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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

God’s Mercy

Notes: God’s Mercy
Pastor Brad Ormonde 
12/12/2017
Nehemiah 9

During these holidays we will experience a lot of people not responding to people the way we should. The most important person to respond to correctly is God.

Responding to God is so important through praying.

Are my prayers glorifying God or are they self serving?

P.R.A.Y.
Praise
Repentance 
Ask
Yield 

1. God’s name.

Nehemiah 9:1-3 NKJV
[1] Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth, and with dust on their heads. [2] Then those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. [3] And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for one-fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the LORD their God.

Sackcloth and dust on their heads was a strong display of morning.

In their time of distress, they call out to God. That is exactly what we should be doing.

God’s name is glorious. 

When other names are spoken, they don’t compare to the glorious name of God.

God’s names:
Elohim
El Shaddai
Yahweh / Jehovah
Adonai
Jehovah-JIREH
Jehovah-RAPHA
Jehovah-NISSI
Jehovah-M’KADDESH
Jehovah-Shalom
Jehovah-Tsidkenu
Jehovah-Rohi
Yahweh-Shammah
Yahweh-Sabaoth
El Elyon
El Roi 
El-Olam
El-Gibhor

God has so many names, He is all things to all people.

Nehemiah 9:10 NKJV
[10] You showed signs and wonders against Pharaoh, Against all his servants, And against all the people of his land. For You knew that they acted proudly against them. So You made a name for Yourself, as it is this day.

Apart from Him, there is no God.

They reference God as “You” over 30 times in chapter 9.

2. God’s Mercy.

What is God like in response to our failures?

6 times are mentioned in this chapter.

Nehemiah 9:16-17 NKJV
[16] "But they and our fathers acted proudly, Hardened their necks, And did not heed Your commandments. [17] They refused to obey, And they were not mindful of Your wonders That You did among them. But they hardened their necks, And in their rebellion They appointed a leader To return to their bondage. But You are God, Ready to pardon, Gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, Abundant in kindness, And did not forsake them.


Nehemiah 9:18-27 NKJV
[18] "Even when they made a molded calf for themselves, And said, 'This is your god That brought you up out of Egypt,' And worked great provocations, [19] Yet in Your manifold mercies You did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day, To lead them on the road; Nor the pillar of fire by night, To show them light, And the way they should go. [20] You also gave Your good Spirit to instruct them, And did not withhold Your manna from their mouth, And gave them water for their thirst. [21] Forty years You sustained them in the wilderness; They lacked nothing; Their clothes did not wear out And their feet did not swell. [22] "Moreover You gave them kingdoms and nations, And divided them into districts. So they took possession of the land of Sihon, The land of the king of Heshbon, And the land of Og king of Bashan. [23] You also multiplied their children as the stars of heaven, And brought them into the land Which You had told their fathers To go in and possess. [24] So the people went in And possessed the land; You subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, The Canaanites, And gave them into their hands, With their kings And the people of the land, That they might do with them as they wished. [25] And they took strong cities and a rich land, And possessed houses full of all goods, Cisterns already dug, vineyards, olive groves, And fruit trees in abundance. So they ate and were filled and grew fat, And delighted themselves in Your great goodness. [26] "Nevertheless they were disobedient And rebelled against You, Cast Your law behind their backs And killed Your prophets, who testified against them To turn them to Yourself; And they worked great provocations. [27] Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their enemies, Who oppressed them; And in the time of their trouble, When they cried to You, You heard from heaven; And according to Your abundant mercies You gave them deliverers who saved them From the hand of their enemies.

There will always be consequences to our sins. God forgives, but you still face the consequences.

We have a gracious and merciful God. 

Jesus speaks to us about mercy and forgiveness over and over again.

