Declaring War in the Heavinlies

Ephesians 6:12 Our battle is not against flesh and blood but powers and principalities of this dark age, therefore we must equip ourselves with armor and weaponry to prepare ourself to be part of the Army of the Lord. Here you will find weekly teachings, thoughts and discussions to help you keep your mind centered on the things of His kingdom. May God give you strength, wisdom and grace through all that you do.

{If you have ANY questions regarding a topic which I have written on, if you do not know Jesus as your Lord and savior and would like information on how to ask Him into your life, if there is a topic you would like to see covered, or even if you would just like to say hi I would love to hear from you! My email address is God Bless}

Monday, November 7, 2011

Trust in the Lord

Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.”
What does it mean to Trust in the Lord?

“Trust is the characteristic Old Testament word for the New Testament “faith”, “believe”.  It occurs 152 times in the OT, and is the rendering of Hebrew words signifying to take refuge. (Scofield Notes)
  •      Psalm 56:3 “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You”
  •     Ruth 2:12 “May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge
  •      Psalm 22:8He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”
  •  Psalm 37:4-7 “Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.  He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday.  Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.”
  •   Isaiah 50:10 “Who is among you that fears the Lord, That obeys the voice of His servant, That walks in darkness and has no light?  Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.”
(only a few of the multitude of verses that command our trust and show the blessings that follow when we do trust in the Lord with all our heart’s, mind’s and souls)

Trusting in the Lord is not trusting in man’s self in his own heart which is deceitful or in his own works of righteousness which the Bible says are like filthy rags:
“Isaiah 64:6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags…”

Trusting in the Lord is not in a profession of religion or legalistic duties performed of it; but in the Lord, the object of all grace and in Him only.  Trusting in Him at all times.  In times of trial and affliction, in times of temptation and suffering.  His love, grace and mercy make Him deserving of this trust.  What He has done for us and others should move us to this trust.  He promises that all works of grace within us will be completed.  We must believe that He is able to do what He says He will.  Another way of saying to trust the Lord is saying to “commit” all your ways and your heart to the Lord. 

How to trust the Lord?
After looking at what it means to trust the Lord the next question many ask is how to trust the Lord?  We must, with an entire submission and satisfaction, depend upon Him to perform all the things He has promised and lean not on our own understanding.  
In all ways acknowledge God:  We must not only in our judgment believe in God but become His.  Our life is not our own.  We must seek His direction, ask His advise and not only when we are stuck in a situation that we feel desperate.  We must be in total submission and acknowledge God with thankfulness.  Those that put themselves under divine guidance shall always have the benefit of Godly wisdom. 

2nd Timothy 3:2-4 says: “For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,”
This is definitely the trend in society, people are so all over the morality map, they have a hard time trusting anyone at all much less God.  People are so concerned about watching out about being wronged from the guy on the left that trust is a foreign concept.  However for Christians it must be different.  Regardless of your past, if you are a follower of Christ you know the truth.  To say you do not have the ability to trust God, must be a foreign concept.   Everyone has had difficult experiences some are harder then others but if you are truly born again then;
2nd Corinthians 5:17 Must apply to you “Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come”
God wants to do something very special with this new creation but to fully be available for God to make this work happen you must first trust Him.  This is not something that comes easy to many Christians, letting anyone (even God) handle their life, it feels natural to want to be in control, but the longer one waits the longer they keep God from producing the long lasting fruit He truly desires. 

John Gills Exposition of the Bible
Mathew Henry's Commentary of the Whole Bible 
Scofield Notes

Friday, November 4, 2011

                                            Philippians 4:6-7
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”
  •    Anxiety: Biblical anxiety is defined as excessive worry, care, self-centered lack of trust in God’s wisdom / sovereignty or power.  Delighting in the Lord, meditating on His Word, prayer and thanksgiving are antidotes for anxiety. (Anxiety and prayer are two great opposing forces in Christian experience) {1 Peter 5:7 “casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you
  • Peace of God:  The opposite of anxiety; inner calm or tranquility that is promised and comes when believers commit there cares to God in prayer.  Not merely a psychological state of mind, but an inner tranquility based on peace with God; the peaceful state of those whose sins are forgiven.  (Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ)
  • Surpasses all comprehension:  Refers to the divine origin and peace of God’s love, it’s full dimensions and care transcends human intellect, analysis and insight
  • Guard:  A military concept; meaning God’s “to keep a watch over” meaning God’s peace guards (His protective custody for those who are in Christ) believers from anxiety, doubt fear and distress to the core of their beings and to their deepest intentions. (1st Peter 1:5 “who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”)
  • Hearts and minds:  Paul was not making a distinction between the two he was giving a comprehensive statement referring to the whole inner person.  Because of the believers relationship with the Lord Jesus, Jesus guards his inner being with peace.
Prayer is the antidote to worry and the cure for anxiety.  God promises that no trial believers face will be too difficult for them to handle.

