1.11.11

Nehemiah, as an example.


I was recently invited to speak (this past weekend actually) at young people's retreat. This is basically what I said...you are welcome to follow along in your own Bible or to click on references as they will take you to the passages.
I have really come to love the story of Nehemiah. I am so thankful that God gave us human-saved-by-the-tender-loving-mercy-of-God-alone examples. And I cannot begin to express the joy I get from reading and being reminded, this faith I have is nothing new. This task I have- it is an old one.
Thank you, for allowing me to share what God is teaching me through His Word with you.
chapter 1, verses 1-3                                                                       
The story opens, with Nehemiah learning about the present state of his home. In fact, it was described as, “being in great trouble” and “shame.” Some translations use the word "disgrace". Their walls were their protection from outside invasion lack of walls meant- lack of privacy,   protection, and defense. They were exposed. And helpless.                                                                 


He refers to the remnant. Think about that word. They were down to their teeny tiniest shred of hope. They were only a fragment of a people. If you were in Nehemiah’s position, how would you react?
#1- Nehemiah was deeply AFFECTED by the state of his people.
chapter 1, go ahead & finish the chapter 
Nehemiah reacts. He weeps. He mourns. HE PRAYS. He praises His God. He worships the Almighty. Pleads to be heard. He repents. Confesses. He remembers God’s promises. He delighted in revering God's name. (He was awestruck- even in the midst of tragedy.) He asked for favor in the presence of man.
#2- Nehemiah was CHANGED - even down to his countenance.
chapter 2, verses 1-2                                                                               
Nehemiah is changed. We are not talking bother or worried for a moment. This was personal to him. This was life changing. We learned in c1 that Nehemiah is cupbearer to the king, although he is continuing on with his normal duties- he is different. In fact he is so not his old self that the king asked him why he was so sad.
#3- Nehemiah TAKES ACTION and INVOLVES OTHERS.
chapter 2, verses 3-5                                                                      
Nehemiah takes action. (And of no small task I might add.) And he gets others involved in the task. He shares his vision of rebuilding and winds up inspiring an entire people (and everyone who has ever read the book Nehemiah) and rebuilding a nation.
It is easy to read this story and see the obvious problem that Nehemiah had to fix. The very obvious – very physical ruins of Jerusalem. But sweet brothers and sisters, we are standing in ruins too. We have friends across the street –around the world- dying and going to hell. Living without the peace of God- without the assurance of salvation- and the hope of forgiveness.
Do we mourn them like Nehemiah did?
Do we risk man’s approval by allowing our very countenance to be changed?                         
Are we taking action to go, to tell, how to be restored to peace and to God?
In, v12, c2 Nehemiah refers to his task as what God had “put in his heart” – so I ask you: What piece of the Great Commission is God putting in your heart?

Will you follow the example of Nehemiah? 
& obey?



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