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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.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Reply to the Invitation from God

Notes: Reply to the Invitation
Pastor J. Jon
October 15, 2017
Harvest OC

A lot of people’s understanding of Christianity is a misunderstanding.

What is Christianity?

To understand it, consider it like an invitation. Many think it’s a demand but it’s really like an RSVP. You are being offered to do something by a certain date. You must reply while you are still alive.

It’s very important to reply to the invitation:
1. Who’s it from?
John 3:16 NLT
[16] "For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

It’s an invite from God. Who is God? Has God spoken? Has God revealed himself?

God’s greatest display was in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the King of kings.

2. Who’s been invited?

“...so loved the world”

What is Christianity about: 
1. Forgiveness from the past. 

The heart of the human problem, is the problem of the human heart.

Out of the disease of the human heart is the problems of the world, the Bible calls it sin. 

Sin disconnects us from God.  Jesus reconnected us to God. It cleared us of our sins.

Are Christians brain washed? Jesus washed our brain!

2. Jesus gives hope of a new life.

To be a Christian is to be connected to Christ.

If you were in your car with Jesus, where is he in your car? Is He hidden the trunk, you let Him out at church happy hour. Is He a passenger or is He in the drivers seat? If He’s driving, are you a backseat driver!?

How do you know He’s in the driving seat.

Is Jesus F.I.R.S.T. in your life?

Finance
Interest
Relationship 
Schedule 
Troubles

If your lacking the fruits of Jesus in your life, you maybe lacking something. You may need to reposition Him into the driving seat.

3. Jesus gives us hope for the future.

“... so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

Most people’s hope is a lot like a hospital gown, your usually not as well covered as you think you are.

What have you done with your invitation?

Sunday, October 8, 2017

How to Be a Successful Leader

Notes: How to Be a Successful Leader
Greg Laurie
Nehemiah: The Rebuilt Life
Sunday, October 8, 2017
Nehemiah 1

The mass shooting in Las Vegas was last week. We need to turn to the Lord.

“Houston, we have a problem.” Are the most famous words in space travel.

Somethings are beyond our ability to fix. The people of Jerusalem were in that scenario. Nehemiah showed up in Jerusalem at that point.

Sometimes we don’t want to know about needs somewhere else because information may bring obligation.

It was like any other day when Nehemiah asked about Jerusalem. Once he heard, he decided to take action.

You can be part of the problem or part of the solution.

Nehemiah learned that Jerusalem and its walls were destroyed.

Walls and gates were the place of power; they were a symbol.

The family is a “wall”of our nation. A family can survive without a nation, but. A nation can not survive without the family.

You can not lighten the load in someone else’s life until you felt the pressure in your own.

1. A good leader is first a good follower and acknowledges their need for God.

Nehemiah 1:5 NLT
[5] Then I said, "O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands,


God is bigger than your problem.

2. Nehemiah, a good leader, reminded God of His promises.

3. Good leaders know they don’t have all the answers, and confess their sins.

Nehemiah 1:6-7 NLT
[6] listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! [7] We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses.

If you want God to answer your prayers, you have to be part of the answer.

Whenever you face walls in your life are falling down, the first place to go is God.

4. Nehemiah, a great leader, was specific in his request to God.

Nehemiah 1:11 NLT
[11] O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me. Put it into his heart to be kind to me." In those days I was the king's cup-bearer.

There is a place for the spiritual as well as the practical.

To be a disciple:
1. It’s not about me, it’s about God’s glory.

2. We take up the cross.

3. We handle the title deed of our lives over to God.

Nehemiah 2:1-6 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." [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.

5. Nehemiah spent more time praying than he did building.

Timing is important. Most of us want things now!

Waiting is an alien concept in a culture of immediate gratification.

6. There is a time to pray; then there is a time to move.

Nehemiah 2:7-8 NLT
[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.

Nehemiah knew what he needed and knew what to ask for.

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.

Exodus 14:15-16 NLT
[15] Then the LORD said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! [16] Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground.

There is a time to stop praying and start doing.

Nehemiah 2:11-13 NLT
[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.

7. Leaders take initiative and risks for God’s glory 

Nehemiah 2:17-18 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!" [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.

The people had been discouraged, then Nehemiah showed up with a plan.

8. Leaders will face opposition.

Nehemiah 2:19 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.

Opposition comes when you do the will of God.

“There is no winning without warfare, no opportunity without opposition, no victory without vigilance.” - Alan Redpath

Proverbs 24:30-31 NLT
[30] I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense. [31] I saw that it was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds, and its walls were broken down.

Sometimes a good thing can become a bad thing if it keeps us from the best thing.

Do you have a relationship with God?

Are you ready to go to Heaven today?

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Rebuilt Life

Notes: The Rebuilt Life
Greg Laurie
Sunday, October 1, 2017
Nehemiah 1
Music: Harvest Worship Band

https://www.harvest.org/watch-and-listen/watch/the-rebuilt-life

Nehemiah is a book of leadership.