Nehemiah 9:32-33 NKJV
[32] "Now therefore, our God, The great, the mighty, and awesome God, Who keeps covenant and mercy: Do not let all the trouble seem small before You That has come upon us, Our kings and our princes, Our priests and our prophets, Our fathers and on all Your people, From the days of the kings of Assyria until this day. [33] However You are just in all that has befallen us; For You have dealt faithfully, But we have done wickedly.

The message of this section;
God is good to His people, even when His people are not good to Him.

3. God’s Salvation 

Over and over again, we see rebellion and mercy.

God’s mercy is not cheap, it cost Him, the blood of His son.

God gives us far more than we deserve.


Sunday, December 3, 2017

How to Have a Personal Spiritual Revival

Notes: How to Have a Personal Spiritual Revival
Greg Laurie
Nehemiah: The Rebuilt Life
Sunday, December 3, 2017

https://www.harvest.org/watch-and-listen/webcast/watch/how-to-have-a-personal-spiritual-revival

A personal Bible that is falling apart is usually a good indication of a life that isn’t.

There is a difference between a revival and awakening.

A revival is when it comes back to life, a restoration.

Three things that can spark a revival:
First, get a few Christians thoroughly right with God.
Second, let them bind themselves together in a prayer group for a revival until God opens the Heavens and pours out the Spirit.
Third, make yourself available to God.

Revival is when God gets so sick of being misrepresented that He shows up Himself.

Everything we say and do is recorded by God.

Every Christian has their name written in the book of life.

When God is at work He is looking at the big picture, we tend to look at the temporary obstacles in front of us.

Nehemiah is putting teams of people together.
Nehemiah 7:1-3 NKJV
[1] Then it was, when the wall was built and I had hung the doors, when the gatekeepers, the singers, and the Levites had been appointed, [2] that I gave the charge of Jerusalem to my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the leader of the citadel, for he was a faithful man and feared God more than many. [3] And I said to them, "Do not let the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot; and while they stand guard, let them shut and bar the doors; and appoint guards from among the inhabitants of Jerusalem, one at his watch station and another in front of his own house."

The greatest ability is dependability.

Luke 16:10 NKJV
[10] He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.

Nehemiah 8:1-5 NLT
[1] all the people assembled with a unified purpose at the square just inside the Water Gate. They asked Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had given for Israel to obey. [2] So on October 8 Ezra the priest brought the Book of the Law before the assembly, which included the men and women and all the children old enough to understand. [3] He faced the square just inside the Water Gate from early morning until noon and read aloud to everyone who could understand. All the people listened closely to the Book of the Law. [4] Ezra the scribe stood on a high wooden platform that had been made for the occasion. To his right stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah. To his left stood Pedaiah, Mishael, Malkijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam. [5] Ezra stood on the platform in full view of all the people. When they saw him open the book, they all rose to their feet.

Revival is waking up from sleep. 

1. You are having revival when people are hungry for God’s Word.

Nehemiah 8:1 NLT
[1] all the people assembled with a unified purpose at the square just inside the Water Gate. They asked Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had given for Israel to obey.

Ezra 7:10 NLT
[10] This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the LORD and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel.

Ezra 9:6 NLT
[6] I prayed, "O my God, I am utterly ashamed; I blush to lift up my face to you. For our sins are piled higher than our heads, and our guilt has reached to the heavens.

Revival starts with you.

Do you need a personal spiritual revival?

Have you left your first love?

The three Rs of revival.
Remember. Repent. Repeat.

2. Nehemiah 8:3b NLT
[3b]... All the people listened closely to the Book of the Law.

How are you listening to God’s Word? 
Are you engaged taking notes. Do you find yourself worshipping God?

2. You are having a revival when Spontaneously and Passionately worshipping God.

1. Understanding the word.
2. Rejoicing in the word.
3. Obeying the word.

If you don’t understand the word of God, you need to read the Bible.

We don’t worship the Bible we worship the author, God!

We must be convicted by the word of God:
Nehemiah 8:8-9 NLT
[8] They read from the Book of the Law of God and clearly explained the meaning of what was being read, helping the people understand each passage. [9] Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were interpreting for the people said to them, "Don't mourn or weep on such a day as this! For today is a sacred day before the LORD your God." For the people had all been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.

