Old Testament Lesson
Believe it or not, people have always gossiped. Hard to believe, but it is true. Here, Nehemiah is at work trying to do good, trying to get the wall rebuilt, and others are saying, the only reason he's doing it to be king! They are hurling gossip and insults at him, when all he is trying to do is to do what is right.
In life, we can't control what others say. We can't really control what they think about us. All we can control is our actions. Some folks my look for wrong motivations in right actions. Some folks may be looking to tear down. Some folks may refuse to see good in certain people.
There are two things we must do in this situation. First, we must do what is right, regardless of what others may think or say about us. We must learn to tune out the gossip and the slander, and listen to God.
Second, lets make sure we are not the ones looking to tear down, looking to gossip, refusing to see good in folks. Let's learn to and forgive, even those that may think are our enemies. After all, is that not what the Lord told us to do?
New Testament Lesson
In Revelation, many things happen that don't make much sense to any of us. But, the one thing that in put forth over and over again, is that God is control and at work. Even in situations that don't make much sense to us or that we can't understand. God is at work. We need the grace to trust, even when the situation around us doesn't make sense.
Notice it is up to God and the angels to do the casting into the fire at the end. It is not up to you and me. Let's be careful before we starting throwing those that we think are weeds into the fire, for God may yet make them wheat. Let's remember that all we are is because of all that God has given us through His grace; and let us learn to rest on that grace.