I have just completed my message series through Nehemiah. In the message for the thirteenth chapter, I focused on the need for the people of God to remain faithful to the work God had done in their lives. The following are my teaching notes for Nehemiah 13.
Remaining Faithful – Nehemiah 13:1-31
Introduction: Previous lessons learned in Nehemiah…
- Embrace the burden God places on you with prayer and dependence.
- When God makes an assignment, He will also make the provisions.
- The stories of God’s grace at work should move God’s people into God’s mission.
- We must be unified around the work of God no matter our personal preferences.
- The necessity of learning to stand in midst of opposition.
- Opposition to the work of God also comes from the disobedience by the people of God.
- Our participation in God’s mission will only be as deep as our knowledge of God’s Word.
- Worship is the natural result of the work of God and should be a witness to the world.
Nehemiah has left – read v. 6-7B
When Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem, he had to deal with 3 issues:
- Mixture with the world — 13:1-5
- Neglectful of the offerings – 13:10-12
- Apathetic toward worship — 13:15-18
5 Principles for remaining faithful:
1. Faith must be lived out in normal life.
- What we want is to be “the earth-shakers trouble-makers of our generation” (a phrase used by Eric Mason).
- What we often encounter is a work-week filled with five Mondays.
- Hebrews had a mountaintop experience in the rebuilding of the wall. Now they needed to live out their faith in the everyday pace of life.
2. We drift.
- Don’t wake up to totally abandon worship & faith.
- The great spiritual danger we face is not in running from God but in slowly drifting from His presence.
- The caution is that may slowly drift from God.
3. The enemy always tries to sneak in.
- Nehemiah had utterly rejected the influence of Tobiah, Sanballat, and other enemies.
- Never think that the enemy has given up his dream of destroying you.
- Be aware: he wants to get at the heart of God’s people.
4. Sin must be dealt with forcefully.
- v. 8 – Kicked Tobiah & all of his stuff out of the temple!
- There is no moderation-program for sin. We do not simply step-down through it.
- ILL) if you are a compulsive liar, the point is not to just lie less. It is to repent and not lie any more.
- Sin brings death & destruction so why toy around with it.
- Crucify the flesh.
5. We are in constant need of renewal.
- Go back to the heart of the three issues; mixture with the world, neglecting offerings, and apathy toward worship.
- All deal with our level of faith in the goodness of God; His ability to make all things new.
- The gospel is the answer. It is the declaration that the love of God endures forever. We need Christ alone, grace alone, faith alone.