We should not be feeling happy and blessed living in sin, we should feel convicted so that we can change.

It is as wrong to rejoice when God has forgiven us, as it is to rejoice when we are living in sin.

God does not convict us of our sin to send us into despair, He convicts us to drive us into His arms.

Nehemiah 8:17 NLT
[17] So everyone who had returned from captivity lived in these shelters during the festival, and they were all filled with great joy! The Israelites had not celebrated like this since the days of Joshua son of Nun.

Some people think that believers are boring and miserable, that sinners are the ones who have all the fun. Sin can be fun for a season, but the repercussions are much more painful.

Revivals don’t last forever, they have a beginning, middle and end. They are like an explosion in a gas engine, we need to have them over again and again and again.

We all need to pray for another personal revival.




Tuesday, November 28, 2017

No to Privilege, Yes to God

Notes:  No to Privilege, Yes to God
Valor Nehemiah 6
Pastor Adam Eaton

Nehemiah 6 we learn:
1. Say no to privilege, and yes to God.

Jesus’ teaching on giving:
1. Jesus talks about cheerful giving.
2. Giving sacrificially.
It’s not about the amount, it’s about the sacrifice.
3. Generous living.
Organize your life so you can take care of the people around you.

2. Say no to pride.

Pray for and through everything.

3. Say no to distraction.

Nehemiah 6:1-4 NLT
[1] Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies found out that I had finished rebuilding the wall and that no gaps remained-though we had not yet set up the doors in the gates. [2] So Sanballat and Geshem sent a message asking me to meet them at one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But I realized they were plotting to harm me, [3] so I replied by sending this message to them: "I am engaged in a great work, so I can't come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?" [4] Four times they sent the same message, and each time I gave the same reply.

Staying focused on the things of the Lord.

4. Nehemiah said no to fear

Nehemiah 6:5-9 NLT
[5] The fifth time, Sanballat's servant came with an open letter in his hand, [6] and this is what it said: "There is a rumor among the surrounding nations, and Geshem tells me it is true, that you and the Jews are planning to rebel and that is why you are building the wall. According to his reports, you plan to be their king. [7] He also reports that you have appointed prophets in Jerusalem to proclaim about you, 'Look! There is a king in Judah!' "You can be very sure that this report will get back to the king, so I suggest that you come and talk it over with me." [8] I replied, "There is no truth in any part of your story. You are making up the whole thing." [9] They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination.

Nehemiah chose faith, the antidote to fear is faith.

5. Nehemiah said no to sin.

Nehemiah 6:10-13 NLT
[10] Later I went to visit Shemaiah son of Delaiah and grandson of Mehetabel, who was confined to his home. He said, "Let us meet together inside the Temple of God and bolt the doors shut. Your enemies are coming to kill you tonight." [11] But I replied, "Should someone in my position run from danger? Should someone in my position enter the Temple to save his life? No, I won't do it!" [12] I realized that God had not spoken to him, but that he had uttered this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. [13] They were hoping to intimidate me and make me sin. Then they would be able to accuse and discredit me.

Recognize sin and say no to it.

If it goes against the laws of God then you should not do it.


Nehemiah 6:14-16 NLT
[14] Remember, O my God, all the evil things that Tobiah and Sanballat have done. And remember Noadiah the prophet and all the prophets like her who have tried to intimidate me. [15] So on October 2 the wall was finished-just fifty-two days after we had begun. [16] When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God.

When people look at your life, do they say God is with him?


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Honor, Integrity, Sacrifice

Notes: Honor, Integrity, Sacrifice 
Nehemiah 5
Pastor John Collins
November 14, 2017

Is it possible to have honor and integrity without sacrifice? 

Nehemiah stood up for the poor, Nehemiah stood up for God and at time Nehemiah stood up alone.

