July 4 Notes and Questions
Wk 7 Nehemiah “Setting the Example”
Moreover, from the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, until his thirty-second year—twelve years—neither I nor my brothers ate the food allotted to the governor. But the earlier governors—those preceding me—placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels of silver from them in addition to food and wine. Their assistants also lorded it over the people. But out of reverence for God I did not act like that. Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall. All my men were assembled there for the work; we did not acquire any land.
Furthermore, a hundred and fifty Jews and officials ate at my table, as well as those who came to us from the surrounding nations. Each day one ox, six choice sheep and some poultry were prepared for me, and every ten days an abundant supply of wine of all kinds. In spite of all this, I never demanded the food allotted to the governor, because the demands were heavy on these people. Remember me with favor, my God, for all I have done for these people.
- Be Caring
- He cared more for the people than his own comfort.
- We see this at the very beginning of his story in chapter one when his heart is burdened for them. He left a pretty cushy job, in a nice air conditioned palace only to travel through the desert, to a place that was basically in ruins because he cares.
- And last week we saw him act when he found out that the people he cared for were hurting and upset, and being taken advantage of. And we’ll continue to see this behavior as we continue through this book.
- Caring for others is what God expects.
- In our culture we spend a lot of time and energy looking for faults in others. Instead of fault-searching, we should be looking for opportunity to be caring. When we do this, we’ll find that there will be less faults, not only in us, but in the people we care about.
1 Corinthians 12:25-26
so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
- Care for each other spiritually
1 John 3:11
For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
- Be Considerate
not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.
- Be Compassionate
1 Peter 3:8
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.
Some Ways to Show Compassion-
- Try to identify with those in need (imagine you’re the one who needs help, or the one that feels totally alone)
- Ask God to help you have a heart of compassion
- Remember Jesus
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”
When that time comes when you are in a position of leadership, and maybe that time is now, ask yourself the following questions.
- Do you demonstrate selflessness to those around you?
- Do you care for and about others like Jesus would want you to?
- Do you consider others and their needs when making decisions?
- Are you compassionate when you interact with others?
- Read Nehemiah 5:14-19, have you seen people in your time that let leadership go to their head What are some of the traits of leaders who feel entitled? Why do you think Nehemiah fights this temptation?
- Have you ever met someone who cared more about others then themselves? What are some of the traits that they exhibited?
- Why does it often seem easier to find fault in others rather than ways to build others up?
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:25-26, do you find it easy or difficult to have equal concern for each other?
- How would you define being considerate? Can you think of a time when your lack of consideration may have made a problem worse? Can you think of a time when Jesus was considerate of others?
- Read Romans 12:10-17, how do we bless people who persecute us?
- How can we be compassionate with people who seem to make repeated bad decisions in their life?
- For self-contemplation, is there some area of your life that you’ve been selfish about that God is asking you to address?