By: Brent Wakefield
Accountability.  That word might make you cringe and run for cover.  It could bring up thoughts of shame, guilt and hiding that you’d rather not think about.  In modern times, we’ve probably turned it into something it was not supposed to be – keeping tight reigns on ourselves or someone else, perhaps.
So, it’s probably an odd thought to be inspired by accountability, but we see it play out in Nehemiah’s day.

First, God put it on Nehemiah’s heart to assemble all of Israel to be enrolled by genealogy (Neh. 7:5).  Everything was already known and written down – it was there in the books.  Nehemiah just brought to everyone’s attention exactly who God had saved from Babylonian exile.  No doubt the people recognized their family name.
Next, Ezra read the law before the whole assembly.  Everyone understood it. That eventually led to the confession of sin and remembering all that God had done for Israel in bringing them out of Egypt.

It was in that moment the people of God were inspired to make a “firm covenant in writing” on a sealed document.  (Neh. 9:38).

What did this mean?

Israel recognized their ancestors’ past mistakes and vowed not to make those mistakes again.  And importantly, they promised to give to the house of God and not neglect it.  (Neh. 10:39).
The Israelites were called out by name, reminded of their past, and inspired to do something new.
This is the true purpose of accountability.  Not to make someone stop sinning so much.  It’s to inspire true, transformational change for new Kingdom works.

The past few weeks, we’ve been asked to put our family’s name in the spotlight.  Upload a picture.  Make ourselves known and show that we are “next to them” on the wall.  If you’ve done that, you have been named and you are accountable.  Step one is complete.

So, now it’s time to reflect on what God has done in our lives.  

Think back to childhood and recognize that He was always protecting and pursuing us.  Even when bad things happened – no, especially when bad things happened.  He has always hemmed us in, behind and before.  During high school when we thought we were invincible and maybe shunned the things of God.  In college or our early working years when we sought after the things of this world.  In the midst of divorce or hard times in a marriage.  In times when death and sickness touched our lives.  God has always been there, lavishing us with the good news of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  His story is present and real, overarching everything we experience.

And this should inspire us.

We have been named, we have been reminded, and now we are an inspired people, ready to do new works for our King and His Kingdom.
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