Nehemiah 5:1-6 NIV
[1] Now the men and their wives raised a great outcry against their fellow Jews. [2] Some were saying, “We and our sons and daughters are numerous; in order for us to eat and stay alive, we must get grain.” [3] Others were saying, “We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our homes to get grain during the famine.” [4] Still others were saying, “We have had to borrow money to pay the king's tax on our fields and vineyards. [5] Although we are of the same flesh and blood as our fellow Jews and though our children are as good as theirs, yet we have to subject our sons and daughters to slavery. Some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but we are powerless, because our fields and our vineyards belong to others.” [6] When I heard their outcry and these charges, I was very angry.

Everyone took on the goal, but as work continued, the burden fell heavier on the poor.

There was at one time, many wealthy. From Ezra...
Ezra 1:9-11 NIV
[9] This was the inventory: gold dishes30 silver dishes1,000 silver pans 29 [10] gold bowls30 matching silver bowls410 other articles1,000 [11] In all, there were 5,400 articles of gold and of silver. Sheshbazzar brought all these along with the exiles when they came up from Babylon to Jerusalem.

The poor were doing a greater amount of work than the rest. The burden was throughout the whole family for these people.

Nehemiah heard the complaints, recognized the complaint and corrected the complaint with a Biblical basis.

Nehemiah was not there just to build a wall. He was there to build up God’s people.

Nehemiah 5:14-15 NIV
[14] Moreover, from the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, until his thirty-second year---twelve years---neither I nor my brothers ate the food allotted to the governor. [15] But the earlier governors---those preceding me---placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels of silver from them in addition to food and wine. Their assistants also lorded it over the people. But out of reverence for God I did not act like that.

Nehemiah never focused on making his life easier. 

He chose to put Gods people first instead of his own.

Philippians 2:1-5 NLT
[1] Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? [2] Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. [3] Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. [4] Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. [5] You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

Nehemiah seemed to live the example of Christ, before Christ came to live on earth.

Are you willing to take a stand for God and His people?

Can you say you stand apart from the world today? 

Can you write...”but so did not I, because of the fear of God” over your life?


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Backyard Maintenance

Notes: Backyard Maintenance
Nehemiah 4
November 7, 2017
Pastor Tim Harding

Unconditional love exist. Jesus calls us with that kind of love.

Ephesians 5:25 NKJV
[25] Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,

As Jesus’ people we are called.

No triumphs without troubles.

Nehemiah 4:1-3 NKJV
[1] But it so happened, when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, that he was furious and very indignant, and mocked the Jews. [2] And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, "What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they complete it in a day? Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish-stones that are burned?" [3] Now Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, "Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall."

People were mocking them, but Nehemiah was called by God.

1. Curb appeal over calling.

Step out to your calling, because you are not stepping out alone.

We all want to look good outwardly, but at what cost.

Study done by UCI found that the number one reason for alcoholism in OC was Keeping up with the Jones.

Nehemiah 4:4-6 NKJV
[4] Hear, O our God, for we are despised; turn their reproach on their own heads, and give them as plunder to a land of captivity! [5] Do not cover their iniquity, and do not let their sin be blotted out from before You; for they have provoked You to anger before the builders. [6] So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.

Friendship formula=Proximity + frequency + duration + intensity 

As intensity grows with others the impact is greater.

If we are too busy to build our kingdom, then our calling will crumble.

2.  Pirates and Vikings 

Nehemiah 4:7-12 NKJV
[7] Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry, [8] and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion. [9] Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night. [10] Then Judah said, "The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall." [11] And our adversaries said, "They will neither know nor see anything, till we come into their midst and kill them and cause the work to cease." [12] So it was, when the Jews who dwelt near them came, that they told us ten times, "From whatever place you turn, they will be upon us."

Where did the problems come from? Within the group.

Big problems, originally were small problems unattended.

