The Nehemiah Project
“Celebrating the New Life!”
Nehemiah 12:27-44; 13
Teaching by Pastor Jerry Ingalls
November 20, 2016
As we commit ourselves to building Jesus’ Kingdom together, God will use His Church to bless New Castle and beyond! This is the theme and promise of Nehemiah 1:8-9. We must commit ourselves to Jesus Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through us to do our part in being the place God’s name dwells in the world today!
The promise of Nehemiah is not just the revival of Jerusalem, but revival of God’s people so that God’s glory will go out to the nations. Listen to Nehemiah 12:43, “And they offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and children also rejoiced. And the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away.”
This is the powerful truth found in the book of Acts. Acts 1:8 declares, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” This teaches us that the presence of the Holy Spirit in the community of God’s chosen people empowers them as God’s witnesses of His manifest glory first in Jerusalem [within the Church], but then to Judea [our immediate spheres of influence in which we work and play and the communities we live], and then beyond as a ripple effect to Samaria and the ends of the earth [all people everywhere].
There are 2 final points of The Nehemiah Project that are critical for our life moving forward:
1) We must celebrate Jesus!
As we see in Nehemiah 12:27-31, it’s time to celebrate the New Life Jesus has given us (“2 Corinthians 5:17); we are a community of resurrection power (The Gospel transforms stories so that each of our stories begins to tell Jesus’ story more and more)! We are called to sing and testify! As Revelation 12:11 says, “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.”
2) We must remain alert!
Nehemiah 13 is a necessary reality for every community to soberly acknowledge that both spiritual leadership is important and the commitments we each make are important. We each must fulfill the IF in our personal part of God’s covenant for the Body of Christ to be healthy and grow to maturity! Highlight Nehemiah 13:9, 11, 17 & 25. You are invited to commit to an ongoing lifestyle of humility, confession, repentance, covenant renewal, and celebration. We are invited to pray about the importance of an FBC Annual Covenant Renewal Service, as well as the importance of telling stories to one another every week of how God is continuing His good and faithful work in and through us.
What we learn from the Old Testament story and from 2,000 years of Church history, is that being God’s people is impossible apart from God’s covenant faithfulness! We must commit ourselves to Jesus Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through us to do our part in being the place God’s name dwells in the world today!
I want you gather and hold one another’s hands as worship neighborhoods as we do a special consecration prayer. Today, God invites us to be a consecrated (set apart for God’s purposes). Today, God reminds us of our call to living the new way of Jesus Christ as the people of God.
Jerry to invite worship neighborhoods to gather together and hold hands then pray a prayer of consecration over the congregation.
Now, let us listen sit back down so we can listen to stories to encourage one another and then let us gather together tonight to celebrate with our annual Thanksgiving Feast. We have a lot to give thanks for, above all, God’s faithfulness to us!
Ken to lead testimonial time around the thanksgiving table.
Afterwards, you are all invited to come back tonight to join in a time of reunion, renewal, and restoration, as we celebrate over dinner together. Come one, come all, you are all invited…
To read more about the Nehemiah Project, click HERE.
On November 27th we will begin our Advent Celebration with “The Scandal of Christmas.”