But the earlier governors—those preceding me—placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels of silver from them in addition to food and wine. Their assistants also lorded it over the people. But out of reverence for God I did not act like that. Nehemiah 5:15
Nehemiah isn’t in Jerusalem for what he can get. A governorship is a prime position in the ancient world. Leaders use it to milk the people to gain immense wealth. Nehemiah acts differently. He’s giving instead of taking. The text says he feeds the people and doesn’t work to acquire more land. His generosity undoubtedly cost him something and was counter-cultural. Nehemiah tells the reader why he is generous. He says it’s because of his reverence for God (Nehemiah 5:15).
Our reverence, respect and love for God should lead us to be generous. Reverence for God creates a life that imitates the generosity of God. Radical generosity is when we begin to organize our finances around giving money away. It’s a young adult giving 10% of their paycheck to the church and choosing to live on the other 90%. It’s a retired couple meeting with a financial adviser to discuss how they can wisely live below their means so they can give away a portion of their wealth to their church and nonprofits. It’s intentionally putting giving into a budget as a line item so there’s money to give away to those in need instead of just hoping there’s something left when a need arises. The cause of this type of reorientation is what Nehemiah expressed—a reverence for God. It’s a respect and love for the God of the universe who came down to earth to rescue us.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Pray and ask God to help your reverence for him turn into generosity. Then, begin to prepare to be generous. One step is to start a conversation with an Ada Bible financial coach. These trained volunteers can help you plan for your next step with budgeting and generosity. To get connected with a financial coach, visit adabible.org/financecoach.
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
November is BIBLE MEDITATION. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.