My Man Nehemiah: 2

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Nehemiah card #2. Print, size, and tuck into your envelope.

Wanted! Project manager who has a heart for his people, is willing to relocate, is a planning and organizational genius, can motivate his team, is a creative problem solver, and has a strong desire to serve God..

That’s Nehemiah. God hired him for the job and Nehemiah got it done.

Nehemiah chapters 3 and 4 are some of my favorite chapters in the bible. As a project manager, I could not love more the way Nehemiah inspires his people to join the team, present a united front,  and together, get the job done. No matter what it takes. Even the goldsmith, the perfumer, the high priests, the politicians, and Shallum’s daughters are rebuilding walls and gates.

These chapters do not tell us Nehemiah’s motivational techniques, but they do tell us some things about working in service for God:

  • Everyone has an important part to play. Even if the project is not your strength, it is God’s, and if He calls, He will give you what you need to contribute. The entire chapter 3 is full of the names of people and how they each played an important part.
  • Work together. Take a look through chapter 3 and see how many times it says, “next to him.” We are not in this alone.
  • Serving God sometimes requires humility.  Eliashib the high priest built the sheep gate (3: 1). Shallum, who ruled half of Jerusalem, got his daughters out there and made repairs (3:12). It could be hard to garner respect from your constituents and parishioners when you are dirty and sweaty, and limping from dropping rocks on your toes. But this project was bigger than their reputations.
  • Work willingly. Even though the haters were loud and obnoxious opposition, the israelites had a mind to work. And they kept at it. (4:6)
  • Pray and make a plan. (4:9)
  • Be steadfast in your work. Nehemiah’s team had to build with one hand and carry a spear in the other. The threat to their safety was spoken loudly, so they stayed up all night guarding, and made repairs all day, they carried their weapons wherever they went, and never let their guard down. That is not the easiest way to repair a city, but they got it done. (4: 21-23)
  • Trust God for success. When the going got tough, Nehemiah reminded them who God is, and for whom they were building and fighting. (4:14)

When you look at what Nehemiah and his people had to overcome when rebuilding the city of Jerusalem, it makes delivering a meal, tutoring a child, or serving in the soup kitchen look like a walk in the park. You can do it!

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Colossians 4:2 ),

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My Man Nehemiah: 1

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My small group is studying our way through Kelly Minter’s Nehemiah: A heart that can break. Nehemiah is one of my favorite guys in the bible. I can relate to some parts of his story. I have learned and am continuing to learn from him. You know how every time you study some passages, you find something new? Nehemiah is like that for me. And Kelly’s study has tons of life application.

In lesson 1, one of the things that really struck me was the importance of intercessory prayer. When Nehemiah found out that his people were in great distress and the wall of Jerusalem was broken down, he prayed. He seriously prayed with weeping and mourning and fasting for four months. He prayed God’s character to Him, he prayed God’s own words and promises back to Him, he confessed the sins of the Israelites, and he really believed that God would move in response. Day and night! Four months of this! And God did move in response to Nehemiah’s heart for his people….in amazing ways.

lesson 1

(Card #1, print, size, and put inside your envelope)

It made me think about the way I pray. Wow, I am really lazy compared to Nehemiah. But, it made me realize that God does appreciate when we are really moved by something. Maybe I can’t tell Him or ask Him too many times. After all, what God wants most from us I think, is our attention, our time, our desire to be in relationship with Him. God called Nehemiah to pray and he did not stop praying until God gave His answer.

My small group loves to make their own visual reminders with me as we study, but this time, because I missed them all summer, I have made each of them these cards….one for each lesson (print them out for yourself if you want!), tucked in a velum envelope. You can make an envelope very easily. Print out the pattern. Size it as desired. Cut it out and trace it on a piece of vellum scrapbook paper. Cut it out. Fold where the lines are.

Use any paper adhesive you like. I used double stick tape to hold it together.

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Print out these words, or design your own. Slip it inside the envelope, trace on the front of the envelope with a Sharpie. Slip your cards inside.

Take time today to pray for your country.  (1 Timothy 2:2 NIV),

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