Gems 2015 — May 19 Scripture Selection: Nehemiah 5-9

Guest post by Jeanette Andrade

May 19 Scripture Selection: Nehemiah 5-9

Food for Thought: Neh. 5

Nehemiah’s devotion and self-sacrifice for a greater cause is most admirable and contrasted by others who, though they would benefit from the reconstruction of Jerusalem, didn’t mind causing their own kinsmen great hardship for their personal profit in the midst of such dire circumstances. It was utterly shameful.

It reminds me of some people today. They place the good of the country, business, family, or church, secondary to their own interests. While they are glad the work is going on, they actually are being counterproductive by burdening the others by their dishonorable behavior, and imposition of debt, taxes, and other costly expenses. And they make few or no contributions to the effort, yet expect others to give more. In contrast, Nehemiah loved the Lord, Jerusalem, and his people, and did everything possible to support the people and the reconstruction effort, working right along side them. In fact, he could have rightfully demanded “governor’s provisions” from the people, but did not do so because he couldn’t in good conscience add further burdens to the heavy ones they already selflessly carried. He placed the greater goal and their needs above his own interests for the good of the cause.

This is exactly what our founding fathers did, as reflected in the last sentence of the Declaration of Independence: “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” The apostle Paul encouraged this in his first letter to the Corinthians: “Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being (I Cor. 10:24).” As we seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, everything else eventually gets added to us anyway (Mat. 6:6), so it is of much greater value to serve for the greater purpose than for our own personal agendas.

Digging Deeper (What scriptures can further enhance today’s reading?):

Getting Personal (What has God shown you in today’s reading?):

Confession of Faith (Example: Lord, based on Mat. 1:21 and 23, I understand that Jesus is God, and I receive Him as my personal Lord and Savior.):

Important Events on This Day (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.):

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