Thursday -- Humility and Perseverance

Humility and Perseverance

Read Ezra 8:21-233132. Would you consider Ezra’s decision not to speak to the king as foolish or brave? How did Ezra and the people show humility?

Sometime later, Nehemiah accepted the king’s entourage for protection. But in Ezra’s instance, he believed that God could show Himself best if they did not ask anything of the king. Thus, when they reached Judah without harm, it was attributed to their God. Perhaps in certain situations, we may rely too much on other people and not enough on letting God show Himself. Ezra chose to let God do the work in this situation and proved to the king that indeed God was a powerful God.

However, Ezra didn’t act with presumption. He called the people together, and they fasted and prayed over the situation. They didn’t engage in their journey until they had spent serious time with God. They came before God humbly, requesting that His protection become a sign of His power, and God answered.

Read Nehemiah 5:14-19. How did Nehemiah display humility?

True leaders must be willing to humble themselves and be servants. Competent leaders do not require or need a “title” to gain honor. Nehemiah had his doors open and generously gave to the people. He demonstrated his faith in God, and his incredible dedication to God was an example to the people. He had a strong personality and a no-nonsense temperament, but He didn’t put himself above anyone else as superior. He had the highest position in the Jewish nation at that time, and yet he was unstinting. In this way, He reflected the life and teachings of Jesus, who taught us that the best way to lead is to serve others. Jesus did it, and thus we, regardless of our position, are to do the same.

“And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all’ ”. (Mark 9:35, NKJV). What do Jesus’ words here teach us about what it means to be a true leader in God’s sight?

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