Men of Character: Nehemiah
Men of Character: Nehemiah
Galatians 6:1-2, Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Though Nehemiah held a prestigious position in the Babylonian court, his desire was to be in Jerusalem. Hanani had reported that Jerusalem’s walls were broken and the gates destroyed, and Nehemiah knew that meant invaders could easily destroy what was left in Jerusalem. As long as his people in Jerusalem lived in danger, his heart would remain broken. As a result, Nehemiah immediately mourned, wept and prayed. The Lord answered Nehemiah’s prayer. He hadpermission to go to his homeland with provisions to carry along the journey for the building project, and security to give them safe passage.
Nehemiah was a great leader and motivator of God’s people. He overcame opposition to get the job done. He knew it was going to take time and effort so he counted the cost (Luke 14:26-33). What seemed to be an impossibility (Nehemiah 1:3; 2:13-14, 17; 4:2) turned into a great miracle (Nehemiah 6:15). When we’re taking a project for God, we understand that not everything is going to go as we would plan. In fact, there is going to be opposition from within your own people and from outsiders. At all times, the enemy was present and persistent (Nehemiah 6:4-5). Vision always attracts criticism. Critics will always resist change. Critics associate with other critics. Critics fail to see God’s hand in the work. You know you’re doing the Lord’s work when opposition comes.
More than thirty times in the book of Nehemiah you will find the word repair. They were repairing something that had been built at one time. They were taking the rubbish (the scraps) and rebuilding them just as God takes those pieces of our life that we have broken or messed up. He repairs them and puts them back together again. Each of us has a mission in the Great Commission. That is building lives within the body of Christ for the glory of God. We see this every day, lives totally ruined by sin. In the ministry, we are taking old broken lives, homes and hearts and letting God put them back together. We are rebuilding lives as Nehemiah rebuilt the wall. There will be areas of your wall that have to be maintained. There will be parts of your life that are much stronger than others, while some areas are hurting, injured and in need of repair. Since constructing a wall is a continual maintenance it is something you must continually work on. If you neglect the maintenance it will break, and once the wall is broken your protection is gone. May we continue to work faithfully even when unbelievers argue. Keep in mind, we are working for God, not the enemy.
PRAYER: Father, I want to be a good and faithful servant when I stand before Your throne. Thank You, Lord, that in Your grace You have sustained me. Help me not to strive in the flesh instead of resting in You and letting Your Holy Spirit live and work through me. I pray for strength as I labor that I would not get weary. Help me to love people the way You do. In Jesus name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.