January 11, 2018 | Catalyst

So I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins and its gates have been burned down. Come, let’s rebuild Jerusalem’s wall, so that we will no longer be a disgrace.” I told them how the gracious hand of my God had been on me, and what the king had said to me. They said, “Let’s start rebuilding,” and they were encouraged to do this good work.
[Nehemiah 2:17-18HCSB]
Nehemiah was an amazing catalyst! His presence and character sped up all the positive reactions around him – something the Lord intends for all His servants. To better understand how all Christians can be catalytic like Nehemiah, I recently used a couple of science experiments. (In case you want to do the same, the ones I performed are easily accessible online: “the elephant’s toothpaste” and a time lapse of rock candy crystalizing.) In response, a chemical engineer sent this fascinating list of facts with his correlations in parentheses:
  • Catalysts bind themselves to both parties. (Thus, Christians who want to be change agents must abide with God and people.)
  • They usually facilitate reactions by breaking bonds with some elements and forming new bonds with different elements. (Similarly, we help people break their bond with the world and form a bond with God.)
  • Catalysts are unchanged and not consumed in the process. (We also can facilitate an endless number of reactions.)
  • They can become poisoned/rendered ineffective through contamination. (We see this in the influence of personal sins on Christians’ ability to be useful.)
  • Catalysts typically work by lowering the activation energy needed for the reaction to take place. (Our love/kindness/words can help open people’s minds to hearing & receiving the gospel.)
My personal preparation notes for studying Nehemiah are accessible HERE. Thank you for the blessing of learning and growing in Christ together.