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Daily Devotionals

Day 35 – Issue 38

todayMay 1, 2015 4

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Be Still Know

Nehemiah 5.14 NLT

‘For the entire twelve years that I was governor of Judah—from the twentieth year to the thirty-second year of the reign of King Artaxerxes— neither I nor my officials drew on our official food allowance.’

I once heard about a military officer who took his men on an arduous training exercise. They were all carrying heavy rucksacks which pushed them to their limits. At one point, they had to climb over a gate and the officer’s rucksack split open to reveal that, although it appeared to be full, it was in fact empty! It had no weight at all. In that moment, the officer completely lost the respect of his men and rightly so. He didn’t deserve it. It is impossible for leaders to command respect unless they live up to the highest standards and it was crucial that Nehemiah did so. In today’s verse he points out that, during the twelve years that he was governor of Judah, he had lived in an exemplary way. The previous governors had been so very different, laying heavy burdens on the people and demanding not only a daily ration of food and wine but also forty pieces of silver. Nehemiah’s credibility as a leader was founded on the fact that he had never taken advantage of the people.

If you have the honour of being a church leader then you need to reflect frequently and carefully on the example that you set. Nobody is expecting you to be perfect, but people can rightly expect that you set a good example. That is to say, people should be able to look at you and get a good idea what it means to follow Jesus. If you are not a church leader then it’s important that you pray for your leaders and encourage them. Just like you, leaders are sinners, and they are subject to the same temptations as everyone else. Pray that God will keep them strong so that their example will be a blessing to all who know them. Nehemiah’s leadership depended upon his credibility and integrity – and nothing has changed for leaders today.

QUESTION: In what way are you able to support the church leaders you know?

PRAYER: Loving God, thank you for the gift of leadership. I pray for your blessing on all the church leaders that I know. May they stay so close to you that they will always set a really good example. Amen

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Written by: Miriam Emenike

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