Nehemiah's Journey Begins

Toby DeHay
Nehemiah  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Today we have a great example from Nehemiah about how we follow the plan God has laid before us, deal with inevitable conflict, and continue to be His faithful servant.

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Nehemiah 2:9–11 NIV84
So I went to the governors of Trans-Euphrates and gave them the king’s letters. The king had also sent army officers and cavalry with me. When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about this, they were very much disturbed that someone had come to promote the welfare of the Israelites. I went to Jerusalem, and after staying there three days

Beginning Journey (9)

What do we see in this verse and how do we apply it?
We see that Nehemiah was able to begin his journey just he desired.
Part of realizing who we are in Christ, is realizing that we aren’t called to sit and wait, but go and do.
Nehemiah gives us a good example of this by seeing a need and beginning to meet that need. He went.
Let me ask you some difficult questions this morning:
Have you ever said one of the following:
I need to be in church more often. I know the Bible says I’m supposed to, but here I am at home. The action starts with a thought, but carries forth by doing.
More mature Christians talk about reading God’s Word daily, praying for others, and other spiritual disciplines. I need to read his Word more, but I struggle with time. In order to begin a spiritual discipline, you may need to give up something like a tv show in order to make more time, OR rearrange your day to get it done.
I know I’m called to share my faith, but I’m not as gifted as so and so, or I’m really shy.
In this verse we learn that Nehemiah had army officers and cavalry with him.
He got there safely.
Listen to what Jesus says in Matt. 28:20

Confronting Conflict (10)

I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
In order to do what He’s called us to do, we must:
Believe we are called.
Believe He sent us.
Believe He equips us.
Believe He with sustains us.
You can’t begin a journey without going.
Many say they are on a journey with Christ, but have never taken that first step.
If you are on a journey with Jesus today, there will be evidence of you beginning to at least take the first step of following Him as a disciple.
Do you need to call out to Him in forgiveness today and begin that first step?

Confronting Conflict (10)

What do we see in this verse and how to we apply it today?
1. We see Sanballat and Tobiah oppose him.
2. We see they oppose God’s people as well.
Sanballat can be likened to Batman’s Joker, or Superman’s Lex Luther.
He is his “arch rival” and Tobiah is his side-kick.
Look to with me 4:11-24.
Guess what?
There will be conflict in your life.
If you are trying to start a new habit, like attending church regularly, there will be all kinds of chances for you to jump ship.
If you are trying to read your Bible more regularly, you’ll find yourself tired, or interested in a new show, or unsure of where to start: you name the excuse.
There will be conflict with other believers. They’ll have a hobby horse that they think you’ll need to ride.
There will be conflict with those who say that are believers, but everything about them says NOPE.
There will be conflict with the world (work, home, neighbors, coworkers, etc)
Conflict will come and it needs to be confronted.
Part of being a Christian is making the right priorities.
We simply don’t go to ball games, hunt, or whatever else you want to name on Sunday morning. That is the time we worship as a family.
We don’t make evangelism an option for you, it is a command and if you aren’t participating, you are in sin.
We don’t like it when others push our buttons, say ugly things, or try to trip us up, but we love them, pray for them, and confront when necessary.
Conflict will come. The question is ‘how are we going to handle it when it does.”

A Steadfast Example (11)

Check out verse 11
I went to Jerusalem
Nehemiah began his journey, confronted conflict, and was steadfast.
We might think this phrase is overly simplistic, but in our walk with the Lord we sometimes forget this part.
It’s easy to stop with conflict.
It’s easy to get bogged down with side issues like we saw in Boston yesterday.
It’s easy to forget the goal of when things get difficult.
Nehemiah didn’t have an easy row to hoe.
Church, let me encourage you today:
I know all of us have faced or are facing conflict.
Don’t stop moving forward with the Good News of the Gospel!
Don’t stop sharing your faith-even if it appears that no one is listening.
Don’t stop pouring into younger believers.
Don’t stop working toward holiness

12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.

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