Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Honor, Integrity, Sacrifice
Notes: Honor, Integrity, Sacrifice
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
 Now the men and their wives raised a great outcry against their fellow Jews.  Some were saying, “We and our sons and daughters are numerous; in order for us to eat and stay alive, we must get grain.”  Others were saying, “We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our homes to get grain during the famine.”  Still others were saying, “We have had to borrow money to pay the king's tax on our fields and vineyards.  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.”  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
 This was the inventory: gold dishes30 silver dishes1,000 silver pans 29  gold bowls30 matching silver bowls410 other articles1,000  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
 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.  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
 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?  Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.  Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.  Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.  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?
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