A Note From Our Associate Pastor:Pastor Ruth J. Smith
Lessons Learned from Nehemiah
For the past several weeks we journeyed through a bible study entitled “Walking with Nehemiah – Your Community is Your Congregation” written by Joseph W. Daniels Jr. He used the book of Nehemiah as a model for writing this book.
This pandemic has forced us to look beyond our next-door neighbor. It has forced us to look at a broader perspective of who our neighbors are.
The story of Nehemiah gives us a perfect example of how the church is to connect with the communities it serves. The first lesson learned from Mr. Daniels’ book is that we must too have a burden for our troubled communities. Nehemiah’s heart became heavily burdened and he mourned for days when he was told that the city of Jerusalem was left in ruins and of the horrible condition the children of Israel who were left behind were facing (Nehemiah 1:4).
The second lesson learned is that we must pray before taking any actions. After Nehemiah had finished mourning, he prayed and cried out to God asking for guidance (Nehemiah 1:4).
The third lesson learned is that we must be willing to take a risk. Nehemiah was a cupbearer to the king. It could have been life-threatening going before the King with a sad face. It would have caused the King to become suspicious of his actions, but Nehemiah took a risk to show his emotions. God gave Nehemiah favor with the king. The king not only gave him permission to go, but gave him the resources he needed (Nehemiah 2:1-9).
The fourth lesson learned is that we must remain silent until God shows us the need. We can’t share things right away because of naysayers and people who will kill the mission before it can take place. Nehemiah went out during the night so he could see the need. After he saw the need, he shared the mission (Nehemiah 2:10).
The fifth lesson learned is once we see the need, we must be willing to commit all the way – “we must be all-in.” Nehemiah established a “oneness” with God and surrendered to God’s will. Now he is ready to begin the task at hand. We must become one with God and totally surrender to His will (Nehemiah 3).
The sixth lesson learned is we should not do the work for them, but we should invite them to join us in doing the work. The last lesson learned I want to highlight is we must stay alert, focused, and determined to complete the task. Nehemiah had many distractions to deal with, but he remained committed to the task at hand. He held a sword in one hand and his tools in the other hand. He stayed ready to face any obstacle that came against him.
There were so many lessons to be learned that I can’t share them all. I highly suggest you read the book. It is a very good tool to use when trying to connect/reconnect with the communities that you are serving. I want to thank our Associate Pastor, Marian Royston for being an excellent facilitator in leading us through this Bible Study.
Ready to put the lessons learned into action!
Your Associate Pastor
Oct 31, 2021
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Pastor Ruth J. Smith
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