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Summary: Nehemiah did not delay in acting out the plan God had laid upon his heart and here we see God's plan being put into action...

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Sermon Brief

Date Written: January 19, 2013

Date Preached: January 20, 2013

Where Preached: OPBC (AM)

Sermon Details:

Series Title: Building with God

Sermon Title: Acting On God’s Plan - Pt 1

Sermon Text: Nehemiah 2:1-8 [ESV]

Introduction:

Over the past 2 weeks we have seen how Nehemiah has been presented with a problem and how Nehemiah responded to that problem.

We saw how he went to God in prayer and then God led him to assess the situation, convicted him of the sin in his life resulting in a prayer of confession and then God reminded Nehemiah of His faithful presence, even when they may not see Him… HE is always there!

We learned how Nehemiah travailed in prayer over this issue for over 3 months, and finally one day while at work the anguish in his heart overflowed onto his face… he could no longer hide the pain in his heart!

The King questioned him about his sadness and we found how Nehemiah revealed his pain to the king and the king asked him what he could do…

Then Nehemiah, after prayer to God, revealed both his purpose and his plan to the king and the king liked the plan and then equipped Nehemiah to complete this plan…

Nehemiah he saw a problem that seemed FAR too big to tackle… and prayed and God led him and now was comforting Nehemiah with the provision of the king’s help…

We have also looked at how this situation that we read about in Nehemiah is similar to what our church has been dealing with for a long time…

We have learned that we can look at how Nehemiah dealt with his problem and it gives us a template on how we can deal with our problem! BUT preacher, what is our problem? We have a sweet fellowship here…

Well we do have a sweet fellowship, but we also DO have a problem that seems almost impossible to conquer! I have described this problem or issue to you over the past 2 weeks as the ‘elephant’ in the room! What is this elephant? Well, I invite you to look around your seat this morning? I want ALL of you to look at all the ‘empty seats’ in our sanctuary!

These ‘empty seats’ are our problem! This issue is the NEHEMIAH moment of our time! The question is “What are we going to do about it?” We have seen these past 2 wks that we must do some foundational and preparatory things before we can actually attack the problem.

Nehemiah shows us that we must assess the problem, go to God in prayer, confess our sin and have faith that God is there and will not abandon us! Have you done that? I pray we have all come to this point in dealing with this issue…

Nehemiah also showed us that revealing our pain about the situation was ok to do… but then LIKE NEHEMIAH we must move PAST the pain of the situation and look at the purpose and plan that God has for us as a community of believers!

I KNOW that there are those in our fellowship who have expressed their pain and anguish over our situation, but now we have to move PAST that pain… past that anguish… past the disappointment and move FORWARD with a purpose and a plan to remedy the situation at hand.

This plan and purpose is one that God has laid on our hearts… this plan and purpose comes from God, just like we saw in Nehemiah’s situation last week…

Today we are going to see the initial part of Nehemiah’s plan and how Nehemiah begins to flesh out God’s purpose for his visit to Jerusalem. God gave Nehemiah a plan and a purpose today we are going to look and see the beginnings of how he put both into place…

Turn with me to Nehemiah 2:9-20 [ESV] it will also be on the screen. Let’s go to God’s word at this time:

9Then I came to the governors of the province Beyond the River and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen. 10But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant heard this, it displeased them greatly that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel. 11So I went to Jerusalem and was there three days. 12Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. And I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. There was no animal with me but the one on which I rode. 13I went out by night by the Valley Gate to the Dragon Spring and to the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire. 14Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and to the King's Pool, but there was no room for the animal that was under me to pass. 15Then I went up in the night by the valley and inspected the wall, and I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned. 16And the officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, and I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest who were to do the work. 17Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” 18And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. 19But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they jeered at us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” 20Then I replied to them, “The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem.”

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