* I will briefly mention the events for context. To get the whole story, be sure to check out the story in your Bible or online, this will cover Nehemiah chapters 1-6.
Today brings us a story from Nehemiah, an Israelite cupbearer to the Persian King Artaxerxes. One day, when Nehemiah hears about the state of Jerusalem and its ruined walls, he prays to God to lead him as he resolves to go and repair them. The king not only allows Nehemiah to go, but gives him supplies and an escort to Jerusalem to help him. Though there were many who tried to oppose the construction, Nehemiah and the Israelites managed to build the walls. With the walls built, Israel could now begin rebuilding the city and return to God, all because Nehemiah had listened to the plan God had given him.
This is incredible for someone who seemed to have such an unimportant position, but it meant so much more. Being a cupbearer meant you were a high official in the king’s court, well liked and deeply trusted. Nehemiah was living a life of luxury in Persia, Jerusalem was a thousand miles away, who would blame him if he had said “someone else will come along”?
Nehemiah was set for life but despite this he felt the calling God put on his heart to help the people of Jerusalem. His willingness to be selfless serves as a wonderful example of putting others before ourselves.
Sadly we live in a world where we are encouraged to put our own needs above those of others. It’s no secret that this has led to the hatred and violence we see on a daily basis.
This is precisely why God calls us to be selfless in our everyday lives. Even the smallest actions can make a difference in someone’s life.
3 “Don’t do anything only to get ahead. Don’t do it because you are proud. Instead, be humble. Value others more than yourselves. 4 None of you should look out just for your own good. Each of you should also look out for the good of others.“- Philippians 2:3-4 (NIRV)
Jesus exemplified this perfectly. He was the Son of God yet he left his place in heaven to help and serve others. Jesus gave his life so we could be free from sin!
God may us call us to be selfless, but that doesn’t mean we have to do something big to make a difference Everyday God places opportunities in our lives to do something for someone else.
Helping a coworker who’s stressed, letting someone go in traffic, or being with a friend through a rough time could mean more to them than we think.
Challenge: God loves to use us when we least expect it, so this week take the time to notice when He is using us to make an impact.
16 “In the same way, let your light shine so others can see it. Then they will see the good things you do. And they will bring glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 NIRV