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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Learning from Nehemiah

A few weeks ago I founds something I had written in the margin of my Bible in 2 Corinthians 5-6 .  It said:

Good Leaders =
1. Reverence to God
2. Truly love people
3. Eternal reward

I'm not sure who said it or when it was written, but it really made me think about what we have taught and do teach our children in regards to being a leader.  I would always tell them, "Be a leader, not a follower."  That's good, but a good leader IS a follower!  A follower of GOD!  Unless a leader is a follower of God - a true follower, he/she may have earthly success, but not the success that really matters.

The account of Nehemiah is fascinating.  Nehemiah began as a cup-bearer to the king. He saw a need and asked permission to do something about it.  The wall of Jerusalem needed to be rebuilt.  When he arrived in Jerusalem he became a contractor and a labor manager, then was appointed to be the governor of Judah.

Nehemiah was a good leader.  In a little different order than I had written, we can see these attributes of Nehemiah.

1. He loved people.

Moreover, from the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, until his thirty-second year—twelve years—neither I nor my brothers ate the food allotted to the governor. 15 But the earlier governors—those preceding me—placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels of silver from them in addition to food and wine. Their assistants also lorded it over the people.  Nehemiah 5:14-15a

2. He had reverence for God.

But out of reverence for God I did not act like that. 16 Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall. All my men were assembled there for the work; we did not acquire any land. Nehemiah 5:15b

3.  He was looking towards the eternal reward, not earthly fame.

Remember me with favor, my God, for all I have done for these people. Nehemiah 5:19

Nehemiah was a good and successful leader because he had those three attributes. That was what motivated him.

Ask yourself these questions:

Are you a leader?
Are you a good leader?
What motivates you?
Do you love people?  Truly love people? If not, why would people follow you or accept you as their leader?
Do you revere God? In what way?  How do you show your reverence to God? How do others see that you revere Him?
What is your goal? Earthly wealth or fame?  An eternal reward?  What would others say about you?

Nehemiah is an example for us.  His example can cause us to become good - even great - leaders, as well.

Challenge accepted?  You can do it!

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