What could possibly be so serious, so destructive to God’s people that Nehemiah would call off rebuilding the wall until it was resolved? Greed, oppression, and indifference among the people of God had to be replaced by a unifying generosity before the work could continue. Unity was key.
Scriptures: Psalm 133-134
Sermon Text: Nehemiah 5
My Next Steps
Points to Ponder: Are you more likely to use people to get the stuff you want or use the stuff God has given you to help people get what they need? What difference would it make in our world if Christians were known as the most generous people on the planet?
The Bible gives us two principles to follow in using the possessions God has given to us:
1. On the one hand, we are to do everything in our power to help those in real need.
2. On the other hand, we are not to encourage the laziness of people who seek only to live off the labor of others (cf. 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13; 2 Corinthians 8:13-15).
Treasure to Share: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
Action to Take: God assures us that no small act of love ever goes unnoticed by him. What can you do this week with your time, skills, possessions, or presence to help someone who is in need? Talk about it as a family if possible and plan what you want to do to honor God by helping one of God’s people.
For Further Study — Three Different Books Pastor Ben is reading right now based on Nehemiah:
1. The People’s Bible—Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther. By Dr. John F Brug. Northwestern Publishing House: Milwaukee, 1985. (This is a clear, accessible commentary that gives one a better understanding of the biblical text itself as well as the surrounding history.)
2. Visioneering—God’s Blueprint For Developing and Maintaining Vision. By Andy Stanley. Multnomah Publishers: Colorado Springs, 1999. (Whether a parent, a pastor, a businessperson or a layperson…this book is a practical tool for helping one discover purpose and motivation in life.)
3. The Wall—Rebuilding a culture of LIFE in America and ending abortion as we know it. By Kirk Walden. LifeTrends: Nashville, 2013. (As the title suggests this book is very specific and thought provoking in support of the pro-life movement.)