The Steady Work of Ministry
In my fifth message from the book of Nehemiah, I taught on the need for us to recognize and deal with the sources of oppression to the mission of God. My message was entitled “Keep Calm and Carry On.” The following are my preaching notes for the message that covered all of Nehemiah 4-6.
- Story of “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster
- British Ministry of Information during WW2
- Morale boosting posters – three were planned and two were used.
- “Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution will Bring Us Victory”
- “Freedom is in Peril: Defend It With All Our Might”
- The plan this poster was to issue it only upon the invasion of Britain by Germany. As this never happened, the poster was never officially seen by the public.
- Eventually discovered in an auction of old books by a bookstore in England. Hung it up and began to sell copies. It is a phrase that rings true for our need in facing the everyday work of God’s mission.
We will face two sources of opposition:
External – 4:1-9
- Mocking – 4:2-3 – pathetic Jews; if a fox…
- Threats – 4:8 – plotted against us
- Intimidation – 6:5-7; you are rebelling
- Deceit – 6:10ff – Shemaiah luring Neh into hiding
- “Readers are advised to remember, the devil is a liar.” –CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
- Lack of faith – 4:10-12
- Forgetting how God is at work
- Lack of ministry – 5:6-8
- Failing in ministry; not caring for those in need
We must learn to stand up to the opposition:
- Know you are in a battle! — Movie clip from “Return of the King”
- Keep praying – 4:4-5
- Have the will to work – 4:6
- Stay armed – 4:15-23
- Keep the faith – 4:20; 5:13; 6:9
- Remain faithful – do not let holiness or ministry diminish – 5:9, 12-3
- Finish – 6:15-16