Remember the Goodness of God (Nehemiah 5:19)

“Remember for my good, oh my God, all that I have done for this people.”
– Nehemiah 5:19

What an interesting prayer. And we see it at different points. We see it again at the end of Nehemiah in chapter 13, Nehemiah looking up to God in the middle of all that he’s doing to work, to rebuild these walls around Jerusalem for the good of that city, for the good of the people across that city, for the glory of God’s name among the nations surrounding Jerusalem.

And Nehemiah says, “Remember for my good, oh my God, all that I’ve done for this people.” And you start to wonder when you read this, I mean, is this selfish of Nehemiah? He wants to be remembered by God for something, but when you think about it, isn’t this what we live for? And don’t you and I want to live for the day when we’ll stand before God and by his grace, only by his good hand upon us, which is what Nehemiah has already emphasized, don’t we want to hear God look at our lives in the past, “Well done, good and faithful servant”?

Nehemiah 5:19 Reminds Us of God’s Generous Grace

I want to hear that on that day, I want to live to hear that on that day, and I’m guessing you do too. Who wants to stand before God on that day and hear you, “You missed it. You didn’t. You weren’t a good servant. You were a faithless urban”? None of us wants to hear that. So can we just pause and pray today in view of that day?

God, remember us on that day, we pray, knowing, only knowing there is nothing good in us in and of ourselves. Everything good in us come from you. And so there’s no way we can stand before you one day and hear you say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” if it’s not for your grace in us. But, God, we know you’re generous with grace. We know you want to say that to us on that day and you promise to give us everything we need to be good and faithful servants.

Nehemiah 5:19 Leads Us to Look to God

So, God, help us to live today toward that end, that even at the end of today when we lay our heads on our pillows tonight that we would’ve lived in such a way that you might say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” By your grace in us today, God, we pray you would help to live for this every day, and that we might lie our heads on our pillows at night hearing these words from you and having lived by your grace in such a way that these words are true of us.

God, please may it be so on a daily basis in anticipation of the day when we ultimately look back. God, we pray continually on this podcast for unreached people around the world. We pray specifically today for the Fulani of Nigeria, 17 million of them, 0.06% followers of Jesus. God, we pray, help us to be faithful and taking the Gospel to the nations, to all the nations. God help us to be faithful to do this good work for all the peoples of the world.

Nehemiah 5:19 Points Us Towards Prayer

God, we pray, help us to be faithful even now as we pray. God hear our prayers. Cause the Gospel to go to the Fulani of Nigeria, God, we pray, please save them, that they might experience your grace, your salvation in Jesus, and they might be brought into relationship with you, that they might stand with us on that day and you’re looking at them and saying, “Well done, good and faithful servants.” God, we pray. We pray for the spread of the Gospel among the Fulani of Nigeria.

God, help us. Help us to be faithful to your commands, to do all the good that you call us to do in this world for others’ good and, ultimately, for your glory. God, we want that to mark our lives just like we read here in Nehemiah chapter five. We pray this in Jesus’ name, the name of the one who lives in us and who alone can make this possible in us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as Lead Pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical.

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