1st Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”

God expects us as believers to cry out to him when we have a need or problem not with doubting, questioning, or even blaming but with “thanksgiving”.

Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving” 

God has also promised that He will use all things in a believers life for good.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

When someone has become a child of God and has made “peace with God” in salvation he can have “peace with God”, the inward tranquility of the soul that is beyond understanding that is granted by God.

Romans 5:1 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”

Paul further defines this supernatural peace as that which surpasses all “comprehension / understanding”.  It transcends human intellectual powers, human analysis, human insights, and human understanding. 

Romans 11:33 “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!”

The goal of Christianity is not to get rid of all unpleasant circumstances it is to be able to trust in our infinite, holy, sovereign, powerful God in every difficulty. 

  •      “The MacArthur New Testament Commentary”
  •       “The MacArthur Study Bible”
  •       “The NIV Study Bible”
  •       “Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible”
  • “John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible” 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Rock verses the Sand

Matthew 7:24-25
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.”
(The parable ends the Sermon on the Mount)
(“rain came down”; the Holy land is known for rains that often cause disastrous floods)

 The hears of Christ words are divided into two’s: the wise and the foolish.  Those that hear and those that do not hear; the obedient and the disobedient.  Both groups hear God’s true Word, but some hear and obey and some hear and disobey.

There are Similarities and Differences between both the wise builder and the foolish builder:

  • Everyone who hears these words of Mine” applies both to the wise and foolish man.  They both have heard God’s word and have heard the way to Salvation.
  •     They both build a house after hearing the way to salvation.
    •        The wise man builds his house (which represents his life, on “these words of Mine”
    •        The implication is that the foolish man although he does not act upon, or follow Christ’s Word (the Word of God), thinks or believes he is secure simply because he has heard and acknowledged the words.  He does not intentionally build a house he thinks is going to fall.
  •  Both builders have confidence their houses will stand; but one man’s confidence is in the Lord and the other man’s is in himself.

  •   One Act’s upon God’s Word (obedience) and the other does not act upon His Word (disobedience).  One builds using divine standards, the other uses his own.
  •     The wise man built upon the rock, whereas the foolish man build his house upon the sand.
    •        The Greek word for Rock is Petra this doesn’t mean a stone or boulder but a GREAT outcropping of rock or a large expanse of bedrock.  “Solid, Stable and Unmovable.” 
      •        Sand is loose, unstable and very movable. 

The Rock vs. The Sand:

The Rock:
God’s Word is the basis of the Rock.  This builder is the one who hears Jesus’ words and acts on them. 
 “The house built on the rock is the life of obedience, the life Jesus has been explaining through the Sermon on the Mount.  It is the life that has a scriptural view of itself, as described in the Beatitudes.  It is the life that has a scriptural view of the world while not being a part of it.  It is the life that has the divine view of Scripture and that determines not to alter God’s Word in the slightest degree.  It is a life that is concerned about internal righteousness rather than external form.  It is a life that has a godly attitude toward what is said and what is done, toward motives, things, money, and other people.  It is a life of genuineness rather than hypocrisy, and of God’s righteousness rather than self-righteousness. The house built on the rock is the life that empties itself of self-righteousness and pride, that is overwhelmed by and mourns over its own sin, that makes that maximum effort to enter the narrow gate and be faithful in the narrow way of Christ and His Word.  Such a builder does not build his life or place his hope on ceremony, ritual, visions, experience, feelings or miracles but on the Word of God and that alone. ” (John MacArthur)

The Sand:
The sand is composed of human opinions, attitudes and wills, which are always shifting  and unstable.  Building on the sand is building on self-will, self-fulfillment, self-purpose, self-sufficiency, self-satisfaction and self-righteousness. 
“To build the house of one’s life on the sand is to follow the ultimate deception of Satan, which is to make a person believe he is saved when he is not.  Because that person is under the delusion that he is safe, he sees no reason either to resist Satan or to seek God.” (John MacArthur)

The rain, the floods, and the winds:
Signify God’s final judgment.  The storm is the ultimate test that every human will face.  The house that is founded upon the rock (Christ and His Word) will stand; the one that is build upon the sand which is anything other than Christ and His Word will be utterly destroyed.  Whether one’s religion is true or false, one day it is going to be tried.  That trial will prove with absolute finality what is real and what is false. who have entered by the narrow gate to walk the narrow way and who have entered by the wide gate which leads to destruction. The house on the rock of Jesus Christ and His Word will be delivered from the wrath to come and will only have praise from God (1st Corinthians 4:5) “…and then each man’s praise will come to him from God”

  • The MacArthur New Testament Commentary Matthew 1-7
  • MacArthur Bible Commentary 
  • The NIV Study Bible 
  • Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible   

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Who was Melchizedek???

