On Sunday, I continued my message series through Nehemiah. The first message dealt with the burden that God places on our hearts for His glory and work. The second message highlighted the idea that when God makes an assignment, He also makes the provisions. In the third message, I showed how God used Nehemiah to call out the people for His work.
- Everybody wants a hero. Or they want to be one.
- Father’s Day — one of the benefits of raising boys is the ability to go, without shame, to see all of the superhero movies.
- Illustration: Jerry Seinfeld says: Most men believe that they are really low-level superheroes. As children, we pretend to be superheroes. For us, these are not fantasies, these are options.
- It would be easy to mistake Nehemiah as the hero of the story. Nehemiah is not the hero of this story but speaks for the hero in our story.
- God, through Nehemiah, calls out the people of Jerusalem to the work He assigned.
1. The need of an honest evaluation
- Evaluate the circumstances.
- The city has been in this state for 130 years
- The evaluation will always be in line with the truth of God’s commands
- We grow callous to what has been torn down
- SPIRITUAL DRIFTING is the danger we face because we slowly grow accustomed to the distance from our Father.
- Illustration: As a kid at the beach, I would play in the water but the undertow would pull me away from my parents. I would grow accustomed to the distance until I would finally look up and not know where I was.
- What should we see in the evaluation of God’s people today?
- Could these things be said of us? Lack of generosity in giving. Embarrassed by gospel conversations. Hesitant to lead in the simplest ways. Lazy to the basic practices of our faith; Bible study & prayer.
- We must evaluate if we are satisfied with less of God’s work or do we eagerly desire more of His presence.
2. The blessing of confrontation
- God’s people were not in a place of disarray, mess, or working on a fixer-upper. “Disgrace” is the strong word used here by God to describe the city.
- Our sin has brought us to the place of disgrace.
- Evaluation is not worth anything unless we are willing to face its truth.
- A holy perspective leads to definitive action.
3. God has a vision and has made provision for a redeemed and restored people.
- The vision did not belong to Nehemiah. It did not belong to the political officials. It did not belong to the priests.
- This is the vision that God has for His people
- God desires to take our mess, trouble, and sin and make everything new.
- The desire of Christ is to remove the disgrace of man.
4. The testimony of God’s grace should engage God’s people into God’s mission.
- The testimony of God’s work in us and among us should increase our faith for God’s work for us.
- We are called to engage personally and collectively in that work.
- It is time to “own” it.