Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study. This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!
Kendra Graham NOTES from Nehemiah 5:14-16
WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.
Verse 14: From the day I was appointed governor, for 12 years, neither I nor my kinsman have eaten the governor’s allowance
Verse 15: Former governors laid burdens on the people, even their servants domineered. I did not because of the fear of God.
Verse 16: I applied myself to the work on this wall; we did not buy land, all my servants gathered for work
WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?
Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?
Verse 14: Nehemiah, upset with the nobles for excising an unjust tax on the poor of the city in the middle of the famine shows true leadership. Nehemiah as a leader put forth an example of what it looks like to be a godly leader. Nehemiah had every right to make the people pay for his food and the food of his servants, but seeing the poor state of the people, Nehemiah does not take what is due him, and instead gives and shares what he has. Sometimes, the greatest example of a leader is someone willing to care about his people, understand the hardships they are facing and meet their needs; instead of constantly demanding his/her ego is stroked and that they get their just due all the time. Discernment and compassion are two qualities the leaders were lacking back then, as well as today.
Verse 15: Just because everyone who has gone before you in your position acted a certain way, and just because all those who went before you in your position demanded and deserved certain perks, does not mean that God called you to your position to demand the same things, even if they are due you. A godly leader is a high calling, and God has trusted you with that position, to represent Him, not a company or organization. We need to be careful to remember who we serve and represent….. My mom would always remind me, “Just because someone else does it or did it that way, does not mean God has called you to do the same!” Perhaps you were called by God because you could be trusted to serve Him above all.
Verse 16: Nehemiah did what no other governor did before him, Nehemiah came to work on the wall…. and work he did. His hands were just as dirty, as were his servants. Nehemiah led by example. Nehemiah did not get distracted in the calling to which God had given. Nehemiah did not take advantage of a perk just because it was there and he was expected to. Nehemiah had a higher calling, to serve the Lord God Almighty. Leaders need to show the compassion of Christ. Often, once we “arrive” at our higher position we say, “Whew, glad I don’t have to do that menial work anymore! Someone else can!” Maybe that should not be the attitude at all. Maybe in leadership, we should not forget, there is no work “beneath” us. Let’s not get lazy in our positions of leadership…. let’s get dirty for God!
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.
As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.
*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think. This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?
14: Where has God entrusted me to leadership? In the home, church, school, a company, organization, work, a committee, neighborhood watch… etc? How am I showing discernment and compassion? Am I leading so that my voice will drown out the others, or has God entrusted me in this position to listen and care for the concerns of others? How am I showing godly discernment in leadership, no matter how big or how small?
15: How am I representing the character of God in my position of leadership? Has God called me to give up a “right” or “perk” that I justly deserve? Do I lead to stroke my own ego, or am I leading to serve a living and risen Savior? Is it obvious to others that I have a higher calling? If Jesus came to give me a review, how would he rate my godly compassion and discernment? Does it even matter to me what God thinks of how I lead?
16: Have I stopped work because I think it’s beneath me? What if I helped and aided in the labor, not because I had to, but because I could? What example of leadership am I putting forth to those under me? Tyrannical or Compassionate? Do I dare ask those in my home, committee, work, organization, school, prayer group, Bible study group??? If I was led by someone like me would I say it’s reflecting God’s character or the world’s expectation?
LIVE IT OUT!
Lord, help me lead in the areas You have called me to with grace, compassion and discernment. Strengthen my hands to work, my mouth to encourage and my heart to love those You have entrusted me with.
Homework: Nehemiah 5:17-19
Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!