    Melchizedek, (mel KIZ uh dek) king of righteousness; 22nd century B.C; Genesis 14:18.
    His mysterious appearance and disappearance as a friend of Abraham and worshiper of God has led to speculation about Melchizedek’s origins.  Some think that this historical king-priest had no father or mother, nor any descendants, but existed eternally, such as the archangel Michael.  In the New Testament, he is pictured as a supernatural figure whose untraceable origins and eternal life prefigure the divinity of Jesus Christ.
    When Abraham met him, Melchizedek was king of Salem (short from of Jerusalem) and a priest of the Most High God.  This was a propitious meeting, at which this king-priest interceded on Abraham’s behalf.  Melchizedek offered bread and wine to the war-weary Abraham, a prayer of blessing for him, as well as praise to God for victory over Chedorlaomer and his allies, who had previously kidnapped Abraham’s nephew Lot.  For this service, Abraham gave Melchizedek a tithe of all the bounty won in battle.
    The Melchizedek mentioned in the Psalms may be the same one as in the Genesis account, or he may be the more symbolic idealized king-priest that would foreshadow Jesus’ priestly ministry.  According to the writer of Hebrews, the priesthood of Melchizedek was greater than Abraham and the Levitical or Aronic priesthood (as Levi was subordinate to Abraham; hence also to Melchizedek).[i] 
    So who was he really?  He was king of Salem and priest of the most high God and other glorious things are said of him.  The most rabbinical writers conclude that Melchizedek was “Shem” the son of Noah, who was king and priest to those that descended from him, according the patriarchal model.  This is not at all probable; for why should his name be changed?  How come he came settle in Canaan?
    Many Christian writers have thought this was a “Theopany” or “Christophany” and that this was or Lord Jesus.  The appearance of the Son of God himself.  Known to Abram, at this time, by this name, as afterwards, Hagar called him by another name (ch16:13).  He appeared to him as a righteous king, owing a righteous cause, and giving peace.  It is difficult to imagine that any mere man should be said to be without father, without mother and without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life.  It is likewise difficult to think that any mere man should, at this time be greater than Abram, in the things of God, that Christ should be a priest after the order of any mere man, and that any human priesthood should so far excel that of Aaron as it is certain that Melchizedek’s did.
    The most commonly received opinion is that Melchizedek was a Canaanitish prince, that reigned in Salem, and kept up the true religion there; but if, so , why his name should occur here only in all the story of Abram, and why Abram should have altars of his own and not attend the altars of his neighbor Melchizedek who was greater then he seems unaccountable.[ii]
    The lack of biographical and genealogical particulars for this ruler, whose name meant “righteous king” and who was a king-priest over ancient Jerusalem, allowed for later revelation to use him as a “type of Christ”.  His Superior status in Abram’s day is witnessed by (1) the king of Sodom, the first to meet Abram returning in victory, deferring to Melchizedek before victory, deferring to Melchizedek before continuting with his request and  (2) Abram, without demur, both accepting a blessing from and also giving a tithe to this priest-king.
    Priest of the most high: The use of El Elyon (Sovereign Lord) for God’s name indicated that Melchizedek, who used this title 2 times (verses 18,19) worshiped, served and represented no Canaanite deity, but the same one whom Abram also called Yahweh, El Elyon (v.22).  That this was so is confirmed by the added description, “Professor of heaven and earth,” by being used by both Abram and Melchizedek (verses 19 & 22)[iii]
    It appears that Melchizedek was a type of Christ.  Evidence points to him as an actual king, his name means “righteous king” who was a king-priest over Jerusalem and later revelation seems to point to this meaning as well in Psalms 110:4 and Hebrews 7:17
Specifically in Hebrews; like Melchizedek’s priesthood, Jesus’ was first and last based on who he was.  It had nothing to do with the physical body but everything to do with eternal power, the power of an indestructible life.  The comparison is Jesus to Melchizedek so it can not be Jesus to Himself there for it must not be a Theophany… and the evidence for the other two just don’t hold as much ground.  Therefore the best educated guess can be that Melchizedek was probably a man that symbolized the person of Christ

