Verse: Hebrews 10:24-25

Our weekly Bible verse comes from Hebrews 10:24-25:

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (NIV). 

 

men touching each other's foreheads

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Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

 

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Tuesday Devotions: A Study in Nehemiah

Return to the Father

By: Patty Nicholas-Boyte

 

Nehemiah 9:14-17 (CJB) Complete Jewish Bible 

You revealed to them your holy Shabbat (Sabboth) and gave them mitzvot (Commandments), laws and the Torah through Moshe (Moses) your servant.  “‘For their hunger you gave them bread from heaven; for their thirst you brought forth for them water from the rock. You ordered them to enter and possess the land you had sworn with your hand to give them. “‘But they and our ancestors were arrogant; they stiffened their necks and ignored your mitzvoth (Commands), they refused to listen and paid no attention to the wonders you had done among them. No, they stiffened their necks, and in their rebellion
appointed a leader to return them to their slavery. But because you are a God of forgiveness,merciful, full of compassion, slow to grow angry and full of grace, you did not abandon them.”

Verses 14 and 15 is a re-telling of God’s provision for His people during their time in the wilderness. This is the time God gave them his commandments and the law. Which tells us how perfect He is. What a beautiful reminder of how God’s love for His people. Not only does He show us the way to go, but He also provides for us along the way. In all of wandering in the dessert, the people never went hungry or thirsty. They learned not only to trust in His provision, but they also needed to trust in His goodness.

In verse 16 and 17 Nehemiah recounts that even as God provided for His people in miraculous ways, the leaders acted arrogantly and refused to listen to His word.  They even appointed a leader to return them back to slavery in Egypt. Yet in the midst of rebellion, God forgave, and was slow to anger and abounding in loving kindness. God, who is the same yesterday, today and forever, will do the same for us. No matter how much we rebel, sin and go our own way, when we return to Him, He will forgive and restore us.

He will never leave us or forsake us.

person wearing silver ring on ring finger on book page

What can we learn from Nehemiah?

  • Watch what leaders we are following.
  • Appoint leaders who will take us in the direction we want to go.
  • Trust God’s provision and His goodness for your life.
  • God is glorious, full of forgiveness and loving kindness. It’s never too late to return to Him.

Not only do we need to watch who we put into leadership, we need to become leaders who will guide people to the Father. Be the leader who will remind people that God will be waiting with open arms when they run to Him.

Luke 15:20-24 (CJB)

So he got up and started back to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran and threw his arms around him and kissed him warmly. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against Heaven and against you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son  ’  but his father said to his slaves, ‘Quick, bring out a robe, the best one, and put it on him; and put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet;  and bring the calf that has been fattened up, and kill it. Let’s eat and have a celebration!  For this son of mine was dead, but now he’s alive again! He was lost, but now he has been found!’ And they began celebrating.”

What questions can we ask ourselves that can affect change?

  1. What as God provided for me recently that I haven’t stopped and thanked Him?
  2. In what way have I rejected what God has given me and am seeking human leadership instead of the loving Guidance of God?
  3. Who am I following should stop and turn the other direction?
  4. What sin to I need to turn from and run to the Father?

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Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

 

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Weekly Bible Verse: Psalm 119: 73-77

Our weekly Bible verses come from Psalm 119:73-77 (NIV)

Your hands made me and formed me;
    give me understanding to learn your commands.
May those who fear you rejoice when they see me,
    for I have put my hope in your word.
I know, Lord, that your laws are righteous,
    and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
 May your unfailing love be my comfort,
    according to your promise to your servant.
 Let your compassion come to me that I may live,
    for your law is my delight.” 

woman praying beside tree

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Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

 

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Tomorrow: Will Graham Livestream on Stable Faith in Unstable Times

 

Is your faith wavering in these unprecedented times? Are you grasping for something to hold on to?

The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove is hosting a livestream this weekend on How to Have Stable Faith in Unstable Times.

Will Graham will illustrate the difference between believing in God and actively trusting Him in everyday situations—pulling from 1 Samuel and the story of David in the Bible.

>>Register for this livestream, happening Friday-Sunday. You’ll also get on-demand access for 30 days after the event.

