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Monday, September 16, 2013

Remembered For Doing Good

By Jimmy Hodges

    “Remember me for this, O my God, and do not blot out what I have so faithfully done for the house of my God and its services.” (Nehemiah 123:14, NIV)
    Nehemiah wanted to be remembered for good.  This was more than just wishful thinking.  He was actively involved in doing good.  He hears that Jerusalem is in shambles.  The news leads him to weep and pray to God.  He plans to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the wall.  He asks his boss, the king, to help him with his plan.
    The king grants Nehemiah his request.  Off he goes to Jerusalem on his rebuilding project.  Unlike many today, he does not travel with a caravan of hype.  He surveys the work, and then he reveals his plan to the locals.  The citizens support him.
     Finally, Nehemiah has opposition.  Sanballat and Tobiah were leaders in the area.  A fortified Jerusalem would pose a threat.  So the two did all they could to delay construction.  Nehemiah would not be stopped.  Half the workers were on guard for attack while the other half worked.  Nehemiah even slept with his clothes on so he could be ready in a moment’s notice.
    When the rich Jews were putting the poor Jews into slavery, Nehemiah put a hasty stop to that practice.  Why should the Jews work so hard for independence if they sold each other back into slavery? Nehemiah points to his own example.  He was not a heavy tax burden to the people as governor, unlike his predecessors.  Even 2500 years ago, people appreciated lower taxes.
    While Nehemiah was leader, Ezra read the law to the people.  Upon hearing the law, the people were prompted to confess their sins.  After confession, the people renew the covenant with God.  So yes, Nehemiah is remembered for good.  In fact, he did so much good it is hard to remember it all.  I am sure I have left some of the highlights out in this article.  Thankfully, God has a good enough memory to recall all of Nehemiah’s good.
    How about you? Do you have the same desire? Do you want to be remembered for good? Follow Nehemiah’s lead.  Do good.  Do so much good that we have trouble remembering it all.  Even though all the details may evade us, we will remember you for good.  Thankfully, God will recall all your good.

- Jimmy Hodges, via THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the Arthur Church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com


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