[i] Dietrich Gruen. Who’s Who in the Bible An Illustrated Biographical Dictionary. (Lincolnwood, Illinois, Publications International, LTD. 1998) 207.
[ii] Mathew Henry. Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (Peabody, Massachusetts, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. 1991.) 78.
[iii] John MacArthur. MacArthur Bible Commentary. (Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas Nelson, Inc. 2005.) 34. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A brief history of Apologetics

    From the writers of the Gospels, through the letters of the New Testament, through various stages of history all the way up till present day Christian philosophers, writers and thinkers have dealt with the question of what is the best way to present the faith to non-Christians.  This school of thought is known as apologetics. Paul’s speech to the Athenians in the book of Acts chapter 17 is often looked upon as one of the first examples of Christian apologetics.  Early church fathers such as Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria and the Greek Apologist Origen helped to lead the role of the apologetic into the fourth and fifth centuries.  Aurelius Augustine with his writings on human culture, philosophy and history spear headed Christianity’s world view with the first complete Pauline view in the faith.
    Anselm became well known for his ontological argument in his revolutionary “Proslogion.” In thirteenth century Europe Thomas Aquinas became a major name in Christian philosophy beginning with his challenge on the Aristotelian worldview.  Aquinas is well known for his “five ways” or “five arguments” for the existence of God, which has been under debate for over 2 centuries.
    The sixteenth century leads to the protestant reformation with the rise of Martin Luther tacking the Ninety-five Theses to the churches door condemning it for their offenses. He wanted the churches’ focus to find its way toward the doctrine of salvation not the selling of indulgences.  John Calvin was also a chief player in the reformation.  Calvin’s claim was that faith was always reasonable but to men it seemed unreasonable because men were blinded by their sin.
    The more modern times brought with it skepticism, the Enlightenment brought greater challenges with even sharper turns from scripture with thinkers like Hume and Kant and Darwin all warming up in Satan’s dugout.  Francis Schaeffer, C. Stephen Evans and David Clark are all examples of those within the twentieth century who have picked up the apologetic torch and continue to carry on the timeline of those that have not let it die out.
     After reviewing the various approaches to Christian apologetics my preferred approaches is and always has been the classic approach.  I am a logic based person.  I studied law and political science in college and it comes easy and natural to me to draw on logic. Scripture tells in Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”  Only God can create faith that’s not man’s job but man can turn a man’s eyes upward where they were once staring down.  Only God can soften a man’s heart but a Christian with a heart for the Lord can take a mind and create the spark for God to build the fire. 
    When dealing with a seeker, a skeptic or an antagonistic I always start with Jesus.  Jesus as a man is just as established as any person in history.  If someone tries to deny Jesus they have to deny for the sake of our material: Plato, Aristotle, Constantine, ETC. At that point the person usually will admit that a man named Jesus at least lived.  If the individual does not admit that Jesus lived, I’ll usually dive into my historical timeline a little deeper.  I’ll ask: If Jesus didn’t exist why did the crusades happened?  If Jesus didn’t exist why do we have the calendar system we have?   If Jesus didn’t exist why do where did all the Christian holidays come from? 
     When I finally reach a point where my partner in the conversation concedes to the fact that a man named Jesus 2011 years ago existed I’ll go further.  I’ll use the classic approach and say that they only have 3 options: If Jesus existed and He claimed to be the Son of God which history shows to be the case, he was either, crazy, lying or telling truth. 
    From that point I’ve already gained enough ground where they have conceded that I know a thing or two about history and I’ve earned the credibility in their eyes to speak about the history of miracles and other historical events related to the Gospel message or they will try and shut me down and tell me He was lying.
   If they choose to say Christ was lying then I ask what are the chances He would have taken a lie as far as crucifixion?  If they still don’t want to give any ground it’s usually at this point I’ll agree to disagree, pray for them and leave them in God’s hands.  I have logically answered as many questions as they were coming up with while maintaining control of the topic and not letting it go on a wild tangent of asking irrelevant questions.  If the person was sincere in seeking answers chances are either a deeper conversation sparked out of that talk, or they didn’t make to the end themselves.  If they were just trying to punch holes in my faith, then I was obedient to God in what He instructed me to do and I leave them in His capable hands.  Amen.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lessons of life from Ezra and Nehemiah

Practical lessons can be learned from the lives of Ezra and Nehemiah. Their books contain practical lessons for everyday life.   

