Let Us Rise Up And Build
|they were defeated. When God comissioned Jeremiah in chapters 1 and 2 of Jeremiah, he told him to go where he sent him and speak the words he commanded. He told Jeremiah that if he neglected to speak the words he gave him that he would confound him before the people. So, we must make sure God is with us! Nehemiah made sure the Lord was with him before he started to build. For he said "I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me". I am convinced that before we can do anything of lasting value for the Lord, we have to be sure the hand of God is good upon us. For if his hand is not good upon us then we have no assurance of success. Nehemiah prayed and fasted for certatin days. The number of days is not important. What is important is that he did it until he heard from the Lord. For as it was in Nehemiah's day, so it will be in ours. When we desire to do good evil is always present. When you begin to build for the Lord, opposition will arise. When the way looks clear, the devil will stir up some trouble. Some stumbling blocks will be thrown in your path. That is why we must humble ourselves before God and seek his approval. If we have his approval and he is with us, we will be able to withstand the opposition. Withstand the Opposition! Nehemiah was given favor with king Artexerxes. So, Artexerxes gave him permission to rebuild the walls and even provided some supplies. Also, the Lord was with Nehemiah. But his enemies (Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian) were lurking in the shadows plotting evil. Nehemiah faced both external and internal troubles. His external problems came from those who didn't want to see the wall rebuilt and openly opposed him. His internal problems came from his own brethren - some who took bribes to give false prohecies and others who charged interest to the poorer Jewish brethren. Anytime we decide to build for the Lord we can expect opposition. And just like it was in Nehemiah's day the opposition will be external and internal. I believe the external opposition is expected and planned for. The fact these gentiles didn't want to see the walls of Jerusalem erected again is understandable. These were all rival nations with Israel. So, they naturally didn't want to see Israel prosper. These outsiders banded together to hinder the work of the Lord. But, Nehemiah and the builders were able to withstand their opposition because they prayed unto God, and set a watch against them day and night. Nehemiah found himself a marked man. Any of you who step into leadership are marked by the enemy. He will try to oppress you and keep you down. He will try to distract you and draw you away from your work. But watch and pray day and night. God will deliver you from the hand of your oppressors. I believe that the internal opposition is the most difficult to deal with. It may be tought to face opposition of any kind, but opposition from your own household can really strike a discouraging blow. When those who share bread with you, who travel with you, who become your close associate. When those you have trusted and who should understand betray you into the hands of your adversaries it can be debilitating. Imagine how Moses must have felt when Aaron and his own sister caused division in the camp of Israel. Imagine how David must have felt when his own son plotted against him and his own wife Micah despised him in her heart. Imagine how Jesus felt when one who ate at the same table with him betrayed him. Yes, you must face internal opposition. And you defeat internal opposition the same way you defeat external opposition. Through the help of the Lord. Through watching and praying both night and day. For if you let your guard down, make no mistake the adversary will seek to destroy your progress. But if God is for us he is more than the whole world against us. So make up your mind before you build that opposition will come. Prepare yourself for opposition and ask God to see the work through to completion. Trust in God and God alone. Don't get discouraged when the trials come. When the persecutions come. When people scandalize your name. Continue in the strength of the Lord and rise up and build. Build until you have completed the work. let nothing deter you or stand in your way.Tithing Illustration Using 10 apples!|
|Introduction!In life, we are often faced with challenges that we don’t think we can surmount. This is true on a corporate and personal level. Although the first African American President, Barack Hussein Obama, was recently sworn into office, young black men in America still have the highest high school dropout rates and levels of incarceration. At a personal level, some of you came here this afternoon facing your own challenges – a life-threatening illness to a loved one; a wayward child or grandchild; a hostile environment at work; jealous co-workers; overt racism or sexism; a marriage that has grown cold. Things don't always go our way. But the good news is that Christians have a heritage of dealing with difficult situations. In fact our faith is founded upon the suffering and supreme sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Jesus was called by Isaiah "A man of sorrows acquainted with grief". He suffered much, was greatly persecuted, was often slandered and offended, he was called a fake, a son of the devil. Yet he endured the onslaught of those who tried to discourage him from the work the Father had set before him. He overcame the ridicule and the scorn. He overcame betrayal and opposition. He overcame every obstacle that was placed before him. Not even death, hell, or the grave could stop him from completing the work God the Father had placed before Him. Now, he is seated at the right the Father, having completed the work. Nothing could stop Jesus from completing the work God had set before Him! And he said in John 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. In our text we focus on Nehemiah - one who faced a great challenge; one against whom there were incredible odds; yet he overcame and was used by the Lord to accomplish a great work. To rebuild the walls of Jerusalem which had been torn down by her enemies. In Nehemiah’s day, the Persian monarchy was flourishing. The Persian monarchy flourished. The Jews were in captivity under the rule of Artexerxes the Persian king. Nehemiah (whose name means Jehovah has consoled) was royal cupbearer to the king. He was responsible for making sure the cup of the king wasn't poisoned. Because Nehemiah had access to the king during his times of relaxation, the king trusted him. This position of cupbearer was a high position in the king's court. So, Nehemiah finds himself in a favorable position to the king. Notice how the Lord can so arrange the circumstances of life so that things will always work out for the good of them that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose. So, no matter where you are today if you will trust in the Lord. If you will seek first his kingdom and all its righteousness. If you will love him with all your mind, all your heart, and all your soul. If you will just trust in the Lord and|
|Let Us Rise Up and Build! (Nehemiah 2:18)|
| lean not upon your own understanding. Things will work out for you! Whether it is on the job. In the home. Or in the church. God has a way of working things out. It was the providence of God that put Nehemiah in this favorable position with Artexerxes. God still has providential! I. Be properly motivated – you see!
