As we begin a series of sermons on the book of Nehemiah, we want to draw some parallels between the situation of Nehemiah building the walls of the city of Jerusalem and our own situations as we are building the kingdom of God. First, Nehemiah was not an important or influential person in life – he was a cupbearer to the king (Neh. 1:11). This means he was considered to be disposable, since his life was less valuable than the king’s, and everyone would rather he be poisoned rather than the king. However, he still saw himself as a leader with the power to make a difference. Second, he was a man of depth. He cared deeply about what was going on with the people of Jerusalem, even though it didn’t affect him directly in his life in the palace. He didn’t skim over their problems, and he allowed his heart to be impacted (verses 2-4). Third, he trusted the power of God more than any earthly power. When he found his heart affected by the serious issues he learned about, he took them straight to God to find wisdom on how to help (verses 5-11). Fourth, he took personal responsibility. He didn’t pawn it off on anyone else or say, “It’s not my problem.” He was prepared to risk his own self to use whatever influence he had to help his brothers, but he trusted himself in the hands of God and was willing to do whatever it takes. When it comes to our work in building the kingdom of God, we need to be like Nehemiah in these four areas, and we can trust the results to our faithful God.
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