We are a nation and a world desperate for men and women of God to lead. Today you begin or continue that journey. As Joshua directed the people of Israel I also direct you, “Choose this day who you will serve.” As leaders in this modern world we can be tempted to follow the latest fad or chase after money, fame or power. Will you serve those idols or will you choose to serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?
Read Nehemiah chapter 10
The theme of chapter 10 is Obedience
Once we have repented of our rebellion it becomes easier but no less deliberate to begin to live in obedience to God.
Consider Abraham who was given a promise and he began the journey to the promise. However, God did not tell him the details of the journey before he left. God did not even tell him much about the next few days. Each day Abraham had to wake up and ask, “Father, which way today?” Each day Abraham had to listen to God and then obey if he wanted to see the promise. By the way he never actually saw the promise fulfilled in his lifetime.
Consider the Israelites leaving Egypt. They wandered the desert and each day had to look for the cloud or the pillar of fire and then obey. If they did not obey they had no chance of seeing the promised land.
Ultimately, Jesus told us to pray, “Give us this day our DAILY bread.” While I believe in planning, more important is waking up and asking God, “What do we have on Your agenda today?”
Nehemiah 10: 28-29
In order to change our world we must first change ourselves. We must open up our hearts and minds to understand others, understand that God loves all men and women. We also need to see the following in greater and greater measure:
Unity: We must seek ways to work together.
Nothing is impossible Luke 1:37. Consider the story of Pentecost in Acts 2. The men and women coming to salvation are coming from different and diverse cultures. They may have all come to worship God in Jerusalem. But they would have come in a wide variety of clothing styles, food tastes, languages and even races. Yet, we do not see Peter saying, “Wait a minute here. You Medes over there. You look too funny to be admitted into the church. You over there you Parathions you have the wrong skin color to be welcome into our fellowship. “ No all are welcomed who accept Jesus. We must open our eyes to the need of salvation of all men. Some may have different politics than us. Others may eat things that make our stomachs curl a bit. But if they are breathing they need the love of Jesus and the Holy Spirit can bring us all together. Open up your hearts and eyes to this truth. We need unity.
Accountability: Accountability is good. As a spiritual leader seek and desire accountability. Not to keep you out of trouble like some kind of security guard on your purity. But rather as a voice to make you better.
My family and I are raising chickens. Initially we planned on free range chickens and every morning we would let them out of the coop to wander the land and had them trained to come in when it got dark. Things were going well. They were free and we felt good. However, we noticed that our flock was getting smaller so we started watching more carefully. Chicken hawks were getting some, a raccoon got a few and others were taken out by dogs. They had short lives. But we put them in an expanded cage and suddenly they all lived healthy and long lives. The cage is accountability. While it does restrict some freedoms it actually makes the lives of the flock better.
Passion: Love of Jesus must be more than a Sunday thing. We must love Him all week long, in every building we walk into, in every relationship and in every role that we play. Love Jesus above all things. Make Him the passion of your life. This does not mean that you are preaching all of the time. But it means that you are in love with Jesus and if He can’t go with you to a meeting, than you don’t go. If a certain house or store makes Him uncomfortable, we don’t go. Before I get accused of being legalistic, consider how comfortable Jesus was around tax collectors and prostitutes. Invite Him to be with you everywhere you go and be filled with joy.
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ –Philippians 3:8
Consider the treasure parables. Sell everything you have. Give away every right all for the sake of the Kingdom of God.