Nehemiah 5:14-19

Talks for Growing Christians

Everybody's Doing It

Nehemiah 5:14-19

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Lesson Number 16

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Blessed are those who deny their rights in the interest of the Kingdom of God.
  2. People have short memories, but God doesn’t.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t get compassion fatigue.
  2. Everyone does not do it.


  1. Explain, “Nehemiah built a wall, not a personal empire.”
  2. What does it mean to deny your rights for the glory of God?
  3. What is meant by “compassion fatigue?”
  4. Is it wrong to expect the best of both worlds, materially and spiritually?
  5. Cite specific examples, both biblical and contemporary, of believers who denied their personal rights in the interest of the kingdom of God.


  1. As governor of Judah, he was a godly example and set high standards as a leader, giving up many of his “rights” as governor. He could have taxed the people and bought land at a low price, but he didn’t. Rather than charge diplomatic expenses to the Persian government, he paid expenses out of his own pocket.
  2. It means to deny yourself privileges, even legitimate ones, if it would bring honor to God. The Christian has higher standards, and it is his godliness that shines through to win people to Christ. It is going the second mile.
  3. It means becoming desensitized to the plight of the disadvantaged, usually because of the overwhelming nature of the task and the numerous requests for financial support.
  4. Some popular “prosperity gospels” present the unscriptural teaching that Christians should expect both material and spiritual prosperity in this life. But Jesus had “nowhere to lay His head,” and many early Christians experienced poverty and persecution.
  5. Two examples: Abraham – Genesis 13:5-12 and Moses – Hebrews 11:24-26. See how many more you can name!


  1. Discuss 1 Corinthians 15:58 and Hebrews 6:10. How is this teaching different from the “prosperity gospel?”
  2. List some things to which you have become desensitized. What should you do about this?


  1. Have you written a letter, called, or visited anyone with the express purpose of thanking him for the impact he has had on your life? Consider doing this before it’s too late.

Key Verses

  • “Out of reverence for God I did not act like that.” Nehemiah 5:15

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