Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Just Say Yes...Part 5

I finally made it through a whole series! Sunday Neal spoke to us about Nehemiah. He showed an awesome video that Adam shared was created and performed by two former NC State grads (The Fabulous Bentley Brothers). Quite entertaining. Check it out here. To hear Neal's message, click here.

Just Say Yes...When You Face Opposition

Nehemiah 1-6

Why do we avoid opposition when it comes to building up the cause of Christ?
Have I ever been a part of something that built up the cause of Christ and created opposition?

Nehemiah was the king's cupbearer in Susa. Jerusalem's walls were destroyed.
Ch 1:3-11 refers to prayer five times

Nehemiah's plan consisted of prayer, preparation, poise and perseverance.
Ch 2:1-8 he prayerfully asks the king for permission to return home and for help with supplies to repair the walls.
v11-16 he inspects the work to be done and v17-18 presents the plan to rebuild to the people who agree

The priests built the first gate as an example to the people. Everybody was involved in rebuilding the walls - everyone has a role to play.

Ch 4 the people were ridiculed and reminded that it would take awhile to complete. Then there were threats of physical violence. v13 they posted guards and continued to work.

"God, make me strong so that I can stand up under the pressure of opposition."

Ch 5 we learn that the Jews had been taking advantage of their countrymen by exacting usury.

We may not be facing opposition because: 1-We're not doing anything to give Satan a reason to be concerned or come against us; 2-we are the opposition; 3-we are not doing anything at all - not complaining, not helping).

Ch 6 rumors were spread to frighten the people. v9-but I prayed.
v15-16 the wall is finished; the surrounding nations are afraid because they knew God had been involved.

Nehemiah worked for 12 years to help restore Jerusalem. Then he returned to Susa as he had promised the king.

His continued efforts made a difference. It wasn't a one day or one time service project.

You have to have a plan if you are going to persevere.

I really liked the reminder that we all are supposed to be doing something to further the cause of Christ. Our response to God didn't end once we accepted Christ - that was just the beginning. The story reminded me that I'm much more likely to be passionate about a cause that is close to home (I can relate to, or is physically near). We all are willing to do what is needed to protect our homes and families and that may be our motivation for our acts of service. Not that it's an excuse not to help people in other countries. We all should be able to relate our need for Christ in our lives to the importance of others all over the world hearing about Jesus' life-giving salvation. We need to remember that we should be constantly serving, not just intermittently.

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