Summary: Nehemiah demonstrates selfless leadership in the lives of his people, encouraging us to do the same.
For These People
Griffith Baptist Church – 10/19/08
Text: Nehemiah 5:14-19
Key verse: Nehemiah 5:19 - Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.
Premise: Nehemiah demonstrates selfless leadership in the lives of his people, encouraging us to do the same.
Giving selflessly does not come easy for most people. We often think of the cost to us rather than the benefit to another.
Here we have Nehemiah demonstrating selflessness at a time when he could have become very self serving:
• He could have had an “I deserve this mentality.”
• Yet he never stopped caring for those who were rebuilding the wall
Discuss the text
Transition Statement: We should be caring.
1. Be Caring
A. Nehemiah cared for the people more than his own comfort
i. He cared in his burden for the plight of Jerusalem (ch. 1)
ii. He cared in his intervention between the crooked nobles and the workers (5:1-13)
iii. His life was exemplified by caring for others
B. Care for others is what God expects:
i. We spend so much time looking for the faults in each other when what we should be doing is caring for each other in such a way that those faults rarely happen.
ii. 1 Corinthians 12:25-26 - 25That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.
iii. Care for each other spiritually
a. In love - 1 John 3:11 - For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
b. In encouraging good works - Hebrews 10:24 – And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
c. In instruction through worthy means - Colossians 3:16 - Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
iv. Care for each other in encouragement – 1 Thessalonians 5:11 - Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
v. Care for each other in the meeting of needs – 1 John 3:17 - But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
Transition Statement: We should not only be caring, but also considerate
2. Be Considerate
A. In the comic strip, Dennis the Menace, Dennis and his little friend, Joey, are leaving Mrs. Wilson’s house with their hands full of cookies. As you may remember, Dennis is not always very considerate toward the Wilsons who are his next-door neighbors (especially Mr. Wilson). But Joey says, "I wonder what we did to deserve this?" Dennis answered, "Look, Joey, Mrs. Wilson gives us cookies not because we’re nice, but because she’s nice."
B. Nehemiah sought to love and encourage those building the wall ahead of himself
i. Considerate - having or marked by regard for the needs or feelings of others.
ii. They needed the encouragement
iii. Nehemiah considered the workers and placed them ahead of himself
C. Consideration for others is vital in the Christian life:
i. Philippians 2:4 - Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
ii. This should be the picture of the church today - Romans 12:10-17 - 10Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another; 11Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 17Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
Transition Statement: We should also be compassionate.
3. Be Compassionate
A. A lady answered the knock on her door to find a man with a sad expression. "I’m sorry to disturb you, " he said, "but I’m collecting money for an unfortunate family in the neighborhood. The husband is out of work, the kids are hungry, the utilities will soon be cut off, and worse, they’re going to be kicked out of their apartment if they don’t pay the rent by this afternoon."
"I’ll be happy to help," said the woman with great concern. "But who are you?" "I’m the landlord," he replied. Leadership p. 44 1984 5/2