Before Nehemiah, the kingdoms of Judah and Israel were falling apart.

The Jews were forced out of the area, but they were now returning to Israel. 

God is not against interracial marriage, he is against interfaith marriages.

2 Corinthians 6:14 NKJV
[14] Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

The walls were being rebuilt, but they had not been finished ands the Jews were settling with that. Jerusalem was still vulnerable.

Nehemiah was now there. 

Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the king. 

The cupbearer was like being the Chief of Staff for the president. It was a very powerful and comfortable position to have.

Nehemiah had a heart for God’s people and cared about them.

When you are living a Godly life, you will want to be with God’s people.

1 John 4:20 NKJV
[20] If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

If you love God, you will love God’s people.

Nehemiah 1:1-3 NLT
[1] These are the memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah. In late autumn, in the month of Kislev, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes' reign, I was at the fortress of Susa. [2] Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem. [3] They said to me, "Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire."

Nehemiah is deeply moved by this.

Did it ever occur to you that you are where you are right now for a reason?

Maybe God has work for you to do!

Esther 4:14 NLT
[14] If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?"

Nehemiah 1:4-7 NLT
[4] When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. [5] Then I said, "O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, [6] listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! [7] We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses.

God answered Nehemiah’s prayer.

Have you ever wept over your spiritual state? 

How to pray:
1. He acknowledged the greatness of God.

Nehemiah 1:5 NLT
[5] Then I said, "O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands,

When we see God in His greatness we will see our problems in their relative smallness.

2. Nehemiah reminded God of His promises.

God doesn’t lose things or needed reminded. When He says He forgets, He is choosing not to remember.

Reminding God, is like letting the teacher know you understand what they taught.

John 14:15 NLT
[15] "If you love me, obey my commandments.

We don’t just read through it; we pray through it.

4 fast promises:
Promise 1. You will never be alone in life.
Isaiah 41:10 NLT
[10] Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Promise 2. God will get you through whatever you are facing.
Isaiah 43:2 NLT
[2] When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

Promise 3. God will provide all of your needs.
Matthew 6:33 NLT
[33] Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Malachi 3:10 NLT
[10] Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do," says the LORD of Heaven's Armies, "I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!

Promise 4. God will forgive you of all your sin.
1 John 1:9 NLT
[9] But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

3. He confessed his personal sin.
Nehemiah 1:7 NLT
[7] We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses.

Sometimes we pray to change others, when really we need to be praying for ourselves to change.

It is true that prayer changes things, but it’s also true that prayer changes you. Then you change things.

James 5:16 NLT
[16] Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

See the problem, then take action. It starts with you.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Just Do It

Notes: Just Do It!
Greg Laurie
Discipleship: The Road Less Taken
Sunday, September 24, 2017
Matthew 28

https://www.harvest.org/watch-and-listen/watch/just-do-it-2017

So far smartphones, have not had a real positive affect on us. People are disconnecting from real life and depression is coming along with it.

People want to be loved, needed and appreciated.

Six things disciples of Jesus do:
1. A disciple of Jesus loves God more than anyone or anything else.
2. A disciple of Jesus takes up his cross daily.
3. The disciple has turned the title deed of their life over to Jesus.
4. A disciple impacts their culture.
5.A disciple brings forth spiritual fruit.
6. A disciple will carefully read, study and live according to God’s Word.

If you are following Jesus as a real disciple then you are leading others to Christ.

If you want to win some, then you need to be winsome. 

We always need to be looking for ways to build a bridge.

Don’t ever try to harvest a seed that is not ready, but don’t neglect to harvest a seed that is ready to be harvested.

Matthew 28:19-20 ESV
[19] Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, [20] teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Discipleship simplified...
We are to lead others to Christ, establish them spiritually, and do it again.

Like a newborn baby, new believers need...
1. They need assurance.

1 John 5:13 ESV
[13] I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.

2. They need protection.

Galatians 4:19 ESV
[19] my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!

New believers are vulnerable to their emotions. They need protection.

3. They need food.

Healthy people are hungry people.

Believers have the hope and assurance of Heaven.

4. They need an example.

Some things are taught and some things are caught.

They need to see what things we do as Christians.

2 Timothy 3:10 ESV
[10] You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,

Many times people don’t want to disciple others because they don’t want to change themselves.

Sometimes as believers we can be guilty of overeating. We are taking in so much and not sharing it with others.

Give and you will receive, Jesus said...
Luke 6:38 ESV
[38] give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you."

We need to have a life that is welcoming to new believers.

With a new believer you will discover things you take for granted. 

They need you to stabilize them and you need them to revitalize you.

“Lord, save the elect, and elect some more.” - D.L. Moody

A new believer doesn’t need just a Bible scholar, they really just need a friend.

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