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SERVANT LEADERSHIP

April 26, 2014

Saturday

 

Nehemiah 4:21-23
So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out. At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so they can serve us as guards by night and workmen by day.” Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.

 

EXAMPLE

 

Max DePree gets to the heart of things with this succinct formulation: “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.” Leaders need to have a good picture of what is really going on around them. And they need to help others take an honest look at this reality.”

– Richard J. Mouw

 

LESSON

 

With the added opposition of the Ashdodites, the residents of a formerly Philistine town, the Jews’ enemies surrounded them on all sides: north, south, east, and west. Josephus wrote, “They slew many of the Jews.”The workers became discouraged by their own fatigue, the immensity of their task, and the threats of their enemies. Nehemiah responded by increasing security, focusing their attention again on God, and reminding them of their duty to protect their families and property.

Oliver Cromwell similarly counseled, “Trust in God and keep your [gun]powder dry.” C. H. Spurgeon advised his students, “Pray as if everything depended on God, then preach as if everything depended on you.”His approach proved effective . The Jews were willing to make temporary sacrifices and endure some discomfort to finish the work God had given them to do. In this they are models for all of us who serve Nehemiah was very active when he returned to Jerusalem. He saw the damaged walls as they had been described to him , organized the city’s rebuilding effort, and got to work. He did not wait for someone else to lead; one gets the idea that Nehemiah would have rebuilt the wall himself even if no one else wanted to join him. Any attempt to fulfill God’s desires will almost certainly draw opposition from God’s enemies.”The real test of a leader is how he or she faces crises and reacts to opposition.

 

Memory Verse: John3:30

 

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