Summary: How is your vision? I wear glasses, not because they make me look awesome but so I can see what’s on my plate.

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“How is Your Vision?” Nehemiah 1:1-11

How is your vision? I wear glasses, not because they make me look awesome but so I can see what’s on my plate. If you take my glasses and set a plate of mashed potatoes, green beans and liver in from of me; I might think it was a plate of collards, grits and ribeye steak. [If I couldn’t smell…] However I see far off pretty good.

We are preparing to celebrate 100 years of sharing Jesus from this old building. The building has seen 187 years of witnessing the grace and salvation of God. But if we focus, only, on the past our vision will be blurred for the future. My dream is that 100 years from now, there will be a group who look back at EBC and see that because we were forward focusing people that the gospel has continued to be spread from these grounds.

Looking at our text we see that over 150 years earlier, Nebuchadnezzar and the armies of Babylon invaded Israel and carried many of her people away as slaves. You might say that they had lost their vision and those were dark days for the nation of Israel. The Jews urgently needed someone who had the vision to return Jerusalem and the nation of Israel to her former glory.

God had such a man in mind. His name was Nehemiah and God was about to use Nehemiah to begin the process of rebuilding the city of Jerusalem and to bring about the restoration of the nation of Israel.

Our nation is thousands of years removed from the days of Nehemiah. Many may say that was then and this is the 21st century but we live in a day when our nation desperately needs people of vision.

We live in a day when morality means little and decency means even less.

For me, following our study of Acts, it has become crystal clear that the church of our day can’t hold a candle to its former self.

In researching for our 100 year celebration I read a number of entries to church history where the church refused to allow sin to run free. When someone was foolish enough to live in open sin the church came together dealt with the matter swiftly and Biblically.

Today the walls that once separated the righteousness of the church from the world have been broken down. The gates that once identified the church as the glorious house of God have been burned to the ground, by the flames of sin. Today the church that once stood proud and strong has been tarnished by the disease of compromise!

We need people of vision and you/I can become the people God uses for His glory, in these days, to make a difference for His name’s sake!

I want to show you two simple facts presented here that teach us how to improve our vision.

1. People with vision will face difficulties. Verses 1-4

Nehemiah served as the king’s cupbearer. Some make this sound like a glorious job and Nehemiah may have had a great package, with all the benefits. He was very close to the king. He was very respected by the king but I think most people misinterpret his job. Nehemiah was the king’s cup bearer and that sounds like he was the guy in charge of keeping up with the king’s tea glass.

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