January 11, 2018

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Read – Nehemiah 5

What does it say?
Nehemiah put a stop to slavery and usury between the Jewish people and refused to take the governor’s allotment. He remained devoted to building the wall.

What does it mean?
Nehemiah led by example. Completely devoting himself to God’s work, he determined not to use the privileges of his position at the expense of the people. He did not tax them for his support or take the food allotted to the governor. Others, however, had tried to gain financially from the economic misfortune of their countrymen. Nehemiah demonstrated an understanding of God’s love and concern for the poor and oppressed by pouring out that same love to other people. His example and urging led others to do the same. No doubt, Nehemiah had earned their respect by working alongside the other builders rather than simply overseeing the project.

How should I respond?
Make a quick list of qualities you expect a leader to have. Now, circle the ones that line up with God’s Word (e.g., honest, just, kind, fair). Which traits did Nehemiah model? We all have wonderful ideas of how leaders should act, but do we exemplify those same qualities in our own lives? As you look back over your list, put a check beside the qualities you possess. Although you may not be an elected leader, consider the areas of influence God has given you within your family, job, and community. Rather than use that influence for personal gain, ask God to help you be a servant leader today.