Nehemiah 4:13-14 NKJV
[13] Therefore I positioned men behind the lower parts of the wall, at the openings; and I set the people according to their families, with their swords, their spears, and their bows. [14] And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, "Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses."

We are not fighting battles alone.

Isaiah 43:2-3 NKJV
[2] When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. [3] For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place.

Remember God is with us and He is for us.

No job cam competed with the responsibility of shaping and moulding a new human being. - James Dobson

3. We have the cheat code.

Nehemiah 4:20 NKJV
[20] Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us."

Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV
[28] Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29] Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. [30] For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

You don’t have to fight your battles alone. Give your battles to God.

God will fight for you!!!:

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Dealing with Criticism

Notes: Dealing with Criticism
Greg Laurie
Nehemiah: The Rebuilt Life
Sunday, October 29, 2017
Watch it here: https://www.harvest.org/watch-and-listen/watch/dealing-with-criticism

Nehemiah 4:1-4 NKJV
[1] But it so happened, when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, that he was furious and very indignant, and mocked the Jews. [2] And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, "What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they complete it in a day? Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish-stones that are burned?" [3] Now Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, "Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall." [4] Hear, O our God, for we are despised; turn their reproach on their own heads, and give them as plunder to a land of captivity!

1. When you build; you will have to battle.

Proverbs 4:16 NKJV
[16] For they do not sleep unless they have done evil; And their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall.

2. If you are doing God’s work, you will be roundly criticized.

Matthew 5:10-12 NKJV
[10] Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. [11] "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. [12] Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Blessed was used twice by Jesus in speaking of persecution. Jesus was saying to be happy when you are persecuted.

Many are resentful of your success. 

How do you deal with criticism? 
First, listen to it, as long as you know they have your best interest in mind. 

A successful man can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that were thrown at him.

Don’t let the loudest voices in your life be your critics; let the loudest voice be God.

3.When you are under attack, take it to the Lord in prayer.

Nehemiah 4:4-5 NKJV
[4] Hear, O our God, for we are despised; turn their reproach on their own heads, and give them as plunder to a land of captivity! [5] Do not cover their iniquity, and do not let their sin be blotted out from before You; for they have provoked You to anger before the builders.

Call on the Lord when you are attacked.

When trouble comes your way, call out to God.

1 Peter 5:7 NKJV
[7] casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Two things you should always pass onto Jesus: criticism and praise

Nehemiah shows us what to do when fear strikes and we are overwhelmed.

Nehemiah 4:14 NKJV
[14] And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, "Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses."

“REMEMBER THE LORD”

God has been faithful in your past, He is faithful in your present and He will be faithful in your future.

4. Be practical and be prepared.

Nehemiah 4:9 NKJV
[9] Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night.

Plan our work and work our plan.

There is a place for the spiritual and a place for the practical.

David and Goliath is a good example; David prayed and then he took action.

Intensified opposition against God’s Will calls for intensified response.

Sometimes you need a break from your battles.

5. We need to finish what God has called us to with passion and persistence.

Nehemiah 4:6 NKJV
[6] So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.

The critic only wins if you quit.

If you want new things in your life, maybe you need to get rid of the old. 

Whatever it takes to be free from a sin that is dragging you down, do it!

Clear out the rubble and rebuild the wall a brick at a time.

Remember that an oak tree is the result of an acorn that held on...remember just what a nut can do!

The Lord is coming back again. Get ready for it!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Pray. Plan. Proceed.

Notes: Pray. Plan. Proceed.
Valor Nehemiah 2
Pastor Brad Ormonde 
10/17/17

Nehemiah by itself is an amazing leadership book. But that is not the biggest lesson, Nehemiah was a man of God.

There is a time to pray and a time to move.

Leaders take initiative and risk for God’s glory.  

Nehemiah prayed for four months. 

