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Thoughts from Nehemiah 1-3

Here's some observations that jumped out in today's reading:

1:6 - ...I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father's house and I have sinned.

Sometimes as a leader you have to take responsibility for things you may not have been directly involved in. I learned a great lesson from Nehemiah in this regard. Instead of expressing his frustration with God for allowing Irsael to remain in capivity, or making his request for favor from God for his project, Nehemiah too on the responsibility of acknowledging the consequences of the disobedience of his people, even including himself personally with thier fault. Withou placing blame or accusations, he acknowledge the fact of sin and humbled himself on behalf of the people to set them right before God.

2:10 - ...a man had come to seek the well-being of the children of Israel.

A year ago I had heard Matthew Barnett fo the Dream Center in Los Angeles speak about thier ministry in the inner ity. He used this passage to call pastors to "seek the well-being of the people." Reading today, I am reminded that is my assignment. Not to be concerned with being hip, not to be "big," not to be concerned with recognition or innovation. Only to be concerned with the "well-being" of the people entrusted to my care - to serve them and meet thier needs as together we build the Kingdom of God.

2:17-18 - Then I said to them, "You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach." 18 And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king's words that he had spoken to me. So they said, "Let us rise up and build." Then they set their hands to this good work.

When you take care of things in private (confession - 1:6) and you motivation is pure ("well-being" - 2:10) then a compelling vision has substance. People will engage because tey can trust the leader. This is not something tangible that can be documented by strategic plans and mission statements. But there is something communicated sub-conciously by the integrity of the leader to the people. They sense that they are not being used or taken advantage of. They fel that the leader has thier best interests at heart. When this kind of trust exsists, then people will respond with, "Let us rise up and build."

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 11, 2003 12:00 AM.

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