Nehemiah wrote, “I had gone back to Persia for a while to serve the king. But when I returned to Jerusalem after some time I found out that the high priest had allowed the foreigner, Tobiah, to move into the temple storerooms with his family. The storerooms were no longer in use and the Levites had returned to their own fields to support themselves. The temple sacrifices and services had all but ceased. I drove Tobiah out of the temple, called the Levites back and restored the temple services. I also found people not keeping the Sabbath day’s rest. So, I retaught everyone the Sabbath laws and refused to let merchants sell their wares on the Sabbath day. Then I discovered that many Israelite men had married foreign women. Their children knew more about paganism than they did the Lord. I confronted all of them and rebuked them in front of everyone. It was a tough time but I reformed Israel best I could to the ways that pleased the Lord who saved us.” – Nehemiah 13 paraphrased.
Dear heavenly Father,
You gave Nehemiah to Israel for a time and under his leadership your people were brought back to you again and again. We have the same wayward tendencies that your Old Testament people had. Without strong, godly, leadership we wander off into worldly pursuits and neglect the teaching of your word for the salvation of people. Oh Lord, raise up men like Nehemiah in our day who will be well versed in your truth and will have the courage to force your word in front of your people. Light a fire in the hearts of men and women to make them harder than the apathy they face so they break through the walls that people erect to keep you from being their God and Savior. Give these leaders real estate in the hearts of their followers so that when they call people back, the people respond with repentance and obedience that comes from faith. Oh God, reform your people in our day the way you did back then.
Pastor Don Patterson
Leadership is the greatest need in the church. We already have the gospel.