Wednesday, September 28, 2016.

Author : Bishop Julius Okarike

Verse Of The Day : In addition, from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah (that is, during the twelve years from the twentieth to the thirty-second year of King Artaxerxes), neither I nor my relatives relied on the provisions allotted to the governor.
Nevertheless, the former governors before me placed a heavy burden on the people. They received food and wine, plus a tax of 40 shekels of silver. Even their young men took advantage of the people, but I never did so because I feared God. Also, as I continued to work on the wall, we purchased no land, and all of my young men were employed in the work. I fed 150 Jews and officials every day, not counting those who came from the nations around us. Our daily requirements were one ox and six choice sheep, along with various kinds of poultry prepared for me. Every ten days there was a delivery of an abundant supply of wine. Despite all this, I refused the governor’s allotment, because demands on the people were heavy.- Nehemiah 5 : 14 : 18 (ISV ).

LISTEN : I believe you might be wondering why our bible reading today (verse of the day) is a long one, right? It’s so because the message demand just that. Today in our society, there’s moral decadence occasioned by neglect to godliness. People no longer care about moral principles and integrity, let alone to fear God. This should compel us to ask, where did we actually got it wrong? Unfortunately, no one wants to ask this vital question because it will prick our consciences and hinder us from pursuing our ill-gotten wealth and other evil activities. Obviously we have forgotten God, especially our leaders who should set the pace for morality. The bible says, ” The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.(Psalms 9 : 17). If our country must change, our leaders must pioneer it. Where are sacrificial leaders today? Leaders like selfless Nehemiah the Governor of Judah? Or have they ceased to exist?

Nehemiah was an exceptional leader, who practically demonstrated selflessness and sacrificial leadership when he became Judah’s Governor. Rather than asked for his portions or entitlements as Governor, he expended his own money to take care of himself and his team. He rejected the juicy allocation for the Governor, which was enjoyed by his predecessors, why? Verse 18 of Nehemiah 5, said, ” I refused the governor’s allotment, because demands on the people were heavy.” Beloved, Nehemiah forgone his portions as the Governor because, he identified with the burden of his people. Haven’t our leaders seen the people’s misery? Haven’t they seen or heard that many go to bed with empty stomach? Can’t our leaders at all levels of governance make sacrifices? As a leader, are there not things you can forgo to ease the burdens of your people? Let’s like Nehemiah sacrifice for the wellbeing of our people; for sacrifice is the price and beauty of leadership.

Having read today’s devotional, what are you expected to do?
1. In any level of leadership you are, learn to make sacrifice.
2. Always remember that leadership is not just about you, but the people you lead.
3. Don’t give up just because you’re being criticise as a leader, rather work towards being the kind of leader your people and God will be proud of.
4. When the leadership seem not to feel your plight and misery as a follower, don’t give up. Determine to outlast that situation.

Daily Task : As a leader, always learn to make sacrifices for the wellbeing of your people; for leadership is worthless without the people’s interest in view.

Daily Reflection : No leader can truly be sacrificial and selfless except he or she has respect for moral principles and integrity.

Prayer : Almighty God, I thank you for today’s devotional, help me to serve and lead well as a leader, and to follow well as a follower in Jesus’ name, amen.

Prophetic Word : Today, I prophesy over your life, grace to outlast your challenges and fulfill your God-given purpose is released upon you in Jesus ‘ name, amen.

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