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Leadership Nugget

Remind yourself who God is today

Nehemiah 1:5 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,

Staying focused on your priorities is a very important part of leadership. If you are a leader, you are busy. Your calendar gets full fast, you have many to do lists, you are ambitious, and you want to accomplish great things…you are a leader! With this drive in my own life, I have many things going on all at once and this is why I love my smart phone. It helps me schedule, send email, listen to podcasts, make notes, and the million other apps I love to use including social media. The biggest help on the phone is the reminder. I often fill my calendar full and tend to forget the little details so I have the calendar alert me of my next appointments and my priorities. I find myself looking at my calendar often so I can see how I should spend my time next and what to make a priority. This helps me focus. This will help you. 

Just as I look to my calendar to remind myself of my priorities, I must also look to God’s Word and spend time praying to remind myself of His plan. This can be hard when there are long to do lists, people to get back to, projects to finish and the million other urgent things pressing on me for the day; but I find myself actually leading better if I stay focused and putting my priorities first. Just because something is urgent and pressing doesn’t necessarily mean it is the most important thing at that moment. Nehemiah just received the urgent information about Israel and how the walls where broken. He could have done a million things to just start the process to fix the situation, but we see Him praying and reminding Himself of who God is. 

I don’t want to lose sight of God in my life for the “urgent” things that consume my day. I tend to be so caught up in a situation that it consumes me, and I try to get things done. Although this can be helpful at times, God want us to make sure we have perspective. To base our life on His Word and promises (2 Pet 1:3-4) so that way we can prioritize the way we spend our time. I have to be reminded often of what really is important. I don’t want to lose sight that their is a God who made the Heavens. That nothing is impossible with Him. That He calls me to do great things for His kingdom and has good plans for me. That He keeps His covenants and is faithful. That He is for me and loves me. And that He loves you. 

I find the most important part of my day as a leader is not spending my time on the urgent matters of the day or even checking my to do list off BUT the part where I spend time with God. When I am able to do this, I am reminded of His truth and He helps me focus on my priorities, my time, and my life. When I remind myself of who He is and His love for me, it helps me. When I can spend time with Him, I find myself handling whatever pressing issue that comes up for the day a lot more graciously because I have persecutive. His perspective. I even go back through the day reminding myself that this great and amazing God is with me. This helps me lead better. This will help you lead better. I must continually remind myself of who God is. When do you remind yourself of who God is?

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You Can Pray

Nehemiah 1:4 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.

BURDEN: A duty or misfortune that causes hardship, anxiety, or grief. A load, especially a heavy one

Nehemiah had known all of his life that the city of his father was in ruins. The Babylonians had destroyed Jerusalem’s walls, gates and temple in 586 B.C. (2 Kings 25:1-21). There was a little glimpse of hope throughout the years as 50,000 Jews had returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple and the city. Sadly, the temple took twenty years alone to build because Gentiles had hindered the work (Ezra 1-6), and the city and walls were still ruined. Nehemiah was going about his normal life as  the cupbearer for King Artaxerxes in the year 444BC, nowhere near Jerusalem even though He was a Jew. That was when he sparked a conversation with his brother who was with some men of Judah and received some news that wrecked his ordinary day.

Although Nehemiah may have known about the situation before, he never HEARD about it. It never really gripped his heart and caused him to be anxious. He was familiar with the situation, the status quo, and life as usual, but on this ordinary day God changed the way he viewed the situation so he could be burdened by it. When God gives you fresh revelation, it is for a reason even when you may not know how to process it; and for Nehemiah, this revelation caused him to pray.

I can relate to Nehemiah because often as a leader, I plan my day, but then have to deal with unexpected crisis. Things come up all the time that you cannot anticipate or prepare for, and it is a great responsibility to lead though these times as well. The weight of a leader is great and often times we can get crippled when we think about all the things we can’t plan for, but God has given us a tool for every situation. He gives us prayer. We must continue to live our lives not in fear, but in the truth that no matter what comes our way, we can pray. 

Often, our hearts are heavy and we feel worthless because the load of information is too much for us to bear because we feel like we can’t do anything to relieve the heavy load. We must remember that we can pray. God lets us HEAR and SEE certain situations for a reason. The Bible declares that we were meant to be alive at this moment and have specific tasks to accomplish to bring God glory. If you see a problem, often times that may be God giving you the burden to actually do something about the problem. As God’s beloved children, He desires for us to pray about these burdens and cast our cares upon Him for He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). It may take some tears, mourning, fasting and even days for you to process some of your burdens, but God doesn’t want to crush us with these helpless situations. Rather, He wants us to draw near to Him through prayer and allow Him to be God as only He can be. God may have recently given you some new insight, news, or burden that may have crushed your ordinary day, and you still may not know exactly what you can do about it. Nehemiah show us that you can start with prayer.

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Don’t forget about the people

Nehemiah 1:3 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.”

Nehemiah is a great leadership book! We see amazing leadership principles throughout the book of Nehemiah and see God use him to accomplish the great task of rebuilding the broken down walls of Jerusalem. Leaders like to get things done, but don’t miss that this book is something bigger then just a construction project…it is a book about people! What makes Nehemiah such a great leader is that his heart broke for the people, and that drove him to action. The people were in “great trouble and shame,” and if we ask God to open our eyes and look around, we will see that there are still many people today all around us that are in “great trouble and shame”. 

If you have been in leadership for any amount of time, you have probably felt the pressure to put the priority of a project over people’s needs to try to accomplish the task at hand. I can often be so task driven that I forget that I am doing certain projects for people to serve and love them. We must remember, as servants of Jesus, that He wants us to love and serve people. This is part of the great task God calls us to do. Leaders want to get stuff done, but we should never put aside the greatest project of all: loving people and leading them to Jesus who can restore and redeem all things.


How can you love some of the people you lead today? 

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Leadership Nugget: A Leader Passionately Prayers


Nehemiah 1:11c For I was the king’s cupbearer.

Every great story has a beginning. The book of Nehemiah is a great story full of amazing leadership principles and great accomplishments….but it all started with Nehemiah praying. Don’t overlook this. Nehemiah passionately prayed. Before the great accomplishment of a wall being built, the restoration of a ancient city, families being restored to their homeland and the rise of a great leader, it started with prayer. It started with God. 

Prayer is simply talking and listening to God. As we pray to God, we are aligning our hearts to His will, and we get to know Him in a closer way. This is why Jesus prayed, “not my will, but your will be done,” before he endured the cross. So we also pray according to God’s will. Many even say the words “in Jesus name,” which is another way of saying “according to your nature and will.” We take all sort of circumstances, situations, and emotions to God through prayer and allow His will to be done and pray for His plan to succeed. 

Often, when we hear successful stories of leaders, we want to learn from them so we can succeed as well. We learn that Nehemiah wasn’t a great commander or leader in the nation of Israel, he wasn’t even living in the Jewish nation at the time. He was simply working as the cupbearer for King Artaxerxes in a foreign land. Although he didn’t seem like the greatest candidate to lead the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, God had great plans for Him to accomplish this great task. We see His journey start with him praying passionately to God for the nation of Israel, and as he prays, God starts to align his heart to His plan to restore His people, the city and rebuild the wall through Nehemiah. I believe Nehemiah’s success started with the secret Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:6 “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” 

Don’t miss how this book starts off. In Nehemiah chapter 1 we see Nehemiah passionately praying. If you want to lead well, it will be good for you to pray to God as well. 

Luke 14:11 ”For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Be blessed,

Pastor Daniel 

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