Friday, April 27, 2012

A Living Example

I devoted myself to the work on this wall.  All my men were assembled there for the work; we did not acquire any land. (Neh. 5:16)
            I know of no New Testament apostle who was a greater living example then the Apostle Paul.  He encouraged the believers in the church of Thessalonica by saying, “you became imitators of me and of the Lord…” (1:6)   Paul lived a model life worth imitating.
            D. L Moody once said, “Á holy life will produce the deepest expression.  Lighthouses blow no horns; they only shine.”
            Nehemiah was a living example, and let his light shine so that others might follow him and the Lord.  What kind of example did Nehemiah set?
(1) He and his assistants did not use their official expense account to feed themselves, nor did they tax the people in order to eat. (v. 14)  Wouldn’t it be refreshing if some of our government officials would pay their own way instead of using tax payer monies?  

(2) Nehemiah and his assistants did not use their positions to “feather their own cap” and gain personal wealth at the expense of the people. (v. 15)

(3) Nehemiah and his assistants were not merely advisors, but put their shoulders to the work.  They stood shoulder to shoulder with the workers, and got the same blisters, bruises, and backaches as others. (v. 16)  Jesus said, “I am with you as one who serves.”  (Luke 22:27 NIV)

(4) Nehemiah not only paid for his own food, but he shared what he had with those in need. (vv. 17-18)  He was generous to a fault and asked for no reward.

(5) Finally, he did all of these things as a service to the Lord.  He was interested only in the reward that the Lord might give.
There are some important lessons in this chapter about leadership:
Lesson 1 – expect problems in ministry.  Where there are people – there are potential problems.  Christian brothers are not exempt from personal differences.
Lesson 2 – confront the problems as soon as they occur.  Don’t make the mistake of sweeping them under the rug thinking they will disappear by themselves.  They never do.
Lesson3 – let it be said of you, what God says of Job.  ”He is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”  (Job 1:8 NIV)
Lesson 4 – every problem presents an opportunity for the Lord to act.
            What kind of living example do we offer to a world that is in darkness?  Are we lights that shine forth the gospel of Christ or burnt out bulbs?
Thought for the Day: There is no problem that is too hard for God to solve.

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