As Cove executive director and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association vice president, Graham has traveled the globe, sharing the peace and hope offered through Jesus Christ. Even so, he shared recently, he’s not immune to feeling the effects of crisis.

“As I watch what is happening around the world, it’s easy to get discouraged or even fearful. It seems the forces of darkness are winning battles daily,” Graham said.

“However, it’s also become clear to me that God is on the move in a way unlike anything I’ve seen in my lifetime. God is working to use these challenges and struggles to call the lost unto repentance and salvation. People are hungry for the eternal promises of Jesus, and God is giving us the opportunity to share His truth with them.”

>>Read more from Will Graham on living by faith, not by sight

If you’ve been shaken up by current events and are searching for solid footing, watch The Cove’s livestream for encouragement and times of worship.

“When we focus on the things of this world, which seem increasingly bleak and without hope, we get discouraged, fearful and angry,” said Graham. “But when we focus on Jesus, on our understanding that He is victorious (and we are victorious in Him), and on the promise that He will ‘work all things for good’ (Romans 8:28), then we can have hope.”

Register for this weekend’s livestream, with on-demand access for 30 days post-event.

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Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

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Tuesday Devotions: A Study in Nehemiah

Welcome to our Tuesday devotions. Every Tuesday, we will offer a study in the book of Nehemiah. We hope you enjoy these devotions and will also follow us on social media at @thecovenc. We post encouraging Bible verses, upcoming events at The Cove, and much more.

God still Performs Miracles

By: Patty Nicholas-Boyte

Nehemiah 9:10-13 (CJB) Complete Jewish Bible

“You performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh, against all his servants and the people of the land; for you knew how arrogantly, they treated them; and you won yourself a name which is yours to this day.  You divided the sea ahead of them, so that they could pass through the sea on dry land; then you hurled their pursuers into the depths, like a stone into turbulent waters.“‘In a column of cloud you led them by day, and by night in a column of fire, so that they would have light ahead of them on the way that they were to go.  “‘You descended on Mount Sinai and spoke with them from heaven. You gave them right rulings and true teachings, good laws and mitzvot.”

8. Repentance and Revival (Nehemiah 8-13). Rebuild & Renew: The ...

The Israelite people recently received liberty from captivity in Babylon. They worked together, and in an astounding, miraculous feat, re-built the walls around Jerusalem in fifty-two days. As the people gathered during the Day of Atonement and read God’s word, they were reminded of past miracles and wonders God had performed on their behalf. They read how God defeated Pharaoh with plagues, the Passover, and finally the ultimate defeat through the parting of the Red Sea.

They further read how God provided a cloud to lead them through the desert during the day, and a pillar of fire to guide them at night. Next, as the priests read through God’s word, they told of when God physically descended from Heaven and spoke through Moses on Mount Sinai and He gave the law.

Today, we may not have an awe-inspiring pillar of fire or booming voice from Heaven, but we certainly can look back and see God’s hand in our life. For years, I have kept a journal. Often I look back at prayers I wrote and the many times I cried out through the words on a page and I have to marvel. In most cases as I look back, I can say God answered this particular prayer or I’ve seen miracles happen in that person’s life, or some other amazing wonder that God gets the glory in the outcome.

God is still in business of performing miracles. Never give up.

woman sitting on brown bench while reading book

 

What can we learn from Nehemiah?

  • The same God who parted the Red Sea is there to perform miracles in your hardest circumstance.
  • His word never fails. When we read through the scriptures, we are reminded of His promises and of His truth
  • God will lead us in the way to go if we are willing to follow.
  • Reflect on how He has worked in our past to gain perspective and encouragement for today.

God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. His plans for you are for hope and a future. I love the language in the Complete Jewish Bible, and I love the Hebrew name for God Adonai, which means God Most High.

Jeremiah 29:11 (CJB)

For I know what plans I have in mind for you,’ says Adonai,‘ plans for well-being, not for bad things; so that you can have hope and a future.

What questions can we ask ourselves that can affect change?

  1. What am I not trusting God for in the current trial I am in?
  2. What answered prayers in my past can I remind myself of as I pray today?
  3. What can I do to be better about looking into God’s word and remind myself of God’s promises?
  4. Will I follow God where He is leading me today?

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Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

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