Summary: Bad news is the genesis of breakthroughs sometimes everything works out in a fairytale outcome… sometimes it doesn’t but either way, there are breakthroughs. God is the only person who brings good out from bad.
BAD NEWS AND BREAKTHROUGHS
This is a monumental series…
First time all four Mariners churches have done a church-wide campaign together
All sermons… all life groups… (including students) for 7 weeks
building toward a very special “Dream” event
Plus the book, FAVOR WITH KINGS, for daily reading
book is only $10 on patio—can’t get it cheaper
we hope EVERYONE joins in the fun and reads… even if you’re not a reader, you can do this—short, inspirational chapters that will make the story of Nehemiah come alive and make sense to your life
DEDICATION of book <
Hilary’s ring story
Bad news is the genesis of breakthroughs
sometimes everything works out in a fairytale outcome… sometimes it doesn’t
but either way, there are breakthroughs
God is the only person who brings good from out bad
Sometimes life blows up in our face
And we can go down with it… or we can believe there is more
Is there hope for a broken person in this broke world? Does God really have a bigger plan for me, despite everything?
That’s what we’re talking about today…
Where there is no vision, the people perish… Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)
If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed. Proverbs 29:18 (MSG)
THIS IS VISION:
Seeing what God has already done…
…Sensing what He’s doing now…
…Anticipating what He might do next.
“I have a dream” (MLK)
You have a dream
Maybe you had one and gave up on it
Maybe you want one but aren’t clear yet
We want to help you get clear on your dream and take steps toward it over the next 7 weeks.
Hint: You will one day be able to say this about your dream:
I have a mission from God that motivates me and matters to someone else.
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.”
4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept…
Babylon takes Jerusalem, captivity
Persia takes Babylon
Persian kings allow some Jews to go back and settle again in Jerusalem
Decades pass, rebuilt temple, but can’t make any progress on walls
Vulnerable, unsafe, disrespected, hopeless
Nehemiah’s brother and others come visit Nehemiah
800 mile trip
Nehemiah is cupbearer to King of Persia, Artaxerxes
Good to be Nehemiah
Eats like a king
Lives in luxury
Is in king’s presence constantly
Is trusted by the king (we’ll understand this more later)
Brother and other guys have the look of desperate people who might rain on Nehemiah’s parade
Maybe he didn’t want to know what they had to say…
“I don’t want to know”
“Just stay here and mooch off my status”
But Nehemiah asks…
…So, ask the hard question: How are things, really?
Because Nehemiah believed:
Bad news is the genesis of breakthroughs
Honesty about current realities
• In culture
• In family
• Inside self
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.”
Have you ever felt like a person who is in trouble and disgrace?
Do you know what it is to be a person who’s walls are torn down and your gates are destroyed?
EX: My story…
I do. Humiliation… loss… uncertainty about the future…
had a difficult time believing that things could get better
but it did
and that pain, humiliation… make me a far better pastor—relatable… not trying to impress… just trying to point myself and all of us to a God who is real
What’s your story?
How does the present reality that you see around you connect to the heart-break in your own story?
In other words,
What breaks your heart?
• Injustice —> Initiation
• Difficulty —> Determination
• Tragedy —> Transformation
• Pain —> Purpose
Bad news is the genesis of breakthrough.
Someone said that for God to use you greatly, you’ve got to be wounded deeply.
Now a man named Lazarus was sick…