A. In the first chapter of Nehemiah we find Nehemiah inquisitive about the welfare of his fellow Jews. For it is written in Nehemiah 1:2-3 "...and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said unto me, the remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire." Even though he had a highly regarded position in the court of Artexerxes, Nehemiah was still concerned about his brethren and wanted to know how they were doing. Likewise, if we seem to have reaped some monetary blessings in this life. If we think things are well with us. We would be wise to turn our attention to our brethren. If our church appears to prosper we ought not rest on our laurels. We would do well to turn our attention to our neighbor churches. For Jesus said "when I was hungry you gave me no meat: I was thirsty and you gave me no drink: I was a stranger and you took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prision, and ye visited me not ... and these shall go away into everlasting punishment:" You have got to have the love of God in your heart. You must be concerned about your brethren. The Persian monarchy flourished. The Jews were in captivity under the rule of Artexerxes the Persian king. Nehemiah (whose name means Jehovah has consoled) was royal cupbearer to the king. If our brother has fallen upon trying times, let us be motivated by love and reach out in the spirit of Love. B. C. Paul taught in I Corinthians 13th chapter that without Love I am nothing. For God is Love and so his children should be. This morning any of you who desire to build. Are you motivated by love? Allow the Lord to search your hearts to determine if your motives are pure. For if we are to properly build for God, Love must be at the center of what we are doing. Notice the order of these events. Nehemiah was first concerned about his brethren and then with Jerusalem. Too many of us are overly concerned about bricks and bodies and not concerned enough about our brothers and sisters in Christ. Before we rebuild any physical walls we must allow God to tear down the spiritual walls within our own hearts which prevent us loving one another. For we can all take a lesson from Nehemiah. We must have Love one for another. D. What need have we of a building to house hatred. Aren't there |
| E.enough building to house hatred? Aren't there enough meeting halls for the likes of the Ku Klux Klan, the Aryan Nation, Neo Nazis and Skin Heads. Such things are detestable to the Lord. Jesus himself said "Love one another - so show yourselves my disciples". If we cannot Love our brothers and sisters that we see every day. How can we love God who we cannot see. When you build let your motive be Love. ! II. Be properly capitulated -- !
Once Nehemiah had heard this disturbing news, he wept for his people and for the holy city, Jerusalem. He loved his fellow brethren and he loved the city of the Living God. It was this love that motivated Nehemiah to fast and pray to the Lord to give him favor with the king to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. And we find that the Lord heard his prayers and gave him favor with Artexerxes. Now, the scriptures teach us that the Lord resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Nehemiah never pretended to be holy or to be righteous. In fact Nehemiah confessed his sins and the sins of the people. In this manner, Nehemiah humbled himself before God. If we want to hear from heaven we must humble ourselves. We must strip off every shread of pride and arrogance and come to the Lord just as we are - naked and undone. If we come to God humbly then he will exalt us. He will lift us up over our enemies. He will prosper us in our way. David was a man that knew how to humble himself before God. He didn't hide his sin but freely confessed it and sought forgiveness from God. And because he humbled himself, God made him a great leader and a great king. Even though he was a great king, David didn't hesitate to praise God and give him the glory. Moses was a humble man. The scripture describes him as more humble than any other man. He humbled himself before God and God exalted him before Pharoah and before the people. When we humble ourselves before God then and only then can we gain his approval. So, we must all seek to humble ourselves and seek the approval of God. We must all seek to be in right standing with God. For if we are to build effectively, we must hear from heaven. In fact, we should humble ourselves until we do hear from heaven. And when we hear from heaven we receive the assurance that God is with us. II. Be properly captivated – God is with us!If God be for us, who can be against us! In the days of old Israel never went out to battle until they enquired of the Lord to make sure he was with them. If the word of the Lord came to confirm victory they went out to battle and were victorious. But, if they went on their own will or went against the Lord's will |