Tuesday, September 23, 2008

JOURNEY THROUGH NEHEMIAH

Nehemiah is one of my favorite books of the Bible. It is filled with principles for becoming an effective kingdom leader. Here are some takeways from each chapter.

  1. Nehemiah had a great burden for the city of Jerusalem. Do I have a similar burden for Chapin? He also interceded to God on behalf of his people. How often do I do the same?
  2. Nehemiah was a great visionary. He developed his strategy first behind the scenes. Then he went public. He reminded the people of the terrible condition the city was in, painted a picture of a brighter future, then motivated them to join him in the work. Whenever a solid vision is cast, there will be opposition.
  3. It's easy to read through the long list of names in chapter 3 and miss a very important truth--the fact that every family played a role in the rebuilding project. That's why the project was a huge success.
  4. How Nehemiah handled criticism is remarkable: he faced it head on; he took it to God in prayer; he kept the vision alive; he encouraged the workers; he defended himself and all the workers. Every viable work of the kingdom will produce a realm of critics.
  5. More great qualities of Nehemiah, the leader--confronted and corrected oppression; extremely generous; didn't seek financial gain from his endeavors.
  6. Two more leadership insights. Effective leaders turn to God in prayer when criticized or intimidated. Criticism dies out when critics see that the vision keeps moving forward and becomes successful.
  7. {Disclaimer: I wrote these thoughts a few months ago, but am just now posting the blog. I'm not riding a soap box...just posting how God spoke to me on this particular day.} What if the best fit for a position is a family member? Nehemiah put his own brother in a prominent role. I wonder if the people complained of nepotism.
  8. Nehemiah's great leadership wasn't just in the construction project. When the wall was done, he prioritized celebration, worship, and the public reading of God's Word.
  9. Are Christians today any different from the Hebrews of old who chose to wander far from God? Where would we be without the patience and steadfast love of God?
  10. Although we mostly remember the book of Nehemiah as the story of the rebuilding of the wall, it is also a story of genuine national spiritual revival.
  11. Thank the Lord for volunteers. They are heroes and should be applauded.
  12. I love the description of the exuberant celebration of worship. The verses state the quality would have made David and Solomon proud.
  13. Nehemiah had gone back to Babylon but asked for permission to return. Upon return, he discovered the people had backslidden. He confronted the problems head-on.

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