Monday, October 20, 2008
THIS WEEK'S SERMON!
Nehemiah: Lessons In Rebuilding
Is there something broken in your life that you’d like to fix, but don’t know how? A broken marriage, a failing business, a dying relationship? Or is there something that’s fallen apart that you’d like to rebuild: a house, a church, a ministry, a career? If so, then you'll love to learn some lessons in rebuilding from the biblical book of Nehemiah.
Nehemiah took on a rebuilding project that seemed imposing, impractical and nearly impossible. But when he told God what he wanted to do, and God gave him the green light to do it, God walked him through every step of the project. With God’s help, Nehemiah rebuilt a wall around the entire city of Jerusalem--a wall that is still standing and you can still visit today, several thousands of years later!
People told Nehemiah it was impossible; people tried to stop his work; people threatened his life. But Nehemiah pressed on. After many months of planning, praying, fighting and building, the work was finally completed. When all the surrounding countries, including his enemies, saw what Nehemiah had done, they also knew how he got it done. The book of Nehemiah says:
“...they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God” (Nehemiah 6:16).
If you’d like to learn how Nehemiah did it, and how God helped him along the way, I invite you to join me in learning about this great rebuilding project as recorded in the book of Nehemiah. If you’ve got something on your heart that you want to rebuild, I’d like to encourage you in the weeks ahead to do it.
Here’s a simple truth: if it matters to you, it matters to God. God cares about the details of your life. He cares about the things that you care about. That doesn’t mean that He always wants to head out and do whatever you want to do. Our plans are not always His plans. But if He doesn’t want you to do it, He’ll let you know, if you’re willing to listen. God has redirected many people’s good plans so He can do something better through them, (see 2 Samuel 7, for instance).
But if God does want you to go forward with your plans, He’d love to help you succeed. He is undoubtedly for you. He created you, He loves you and He has an incredible plan for your life. You could say He has a “vested” interest in you, because He’s in-vested so many gifts and skills into your life because He has so many things He wants to do through you.
The hardest part of starting a project is often believing that God really wants you to do it; that He really cares, and that He’ll really help you every step of the way. Once you know that, you’re half-way there! After that, it’s just a matter of figuring out the details of how to proceed. I hope this study encourages you on both levels, giving you both the confidence to believe in the project that’s on your heart, and giving you the practical steps to do it.
Nehemiah followed a series of practical steps to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, steps which you can follow to rebuild the things in your own life that need rebuilding. It involved much prayer, much planning, many people and fair amount of hard work. But He didn’t have to do it alone: God helped him all along the way.
By the end of this study, I hope that you’ll have the confidence and the tools that you need in order to reach the goal that Nehemiah reached as recorded in Nehemiah 6:15:
“So the wall was completed...” (Nehemiah 6:15).
Those words are stated with such simplicity that they could never do justice to the work involved, nor the accomplishment that was achieved. But they are stated in a way that when I hear them, I’m inspired that what Nehemiah was able to accomplish, I just might be able to accomplish, too, with God’s help. My prayer is that they inspire you as well.
As we go through this study, I’ll include Scripture Reading to go with each devotional. I hope you’ll read these passages along with what I write, because I can only touch on one or two thoughts each time, but God has so much He wants to say to you! By the end of the study, when you’re finished reading each of these Scripture Readings, you’ll have also read through the entire book of Nehemiah.
I’ve also included a prayer that you can pray with me at the end of each devotional. I hope this helps you to begin a quiet time of prayer with God in response to what you’ve read. Here’s today’s prayer:
Prayer: Father, open my eyes to see what Nehemiah saw that helped him to accomplish what was on his heart, and help me learn how to do the same. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today’s Scripture: Nehemiah 6:15-16
(Read these verses online at: http://www.biblegateway.com )
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