Ezra: 7:10 (Study… Practice… Teach…)
“For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord and to practice it and to teach His statues and ordinances in Israel

The pattern of Ezra’s preparation is exemplary, He studied and practiced the law in his own life before he opened his mouth to teach that law but the success of Ezra’s leadership did not come from his strength alone, but most significantly because “the good hand of God was upon him” (7:9).  Ezra understood the need for preparation.  Today many ministers and preachers of the word today try to “hear” God’s calling and rush into things with out proper preparation.  They either rush their education if they receive any formal training at all.  Ezra understood the need of removing the splinter in his own eye before tackling the plank in someone else’s (Matthew 7:4).  Of course having God’s call is essential; if God’s not in it your doomed before you start, but at the same time without doing the work to prepare, with out a solid foundation in the Word, without taking the time to grow and water and tend that calling the enemy will sift you like wheat.

Ezra 8:21-23 (I proclaimed a fast)
“Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our little ones, and all our possessions.  For I was ashamed to request from the king troops and horsemen to protect us from the enemy on the way because we had said to the king, ‘The hand of our God is favorably disposed to all those who seek Him, but His power and His anger are against all those who forsake Him’ So we fasted and sought our God concerning this matter, and He listened to our entreaty.”

Ezra 8:31
… “and the hand of our God was over us, and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and the ambushes by the way.  Thus we came to Jerusalem and remained there three days.”

The Jews would soon begin a long dangerous journey on roads that were frequented by thieves who robbed for survival.  Ezra and the people did not want to confuse the king regarding their trust in God’s protection so they sought him faithfully and prayerfully  through a fast for his protection. God honored their faith and prayer with His protection.  This is important because Ezra was aware of the importance of this Journey to God.  However he did not come to God in arrogance, or pride claiming God’s protection on this journey, instead he humbled himself and had the community humble their selves before almighty God.  We need to take a lesson in humility and reverence today before God.  Today you see T-Shirts like “Jesus is my Homeboy” or I had someone tell me a few weeks ago (a grown man) “I call Jesus my bro in prayer”.  These are both total lack of reverence and respect towards God.  We have grown in society to a place of complacency towards God we need to find humility and reverence and fervency in our prayers and the way we address the almighty Lord. 

Reconciliation with God:
Ezra 10:1
Now while Ezra was praying and making confession, weeping and prostrating himself before the house of God, a very large assembly , men, women and children, gathered to him from Israel; for the people wept bitterly.

Nehemiah 1:4-7
“When I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven. I said, ‘I beseech You, O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who preserves the covenant and loving kindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, let your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to praying before You now, day and night on behalf of the sons of Israel Your servants, confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have sinned against You; I and my father’s house have sinned.

Ezra and Nehemiah have a lot in common in these scriptures. Their contrite spirit before the people was evident; these extreme expressions of contrition demonstrated the seriousness of the sin issue at hand and the genuineness of their repentance.  Both man had a deep sense of Jerusalem’s significance to God and were greatly distressed at the fact that affairs hand not advanced for God’s glory.  Most importantly and what we can draw from most today is that they understood the importance of repentance.  
    Ezra “wept and prostrated himself… according to Miriam Webster “to prostrate” is to be stretched out with face on the ground in adoration or submission; also : lying flat; and he did this in front of the whole community of God! Nehemiah wept, mourned, fasted prayed for days!  How does that compare to our repentance today (be mindful that these men weren’t even guilty of the sins that they were repenting for they were repenting for the community!) 
    God requires repentance; Luke 13:3 “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish”   2nd Corinthians 7:10 “For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death”  
    Today in many services in many churches across this world, on radio’s on televisions, it has become common for people to here sermons on the Gospel of Christ that are so watered down regarding salvation and regarding repentance, that they think they say one little prayer in their seat, on their couch, in their car on the way to work and they are saved.  People do not understand the meaning of true repentance but here it is outline what the heart of repentance is by these two men.

Nehemiah’s Example:
Nehemiah 5:14
“Moreover, from the day that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year to the thirty-second year of King Artaxerxes, for twelve years, neither I nor my kinsmen have eaten the governor’s food allowance.”…..
    This refers to the provisions from the Persian administration and which Nehemiah had chosen not to partake because it would have to come from taxing his poverty stricken people. The scripture goes on to say how Nehemiah worked him self on the wall and provided himself for his servants at his own table… This is a wonderful example of being a Christian witness.  Living the life walking the walk and being the example in leadership.  Its all to often that in Christian leadership, leaders tend to become distant from the people, stand offish sometimes not even on purpose its just the role they tend to take on; but its always important to lead by example, to lead as Christ led; to lead from love and Nehemiah here is a perfect example of that.