Men of the Word Meeting #2-Intro to Nehemiah

21 03 2009

Intentions We started to take a look at the book of Nehemiah this week and I think most everyone was challenged to learn that he was a devout man in the midst of a completely hostile pagan environment. He didn’t use this circumstance as an excuse for sinful behavior, in fact he maintained his righteous walk while attaining to the highest office in the land, that as the the personal adviser, confidant and body guard to the greatest king the world had ever seen to that point in history. Rob Iverson outlined for us how Nehemiah was able to do this. In one word the man had “integrity”.

Three ways in which a godly man like Nehemiah and consequently ourselves, ought to be concerned about integrity were listed for us.

1) Nehemiah was intentional in looking for how God was at work in the affairs of his life. This is how we are to live as well. This is how we are to “get in the game” moving from mere spectators to God’s work in the world to become intimately and personally involved.

2) Nehemiah was intentional in his prayer life. In 50 verse, 11 prayers are recorded in Nehemiah. He modeled persistence in prayer ( at one point praying for 4 months), he was humble in his prayers, he identified with the sins of his people and his prayers were tied with actions he himself took.

3) Nehemiah was intentional about cultivating personal integrity. Integrity means to be above the reproach of any man. Another way to put it is “the accusations never stick” to a man of integrity.

The main threat facing each man in cultivating these attributes in his own life can be summed up in the difference between the idea of living an intentional life or simply living a life of good intentions. The first is characterized by a man who can make plans, set goals and achieve them because he is purposeful with his time and resources. The second is characterized by the man who is always talking about things that may be good, but he can never seem to bring them into reality or complete goal that he has expressed. He is full of good intentions.

So one challenging question we were faced with was “Are we living our lives intentionally or simply lives full of good intentions?”  Are you intentional about cultivating three godly attributes that Nehemiah exhibited? The test to this question came in the form of another challenge- “Are you full of good intentions about prayer?”

I hope this synopsis is helpful to you men.