Wednesday, April 25, 2012

15 Success Tips for Everyday Life from Nehemiah – Great Lesson for Teens


Many times God gives us an assignment….

Depending on our perspective….

Some call it an issue…

Some call it a challenge….

Some call it an opportunity…

Some may even call it a PROBLEM.

Whatever it is, we know that God has highlighted the situation and it needs attention…NOW…

Yes, God puts it before us. But naturally we grow weary, frustrated, scared. Just like many of the heroes of faith in the Bible.

But…. we also know we can refuel with the KING. IF we ask, He promises to NEVER leave us nor forsake us. He is our “A present help in time of need”. (Ps 46:1)


Nehemiah’s Life to Teach Teens

joe christian vs cross bearer 4-12 

I love to extract wisdom from the bible to apply it to everyday life. This is especially helpful when teaching teens….who LOVE WISDOM=)

The Bible serves as a compass when trying to navigate through a challenge or task God is helping us through. Nehemiah had an amazing insightful time with the Lord when rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.

Nehemiah’s Opportunity

Here are a few tips to help us glean wisdom from Nehemiah’s difficult but successful journey

(Verses from New Living translation on (

1. (Neh. 1:2-4 New Living Translation) See the issue, challenge, opportunity

2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem.

3 They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”

4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.

2. (Neh. 1:11) Strategize: Pray and Make a Plan With God

11 O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me.[b] Put it into his heart to be kind to me.”

In those days I was the king’s cup-bearer.

3. (Neh. 2:11-14) Use wisdom to avoid unnecessary resistance

11 So I arrived in Jerusalem. Three days later, 12 I slipped out during the night, taking only a few others with me. I had not told anyone about the plans God had put in my heart for Jerusalem. We took no pack animals with us except the donkey I was riding. 13 After dark I went out through the Valley Gate, past the Jackal’s Well,[f] and over to the Dung Gate to inspect the broken walls and burned gates.

4. (Neh. 2:14-15) Assess the situation

14 Then I went to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but my donkey couldn’t get through the rubble. 15 So, though it was still dark, I went up the Kidron Valley[g] instead, inspecting the wall before I turned back and entered again at the Valley Gate.

5. (Neh. 2:20) When encountering those who are offering free discouragement - Cling to God’s Promises

20 I replied, “The God of heaven will help us succeed. We, his servants, will start rebuilding this wall. But you have no share, legal right, or historic claim in Jerusalem.”

Overcoming the Enemy’s Tactics

6. (Neh. 4:1-3) Sometimes when pursing God’s plan we may also hear the enemy’s thoughts that may SEEM true to distract us. They are really because we are on the right path.

Sanballat was very angry when he learned that we were rebuilding the wall. He flew into a rage and mocked the Jews, 2 saying in front of his friends and the Samarian army officers, “What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they’re doing? Do they think they can build the wall in a single day by just offering a few sacrifices?[p] Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap—and charred ones at that?”

3 Tobiah the Ammonite, who was standing beside him, remarked, “That stone wall would collapse if even a fox walked along the top of it!”

7. (Neh. 4:4) Our response to the enemy’s thoughts = Prayer

4 Then I prayed, “Hear us, our God, for we are being mocked. May their scoffing fall back on their own heads, and may they themselves become captives in a foreign land!

8. (Neh. 4:8-9) When we get closer to success and the opposition increases and tries to bring confusion and/or discord = Prayer + Action

Faith is an action word…. See James 2:17-24

8 They all made plans to come and fight against Jerusalem and throw us into confusion. 9 But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves.

9. (Neh. 4:10) Realize when a particular course of action is not working effectively.

10 Then the people of Judah began to complain, “The workers are getting tired, and there is so much rubble to be moved. We will never be able to build the wall by ourselves.”

11 Meanwhile, our enemies were saying, “Before they know what’s happening, we will swoop down on them and kill them and end their work.”

