Summary: Here’s a sermon based on the Book of Nehemiah and dealing with making a commitment for the new year. A true story illustrates what happens when commitments are broken.
NEW YEAR’S COMMITMENT
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.
33However You are just in all that has befallen us;
For You have dealt faithfully,
But we have done wickedly.
34Neither our kings nor our princes,
Our priests nor our fathers,
Have kept Your law,
Nor heeded Your commandments and Your testimonies,
With which You testified against them.
35For they have not served You in their kingdom,
Or in the many good things that You gave them,
Or in the large and rich land which You set before them;
Nor did they turn from their wicked works.
36"Here we are, servants today!
And the land that You gave to our fathers,
To eat its fruit and its bounty,
Here we are, servants in it!
37And it yields much increase to the kings
You have set over us,
Because of our sins;
Also they have dominion over our bodies and our cattle
At their pleasure;
And we are in great distress.
38"And because of all this,
We make a sure covenant, and write it;
Our leaders, our Levites, and our priests seal it."
How many of you are members of this church?
You might recall that within our Constitution & Bylaws…
There is a section entitled “Statement of Faith”
That part tells what we believe at Gospel Chapel.
Then Article 2 Section 3 contains a “Covenant”.
The Covenant spells out what is expected of our members.
If you are a member of this church…
These are the things that are expected of you.
If you joined this church then you have agreed to abide by it.
What is a “Covenant”?
The dictionary says: 1. an agreement, usually formal, between two or more persons to do or not do something specified. 2. a solemn agreement between the members of a church to act together in harmony with the precepts of the gospel.
Well, we have begun a New Year.
This is when many people make New Years Resolutions.
Those things are useless because few people ever keep them!
Instead of making a New Years Resolution…
I’d like to suggest that we make a Commitment to the Lord.
Let’s make a NEW YEAR COMMITMENT
Hoquiam High School is one of the oldest high schools in Washington State. It is a school of approximately 750 students. Though winning seasons are rare at Hoquain High School, the community backs their Grizzlies football teams enthusiastically. In 2005, Hoquiam and its cross-town rival Aberdeen High School celebrated the 100th football game between the two communities. This event attracted more than 10,000 people to Hoquiam’s Historic Olympic Stadium, where additional bleachers were brought in from Seattle for the game.
Before each football season begins, every student who wishes to be a member of the Grizzlies football team is required to sign a “Code of Conduct”. That Code basically says that football players shall not use alcohol, drugs, or tobacco products.
The New Year Presents A New Challenge and a New Beginning.
New things give us an opportunity to start over.
When you get a new job
you have a challenge to do better than the last job.
In a new job the new people you work with
don’t know your weaknesses, failures and problems.
A new job is a second chance.
There are new things that give us a new beginning . . .
a second chance:
a. A new school year gives you new teachers.
b. A new house gives you new neighbors.
c. The New Year gives us a chance to live better than last year.
Our Bible text today is about a new challenge!
Nehemiah faced a new challenge.
The walls around the city of Jerusalem were broken down.
He had to lead the people to build a wall around their city.
Look at Nehemiah 2:17: Then I said to them, "You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach."
The wall separated them from their enemies and other nations.
It gave them national identification.
So, what did they do?
Look at Nehemiah 4:6: 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.
Now, there are two important factors here!
Building the wall is man’s work.
Neh. 6:15 So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days.