Nehemiah the Leader

God willing, I’m finishing a sermon series on Nehemiah tomorrow morning. The following is from Warren Wiersbe summarizing the leadership qualities of Nehemiah.

1. He knew he was called of God

Before you quickly move into a place of ministry, be sure God has called you and equipped you for the job. You may not think you can do it, and others may have their doubts; but if God calls you, have no fear: He will see you through.

2. He depended on prayer

The Book of Nehemiah starts and ends with prayer. And in between, Nehemiah oftens sends up quick prayers to heaven and asks for God’s help. “Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers,” said Phillips Brooks. “Pray for powers equal to your tasks.” One mark of true spiritual leaders is their honest acknowledgment of their own inadequacy and their humble trust in the power of God.

3. He had vision and saw the greatness of the work

No matter what God has called you to do, it’s a great work because it’s part of the building of His church; and that’s the greatest work in the world. If you lose the greatness of a vision, you will begin to cut corners in your work, stop making sacrifices, and start looking for something else to challenge you. Nehemiah realized that what he was doing was far bigger than simply repairing gates and rebuilding walls. He was serving the Lord God of heaven and getting the holy city ready for the coming of the Messiah! Continue Reading “Nehemiah the Leader”

Occupied with Christ

The following is written by C. H. Macintosh:

If I allow my work to get between my heart and the Master, it will be of little worth. We can only effectually serve Christ as we are enjoying Him. It is while the heart dwells upon His powerful attractions that the hands perform the most acceptable service to His name; nor is there anyone who can minister Christ with unction, freshness, and power to others, if he is not feeding upon Christ in the secret of his own soul. True, he may preach a sermon, deliver a lecture, utter prayers, write a book, and go through the entire routine of outward service, and yet not minister Christ. The man who will present Christ to others must be occupied with Christ for himself.

Happy is the man who minsters thus, whatever be the success or reception of his ministry. For should his ministry fail to attract attention, to command influence, or to produce apparent results, he has his sweet retreat and his unfailing portion in Christ, of which nothing can deprive him. Whereas the man who is merely feeding upon the fruits of his ministry, who delights in the gratification which it affords, or the attention and interest which it commands, is like a mere pipe, conveying water to others, and retaining only rust itself. This is a most deplorable condition to be in and yet it is the actual condition of every servant who is more occupied with his work and its results than with the Master and His glory.

Finding Worldliness

Pastor Kent Brandenburg reviews a recent book on wordliness and gives a brief explanation of what God’s grace does in the believer. The book, written by C.J. Mahaney, emphasizes “internal” worldliness in opposition to “external” worldliness. Worldliness cannot be confined to either of these areas; it really can permeate both our hearts and our conduct. Here are a few excerpts:

“The pagan, anti-God philosophy of this world weaves its way into every part of a culture. For this reason, everything must be judged (1 Thessalonians 5:21) and that which associates itself with a humanistic or depraved way of thinking must be eschewed (1 Thessalonians 5:22). This applies to piercings, modern art, tattoos, extreme hair styles, rock, rap, and country. In other words, we are not to “[fashion ourselves] according to the former lusts in [our] ignorance: but as he which hath called [us] is holy, so be [we] holy in all manner of conversation” (1 Peter 1:14-15). Every aspect of our conduct or behavior is to be distinct. In no way should our externals reflect the old unregenerate life.”

“The truth is that the new definers of worldliness emphasize conduct. It’s just that it is, and ironically, the loose conduct appealing to the lust of the flesh. And they’re judging externals. They will judge your standards (which they do have) to be more strict than theirs, so you must be the legalist and the moralist. Even in writing style they work hard to make it as easy as possible to understand. Even in the dress down style of the sovereign grace ministries, something strategic is going on with their urban chic and soul patches. They are working at attracting or making comfortable a certain demographic. Something is driving all that, but it isn’t the gospel.”

“The grace of God that works in believers “denies ungodliness and worldly lusts” (Titus 2:12). As God is working in both to will and do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13), true Christians are working out their own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).”

Read the rest at Jackhammer

50 Most Important Events in the Old Testament

compiled by Harold Wilmington

1. Creation of Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:26, Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:7, Genesis 2:21, Genesis 2:22)

2. Institution of marriage (Genesis 2:23-25)

3. Fall of man (Genesis 3:6)

4. Promise of the Redeemer (Genesis 3:15)

5. Universal flood (Genesis 6-8)

6. Institution of human government (Genesis 9:1-19)

7. Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9)

8. Conversion and call of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3)

9. Giving of Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:7; Genesis 13:14-17; 15:1-21)

10. Abraham’s marriage to Hagar (Genesis 16:1-16) Continue Reading “50 Most Important Events in the Old Testament”