08 - Emotions (Nehemiah)

Nehemiah: A Time for Restoration  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Your shepherd is an expert at repairing emotions.



08 - Nehemiah: A Time for Restoration
Church on the Park | Sunday, 22 NOV 2020 | Glen Gerhauser
Texts: Psalm 23:1-3; Nehemiah 3:1; Ephesians 6:14
Theme: Your shepherd is an expert at repairing emotions.
Intro: The book of Nehemiah shows us God's people rallying together to repair the broken walls and burnt gates of Jerusalem. Like broken walls and burnt gates, your emotions can be broken down and burnt out. But here's the good news: Yahweh, your shepherd, is an expert at repairing emotions. Today, we will explore how the Lord repairs our damaged emotions. How can your emotions be restored? You will find the answer as we intertwine these three parts of Scripture: Ephesians 6:14, Nehemiah 3:1 and Psalm 23:1-3. And to illustrate God’s work of repairing us, over the next two weeks we will acrostically spell out the word: REPAIR.

1) R - Receive the Shepherd’s Rest (Psalm 23:1-3).

Psalm 23:1–3 NASB95
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
In Nehemiah 3:1, we find that the first gate the people restore is the sheep gate.
Nehemiah 3:1 NASB95
Then Eliashib the high priest arose with his brothers the priests and built the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and hung its doors. They consecrated the wall to the Tower of the Hundred and the Tower of Hananel.
In this prophetic act, we see the way God restores us, especially how he restores our emotions.
You must allow the Holy Spirit to rebuild the sheep gate within you.
What do I mean?
Let Yahweh, God himself, be your shepherd and humble yourself to be his one of his sheep.
The soul is classically defined as the mind, will and emotions.
When you let God be your shepherd, he restores your soul (Psalm 23:3).
The enemy, however, has been trying to wreak havoc on your emotions since you’ve been born.
Listen to John 10:1-10.
Notice how Jesus contrasts himself with the thief.
John 10:10 NASB95
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
The enemy’s work is to come into your life and destroy everything he can.
But he doesn't come dressed like the devil. He comes like an angel of light, looking good and attractive
Like the Trojan Horse gifted to Troy, what seems appealing on the outside is full of death and destruction on the inside.
But Jesus brings true life and renewal to our emotions.
“My emotions are my shepherd, I’m always in lack...”
In Psalm 23:1-2, we see the specific way God brings restoration.
Jesus causes us to rest in green, fresh pastures.
“In the grazing place of green grass he makes us rest...” (my translation, cf. Song 1:7; Eze. 34:14).
Jesus also carefully and intentively guides us to restful waters.
“Beside restful waters he lovingly and carefully guides me (my translation, cf. Isa. 51:18; Gen. 33:14; Isa. 40:11).
This reminds me of our baptism BBQ yesterday.
In these two lines of Hebrew poetry, we see a graphic picture of Yawheh feeding us, watering us and giving us the rest our souls long for.
Learn God’s rhythms of rest for your soul.
It’s in resting with God that you are restored.
This is not like the world’s rest. The world rests from God; we rest with God.
What are these rhythms?
Daily quiet times,
Weekly worship
Resting from work
Sabbath times
Seasonal rest
Yearly times of rest, etc.
You will learn these rhythms of rest by letting the Lord shepherd you.
Take resting with God very seriously.
It doesn’t mean drinking and getting drunk, or binge watching Netflix.
There’s two main kinds of rhythm of rest: 1) Resting in community, and 2) Resting in solitude. Both are needed.
When a composer is writing music, he pens in regular intervals of rest – pauses as well as decrescendos – so that the music is appreciated.
We don't rest from God; we rest with God. (Exo. 33:11). "My presence will go with you and I will give you rest."
Exodus 33:11 NASB95
Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.

2) E - Encircle your emotions with truth (Eph. 6:14; Neh. 3:1).

Ephesians 6:14 NASB95
Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
Emotions are important, but they cannot be Lord.
Emotions are a bad shepherd.
When emotions lead you, it's like being on a raft in a stormy sea.

Truth > Emotions

Since truth is greater than your emotions, encircle your emotions with truth.
Wrap around the belt of truth around your emotions.
Be careful with some of these common myths about emotions and feelings.
“If I don't feel God it means he's not there.”
“My feelings are always true and a good guide.”
“My feelings are right.”
“I don't feel God in church, which means he's not moving.”
“I should feel happy all the time.”
“Nobody cares about me.”
“I am not valuable and important.”
“My life stinks.”
“I hate my life.”
“God doesn't care.”
“God hates me.”
“It doesn't matter if I don't attend church.”
“I have no time to rest.”
“I need to rest so I'll skip gathering with God’s people.”
There were two towers protecting the sheep gate in Nehemiah 3:1.
These towers will protect your life.
First, the tower of a hundred, which represents Jesus as our shepherd and we are part of his flock.
Write on tower one: Jesus is my Shepherd (Not my emotions).
Second, the tower of hananel, which means God is gracious.
Write on tower two: God is gracious.
These two towers of truth need to tower over the lies in our lives.
These towers need to watch over our emotions.
And they are especially seen in Matthew 18:12-14 and Luke 15:4-7
Matthew 18:12–14 NASB95
“What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? “If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. “So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.
Be led by the Shepherd, not your emotions and feelings.
When your sheep gate is restored, you are not letting just any shepherd in. Neither are you allowing just any emotion to run around the pasture of your soul.
You are not allowing a boyfriend or girlfriend to lead you.
You are not letting your feelings lead you.
You are not letting your desires for all sorts of things lead you.
Instead, you are letting Jesus, the Good Shepherd, lead and heal you.

3) P - Pray the Psalms (Psalm 23:1-6).

Prayer is the place of repair.
Observe the plethora of emotions in Psalms.
In Psalms we learn how to deal with our emotions properly.
The Psalmists never cover up their emotions – but instead of venting on people – they pour out their soul to God.
David and the other Psalmists are honest about their emotions.
However, instead of their emotions being their shepherd, they let God and his truth be their shepherd.
My devotional practice is to pray through one portion of Psalms a day.
God's goal is to repair your emotions so that they reflect his image and likeness.
As the Lord repairs you, your emotions start reflecting the Lord's emotions.
To be continued...
Conclusion: The Lord will repair your emotions like Nehemiah repaired the walls when you: 1) Receive the Shepherd’s rest, 2) Encircle your emotions with truth, and 3) Pray the psalms. This spells – REP – the first part of the word: REPAIR. To be continued...
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