Nehemiah 1:9; 6:10-7:73
The Nehemiah Project (Teaching #7 of 10)
Pastor Ken Durham
October 30, 2016
INTRO: We see the fulfillment of Nehemiah 1:9…
“but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.’
…take place on this day. For 52 days, they had labored together to rebuild the walls and the twelve gates around Jerusalem.
*Show map of gates with list
*Show finished project.
And it wasn’t an easy task. Not only did they have the manual labor of removing the ruble, preparing the stone, mixing the mortar, putting the stones in place like a jigsaw puzzle, then putting another layer of plaster/mortar to give it a smooth finish so no one could just climb the walls, but they also had to put up with the threats of the enemies and even the gritching and moaning of the people inside the walls. Nehemiah himself had to battle the ‘extended family’ of Tobiah the Ammonite because he had married the daughter of Shecaniah and his son had married the daughter of Meshullam. They were keeping Toby informed and then were taking his letters to try to intimidate Nehemiah, but Nehemiah would have nothing to do with it!
1. DON’T BAIL BEFORE THE BLESSING
‘So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. 16 And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell greatly in their own esteem, for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God.’
~ For what do church leaders persevere…
*The successful fulfillment of their plans or the faithful fulfillment of God’s Word?
~ Who receives the glory in the first one? Second one?
~ When you quit/bail before it’s done, what does the world say?
* Show picture of Gaudi Church … unfinished began construction in 1882, only 65% complete in 2013 expected to be completed in 2026
‘Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
Which is more important, the building or the people/disciple? Who is the real church? And whose image are they made in?
Paul writes to Timothy to encourage him to press on and told him how to do it.
I Timothy 6:11-12
But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
What was Paul’s reminder to Timothy in his writing to him in
2 Timothy? Live a life of “No Regrets”.
2. CONTINUE TO DO THE WORK FAITHFULLY
‘Now when the wall had been built and I had set up the doors, and the gatekeepers, the singers, and the Levites had been appointed, I gave my brother Hanani and Hananiah the governor of the castle charge over Jerusalem, for he was a more faithful and God-fearing man than many. And I said to them, “Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot. And while they are still standing guard, let them shut and bar the doors. Appoint guards from among the inhabitants of Jerusalem, some at their guard posts and some in front of their own homes.”’
~ Responsibility is on those who live there!
* They were to empower the people to help protect and serve.
‘Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
~ Provide a ‘safe place’ for people who currently live there and for those who coming in.
~ We are not just horizontal service provider, but we are a vertical worship community where Jesus is not prominent, but preeminent in all we do
Hebrews 12:14 ‘Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.’
Is there anyone you need to talk to in order to make things right so that God will be seen in ALL you do?
~ The Lord led Nehemiah to take a census/count
‘The city was wide and large, but the people within it were few, and no houses had been rebuilt. Then my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles and the officials and the people to be enrolled by genealogy. And I found the book of the genealogy of those who came up at the first, and I found written in it:’
* not for him to say “Look how many are here,” but to show the people who God had already brought back, and to prepare them for those who would be coming back.
~ God had brought back those they needed to continue to lead the work as they prepared for God to bring more back home to Jerusalem.
~ Just because you finish the first step/phase does not mean you can quit/retire/put in your time.
‘And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.’
Who have you been training/discipling in your area of ministry where God has called you to serve?
‘Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,’
FBC needs to “serve one another in love” as we reach out to this crazy world we live in, showing them who Jesus is in our everyday lives, so that they will want to know more about Him. And it starts today, so please form groups of two families in your neighborhoods and pray a blessing over each other and for God to use you to make a difference.
To read more about the Nehemiah Project, click HERE.
On November 6th Pastor Jerry Ingalls will be preaching on Nehemiah 8 & 10, The Call to Commitment!