Nehemiah: Day One

I really enjoyed reading through the entire Bible last year utilizing both online and with my iPhone.  There are tons of great features available including multiple translations including the ability to look at parallel views, commentary, and tons of other tools.  You can even set up groups to study the Bible together utilizing YouVersion’s website.  This year I believe the Lord is calling me to be strategic in growing as a leader.  As a result, I will be focusing on several different books of the Bible this year to help increase my knowledge of what it means to be a godly leader.  The first book I am starting with is Nehemiah.  I read last year from the English Standard Version and am choosing the ESV again this year after prayerfully considering some thoughts from John Piper.

I was reading last night in Think Orange: Imagine the Impact When Church and Family Collide by Reggie Joiner.  I’ll post my review of this awesome book, but he drew some great parallels between the life of Nehemiah and what it means to be an influential leader.

  • Nehemiah developed a clear plan.
  • He was driven by a passion for God’s story to be demonstrated.
  • He inspired leaders to get involved.
  • He recognized the need to rally the family.
  • He demonstrated the value of influence.
I can’t think of a better place to start if God has given me the desire to grow as a leader.  In order to hold myself accountable to this journey, I will regularly post thoughts about my reading on this blog.  It would be great to have some of you jump in and comment as well!
Nehemiah: Day One

Text: Nehemiah 1

1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Susa the capital,2 that Hanani, one of my brothers, came with certain men from Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who escaped, who had survived the exile, and concerning Jerusalem.3 And they said to me, The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.

4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.5 And I said, O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned.7 We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses.8 Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples,9 but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.10 They are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand.11 O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. Now I was cupbearer to the king.


  • Nehemiah took personally the troubles of his people.
  • He responded by weeping, mourning, fasting, and praying.
  • Nehemiah seeks to leverage his influence with his people in an effort to attain the favor of God.
  • Nehemiah was the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes.  That meant that he was officially a servant, even to the point of putting his own life on the line to serve the king.  The cupbearer was often required to drink from the cup of the king to be sure it wasn’t poisoned before the king drank from it.
  • Nehemiah wants to take his burden and use it to fuel his passion for God’s glory to be restored in Jerusalem.

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