12 The Jews who lived near the enemy came and told us again and again, “They will come from all directions and attack us!”[s]

10. (Neh. 4:13) Based on gained knowledge. Adjust success strategy.

13 So I placed armed guards behind the lowest parts of the wall in the exposed areas. I stationed the people to stand guard by families, armed with swords, spears, and bows.

11. (Neh. 4:14) Remember your mighty God

14 Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!”


We Are Just Like the Heroes in the Bible


Here is the dividing line between those of us who say we are “Christians” and those  Christians who will “Carry their Cross”.

I will be honest; sometimes I don’t FEEL like carrying the cross.

We ALL feel like bailing out at times when things get REALLY TOUGH and seem like they will never resolve. We may cry, scream, act up, get upset with God and/or those around us…whatever.

Let’s see…. in the Bible it says:

Peter LIED 3 times save himself by denying knowing Jesus who was actually his best friend,

Elijah RAN from Jezebel after just finishing defeating 300 prophets of a false God,

Before becoming who God wanted them to be….Sarai and Abram SCHEMED to create an heir for Abram. It seemed logical since she was barren. Sarai gave her husband Hagar her servant to be his wife.

She wanted to create who she thought would be an heir.

God’s response was to promise a better plan that seemed impossible…open Sarai’s womb. No condemnation…just a better plan. They realized Ishmael was NOT God’s promised Isaac. (Gen. 16 & 21:1-20)

So, when we grow weary we are in good company…its ok.

We can run to God for help to move past our emotions to move toward SUCCESS in the task He has for us to complete.

“The God of heaven will help us succeed”

God’s GRACE is here for us….GRACE, GRACE, GRACE

I believe He loves to carry us to the finish line of success.


Through the Trials - Nehemiah's Final Stretch to Success


12. (Neh. 4:15-18) God gives us NEW strategies to work around obstacles that try to get in our way.

15 When our enemies heard that we knew of their plans and that God had frustrated them, we all returned to our work on the wall. 16 But from then on, only half my men worked while the other half stood guard with spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. The leaders stationed themselves behind the people of Judah 17 who were building the wall. The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon. 18 All the builders had a sword belted to their side. The trumpeter stayed with me to sound the alarm.

13. (Neh. 4:21-23) Another answer to great opposition to reach success: Work really hard. OUCH!

21 We worked early and late, from sunrise to sunset. And half the men were always on guard. 22 I also told everyone living outside the walls to stay in Jerusalem. That way they and their servants could help with guard duty at night and work during the day. 23 During this time, none of us—not I, nor my relatives, nor my servants, nor the guards who were with me—ever took off our clothes. We carried our weapons with us at all times, even when we went for water.[f]

14. (Neh. 6: 2-11) God gives us revelation and discernment when we need. God exposes the enemy’s strategy. Pray for strength and boldness.

But I realized they were plotting to harm me, 3 so I replied by sending this message to them: “I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?”

4 Four times they sent the same message, and each time I gave the same reply. 5 The fifth time, Sanballat’s servant came with an open letter in his hand, 6 and this is what it said:

“There is a rumor among the surrounding nations, and Geshem[b] tells me it is true, that you and the Jews are planning to rebel and that is why you are building the wall. According to his reports, you plan to be their king. 7 He also reports that you have appointed prophets in Jerusalem to proclaim about you, ‘Look! There is a king in Judah!’

“You can be very sure that this report will get back to the king, so I suggest that you come and talk it over with me.”

8 I replied, “There is no truth in any part of your story. You are making up the whole thing.”

9 They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination.[c]

10 Later I went to visit Shemaiah son of Delaiah and grandson of Mehetabel, who was confined to his home. He said, “Let us meet together inside the Temple of God and bolt the doors shut. Your enemies are coming to kill you tonight.”

11 But I replied, “Should someone in my position run from danger? Should someone in my position enter the Temple to save his life? No, I won’t do it!”

Rocks to Success

15. (Neh. 6:15-16) Success (enemies frustrated and humiliated)

15 So on October 2[d] the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun. 16 When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God.