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Daily Devotions

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How To Lead Like Nehemiah

Posted: Tuesday, August 13

Mike Peppers // Communications Director

Mike Peppers // Communications Director

August 13 Reading:

Nehemiah 5:14-7:73
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Psalm 33:1-11
Proverbs 21:8-10

Click Here For The One Year Bible Reading Guide

Verse of the day:

15 So on October 2 the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun. 15 So on October 2 the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun.

Nehemiah 6:15-16


With God’s help, Nehemiah and Jewish exiles who had returned to Jerusalem after years of captivity rebuilt the city walls just 52 days. This was a remarkable and highly unlikely accomplishment given the circumstances. God chose Nehemiah to lead this rebuilding effort and he was eventually appointed as governor of Judah. This man demonstrated several strong characteristics that you can put in practice when asked to lead.

Lead With Integrity

Nehemiah did not use his authority to benefit himself. In verse 15, Nehemiah noted that former governors appointed by the kingdom of Persia had demanded heavy taxes and food rations from the people they oversaw. By contrast, Nehemiah refused to take a food allowance and instead paid his own money to feed himself and hundreds of other officials and visitors. Thus, Nehemiah’s leadership benefitted others more than himself.

Lead With Focus

Nehemiah was truly dedicated to rebuilding the wall. He personally worked on it and required all his servants to do the same. This rebuilding effort was opposed by other Persian-appointed governors of nearby provinces who saw the Jews as a threat. Several times in chapter 6, these governors tried to distract Nehemiah with the threat of spreading a rumor he was leading the Jews in a rebellion against Persia’s king. There was no truth to this rumor, so Nehemiah denied it and said he was too busy building the wall to let anything distract him. When you have an important goal, especially one blessed by God, you don’t want to let anything get in the way of you accomplishing it.

Lead With Discernment

Nehemiah had good judgement when making decisions. Someone he knew asked him to hide in the temple to escape those trying to kill him. It was a trap and Nehemiah didn’t fall for it. Not only did Nehemiah need good judgement to avoid this trap, he needed wisdom from God. He could tell this friend was not speaking on behalf God when offering the advice to hide in the temple. This is an indication that Nehemiah was close enough to God to know His voice. True discernment comes from God, so you must be close with him to have the discernment needed to lead.