Friday, April 19, 2013

Family is Paramount

Scripture: Nehemiah 8:12
All the people went away to eat, to drink, to send portions and to celebrate a great festival, because they understood the words which had been made known to them.

Insights: This final verse this week shows us Nehemiah’s true heart was for the people.  In other words, he did not build the wall so the people could be controlled by the wall.  The wall was not to become the object of worship.  The wall was not to be served.  The project was not more important than the family of God.  In fact the purpose of the wall was to contain, protect and identify the people of God.  It showed their difference to the rest of the world and was intended to draw people to God.  Nehemiah never got this truth confused during his building program.  He did not desire to have a monument built to himself.  The truth of that statement can be observed in these twelve verses of the eighth chapter we have examined this week.  You may have noticed it was not until yesterday that we even mentioned Nehemiah.  The platform that was built and had all the people on it before the assembly had one individual not mentioned and that person was Nehemiah.  He did not have to be the center of attention.  The character trait Nehemiah displays for us this week as we continue to build our spiritual wall with bricks of character is selflessness.  Nehemiah put the people ahead of the wall.  Nehemiah put Ezra ahead of himself for leadership.  Nehemiah’s ultimate desire was to have a people totally dedicated to the Lord God and if that meant he had to take the back seat, he was more than willing to do so.  Beloved, we need to have that kind of attitude in our lives as well.  We need to submit to the Lordship of God and serve however He wishes.  Let us say with John the Baptist, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”  Let your life be characterized by service and pointing people to Jesus.  Let His name be greatly praised and exalted.

  1. Do you ever place projects and goals ahead of people?
  2. Is your life characterized by the word selflessness?
Prayer: Father, I desire to say with John the Baptist, You must increase, but I must decrease.  In that journey of selflessness help me to always remember it is about serving Your creation that is paramount, not having them serve me.  Amen.

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