Nehemiah 2:1-5 NLT
[1] Early the following spring, in the month of Nisan, during the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes' reign, I was serving the king his wine. I had never before appeared sad in his presence. [2] So the king asked me, "Why are you looking so sad? You don't look sick to me. You must be deeply troubled." Then I was terrified, [3] but I replied, "Long live the king! How can I not be sad? For the city where my ancestors are buried is in ruins, and the gates have been destroyed by fire." [4] The king asked, "Well, how can I help you?" With a prayer to the God of heaven, [5] I replied, "If it please the king, and if you are pleased with me, your servant, send me to Judah to rebuild the city where my ancestors are buried."

1. Nehemiah’s Request 

Scenarios rarely play out like we plan for them in our mind.

He prayed for the right time to make his request. 

Nehemiah 2:4 NLT
[4] The king asked, "Well, how can I help you?" With a prayer to the God of heaven,

We should come with praise and then petition.

Nehemiah 2:5 NLT
[5] I replied, "If it please the king, and if you are pleased with me, your servant, send me to Judah to rebuild the city where my ancestors are buried."

Proverbs 21:1 NLT
[1] The king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he guides it wherever he pleases.

God moves the heart of kings and princes. He moves all of us as He wishes.

Nehemiah planned to ask for specific needs and request.

All that prayer gave him a great return.

2. Nehemiah’s Ride

Nehemiah 2:6-16 NLT
[6] The king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked, "How long will you be gone? When will you return?" After I told him how long I would be gone, the king agreed to my request. [7] I also said to the king, "If it please the king, let me have letters addressed to the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River, instructing them to let me travel safely through their territories on my way to Judah. [8] And please give me a letter addressed to Asaph, the manager of the king's forest, instructing him to give me timber. I will need it to make beams for the gates of the Temple fortress, for the city walls, and for a house for myself." And the king granted these requests, because the gracious hand of God was on me. [9] When I came to the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River, I delivered the king's letters to them. The king, I should add, had sent along army officers and horsemen to protect me. [10] But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard of my arrival, they were very displeased that someone had come to help the people of Israel. [11] So I arrived in Jerusalem. Three days later, [12] I slipped out during the night, taking only a few others with me. I had not told anyone about the plans God had put in my heart for Jerusalem. We took no pack animals with us except the donkey I was riding. [13] After dark I went out through the Valley Gate, past the Jackal's Well, and over to the Dung Gate to inspect the broken walls and burned gates. [14] Then I went to the Fountain Gate and to the King's Pool, but my donkey couldn't get through the rubble. [15] So, though it was still dark, I went up the Kidron Valley instead, inspecting the wall before I turned back and entered again at the Valley Gate. [16] The city officials did not know I had been out there or what I was doing, for I had not yet said anything to anyone about my plans. I had not yet spoken to the Jewish leaders-the priests, the nobles, the officials, or anyone else in the administration.

Nehemiah 2:17 NLT
[17] But now I said to them, "You know very well what trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire. Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and end this disgrace!"

1. The task of rebuilding the wall was overwhelming.

2. There was a history of defeat.

3. There were a discouraged group of workers.

This was the third time they would try to rebuild the wall after two unsuccessful tries.

Nehemiah 2:18 NLT
[18] Then I told them about how the gracious hand of God had been on me, and about my conversation with the king. They replied at once, "Yes, let's rebuild the wall!" So they began the good work.

Nehemiah gave the people his testimony. They could see that God was on his side.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and it looks like work.” - Thomas Edison

The Ridicule:

1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT
[58] So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

Matthew 24:9 NLT
[9] "Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.

Nehemiah 2:19-20 NLT
[19] But when Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab heard of our plan, they scoffed contemptuously. "What are you doing? Are you rebelling against the king?" they asked. [20] I replied, "The God of heaven will help us succeed. We, his servants, will start rebuilding this wall. But you have no share, legal right, or historic claim in Jerusalem."

Chapter 1 was all about prayer and Chapter 2 was all about asking for the things needed to accomplish his work.

Pray. Plan. Succeed.

May we purpose in our hearts to make a difference.

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