Nehemiah  13,  Proverbs 14:19-35,  Luke 19:1-10,  Titus 1:10-16  Nehemiah  13:   If you are ever discouraged that the work you are called to appears endless, or that you are one moment doing well and the next moment all is going wrong, or that time eats away at your finest endeavors, or that what you manage at one…

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 Nehemiah  12,  Proverbs 14:1-18,  Luke 18:31-43,  Titus 1:1-9  Nehemiah  12:   As the book draws to a close, we are left with a picture of well-ordered and exuberant joyful celebration. All the priests and Levites are appropriately given their right station and role (12:1-26). And then when it comes to the dedication of the wall—the formal,…

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Nehemiah  11,  Proverbs 13:13-25,  Luke 18:18-30,  2 Timothy 4:9-22  Nehemiah  11:   The commitment to renewal of the city continues to spread. Already, we note the leaders are living in Jerusalem (11:1). Though that seems a passing note, it is actually highly significant. It is sometimes said that you need to live where your ministry is.…

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Nehemiah  10,  Proverbs 13:1-12,  Luke 18:9-17,  2 Timothy 4:1-8  Nehemiah  10: The signers of the covenant (10:1-27) and the stipulations of the covenant (10:28-39) are listed in this chapter. This covenant is an Old Testament covenant; it is worth comparing with similar “covenants” adopted from time to time by Christian churches. A fairly typical Baptist…

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 Nehemiah  9,  Proverbs 12:15-28,  Luke 18:1-8,  2 Timothy 3:10-17  Nehemiah  9: The confession begins, and it is worth paying careful attention to how it is done. This is not a “guilt trip” or “beating yourself up”; this is a careful confession of faith, repentance of wrong-doing, that leads to a fresh beginning and a new…

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 Nehemiah  8,  Proverbs 12:1-14,  Luke 17:20-37,  2 Timothy 3:1-9    Nehemiah  8: The reading of the Law is the central component of this book, and in particular the people’s remarkable response to that reading. There are several aspects to take notice of regarding how the teaching of the Bible was communicated. First, it was read…

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Nehemiah  7,  Proverbs 11:16-31,  Luke 17:11-19,  2 Timothy 2:14-26  Nehemiah  7: The wall has been built, but the work carries on—that is the work of rebuilding God’s people which the rebuilt walls represent and protect. Nehemiah first shrewdly delegates. He selects on the principle of faithfulness and being God-fearing (7:2). Those who fear God will…

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Nehemiah  6,  Proverbs 11:1-15,  Luke 17:1-10,  2 Timothy 2:1-13  Nehemiah  6:   Despite their ongoing success, the enemies continue their attack. Now it is a policy of fear mongering. They wish to make Nehemiah afraid, to make him look bad, to sully his name, and therefore cause his leadership to fail. They begin by inviting…

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Nehemiah 4-5,  Proverbs 10:17-32,  Luke 16:19-31,  2 Timothy 1  Nehemiah 4-5:   The next two chapters provide a master lesson in leadership based on the fear of God that is pure but not naive, canny but also generous and openhanded. We meet the enemies, Sanballat and Tobiah, and hear their public gossip despising the works that…

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Nehemiah 3,  Proverbs 10:1-16,  Luke 16:10-18,  1 Timothy 6:11-21 Nehemiah 3: This chapter lists all the teamwork that comes into play, the various groups of people as they now build as Nehemiah had led them to do. It takes every part of the body to do its task. Reading 1 Corinthians 12:12-20, we find the…

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