SCRIPTURE: NEHEMIAH 1:1-2
“The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Susa the citadel, that Hanani, one of my brothers, came with certain men from Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who escaped, who had survived the exile, and concerning Jerusalem.”
Many times we hear stories of incredible injustice in the world. We show interest in the story, and it even makes us think, “I wish the world was not like this.” But rarely do we move from interest to concern. Concern is defined as having a specific connection with or responsibility for. When we become deeply concerned about something, we begin to take personal responsibility for it. God is looking for people who are not just interested, but are willing to be concerned and take ownership of the problem. You can’t do everything, but you can do something.
Nehemiah became concerned about the Jews who escaped and survived the exile. That concern turned into a burden, and that burden led him to action. As believers, we cannot only be interested in making a difference in our city; we must become concerned. A deep concern for people who are far away from God will move our hearts to action. It will cause us to ask the right questions, and the right questions will cause us to provide answers. As believers, our concern for people should lead us to love and generosity. Today, become more than interested: become concerned for those who are far away from God.
What is keeping you from taking responsibility for your family, your church and the lost? Take time to evaluate your life and determine, “Am I interested or am I concerned?” If you are not concerned for the things God cares about, take time to pray and come up with a plan of action. That is what the Story Initiative is all about – a church concerned for their city.
“Jesus, help me to be more than just interested. I want to be concerned for the lost and the broken. Today, Jesus, I ask you to help me take responsibility for making a difference in people’s lives. Help me to live a generous life.”