Nehemiah For You: Strength to Build for God – Eric Mason

Nehemiah for You: Strength to Build for God by Eric Mason
Also by this author: Urban Apologetics: Restoring Black Dignity with the Gospel
Series: God's Word for You
Published by Good Book Company on July 1, 2022
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life

The book of Nehemiah chronicles a key moment in the history of God's people: the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem after the return from exile.
But we don't walk away from this book just knowing about a rebuilt wall. Nehemiah helps us think through any type of rebuilding we might do for God--from our homes and families to our local church, our communities and our world. It teaches us about gospel mission.
Urban pastor Dr. Eric Mason unpacks this rich book verse by verse. He explains the context, gives plenty of application for our lives today, and shows us what it looks like to get involved in God's work to build his kingdom.
This expository guide can be read as a book, used as a devotional, and utilized in teaching and preaching.

My familiarity with the book of Nehemiah mainly stems from my childhood church’s building campaign, and I read Nehemiah For You: Strength to Build for God with one of the “Let us rise up and build” fundraising bookmarks my dad made in the late nineties. However, even though I felt like I knew the story well, it had been years since I had actually read it, and this book inspired me to go back and revisit Nehemiah, reading chapters before reading the associated sections in this book. I appreciated Eric Mason’s clear explanations of some of the more complex historical and cultural elements of this Bible book, and he draws out great applications for how Christians can apply core themes from Nehemiah in their churches and communities.

Mason writes with a realistic, boots-on-the-ground perspective about church ministry and community renewal projects, sharing some examples from his pastoral ministry in an urban church. He emphasizes both the internal and external changes that were necessary for repentance and healing in Nehemiah’s context, and he shows how these core themes apply to current issues today. I appreciate how well he balanced writing about both personal holiness and social justice, addressing both as essential without emphasizing one over the other.

Nehemiah For You is a great resource for pastors who are planning to preach through Nehemiah, especially if they feel uncertain about how to handle the social justice themes without watering them down or overly politicizing them in today’s cultural context. This book would also be a great selection for Bible studies, personal reading, and family devotions with older children, especially when people are going through phases of vision-casting, project management, and communal renewal.