Text: — Nehemiah 1:1 — O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king. [NIV84]
The Big Idea: Do not let your job title hold you back from fulfilling what the Lord has laid on your heart.
Nehemiah closes off the first chapter with his job title, “I was cupbearer to the king.” Yes, he was highly trusted. He would taste the wine and the food before the king would eat it. He was the poison detector, if you will. A high risk job, eh? This means, on one hand, he was highly trusted, but on the other, highly expendable. I wonder if Nehemiah made friends in high places to prevent any poisonings; what do you think?
Many have pride in their jobs, but some live for the job title, the glamour of high powered titles like CEO, CFO, president, vice president, ‘pastor,’ reverend, etc…. But as Jesus said over his shoulder to the Pharisees, “Surely they have their reward” (Mt. 6:5 ESV).
As Lifestyle worshipers, we need not live for the job title; nor do we need to be held back by “it”. I have personally seen that janitors have a larger ‘pastoral’ role in some church settings than the pastor himself. So to all of us who feel expendable, take note of Nehemiah: Do not let your job title hold you back from fulfilling what the Lord has laid on your heart. He had the humility and the courage to act on the burden for his people. The Lord gave him favor with the king and with the people, and I’m sure that whatever situation we may find ourselves in, when the Lord prompts us to do something, He will not only empower us, He will also grant us favor with both those over us and those we will lead.
I pray this same confident blessing to you as you start this New Year with a renewed hope!
Scriptures to Renew Your Thoughts
— John 15:15-17 (NIV)
— Luke 1::46-48 (NIV)
— 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 (ESV)