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Summary: This is the first in a series through the book of Nehemiah. It is both an introduction to Nehemiah and a sermon on developing a heart that mirrors the heart of God.

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INTRO: Rock in the road/ Edmund Burke quote

READ SCRIPTURE/PRAY

Background: Divided Kingdom, Evil rulers, prophets warnings, 722 BC Assyrians raid Israel (North), 605 Nebby invades Judah (south) as prophesied by Isaiah – Story told in Daniel

586 Babylon (Nebby) come back Jerusalem - Ezekiel

539 Cyrus defeats Babylon and begins repatriation. Temple is rebuilt under Ezra.

Illustration: Ed Stetzer and Nehemiah Project vs. what Nehemiah was about. Starting a new church/city of Jerusalem vs. restoring the existing church/city of God. (Establish a Vision).

PURPOSE STATEMENT – As Christians we are to demonstrate…

I. …Genuine CONCERN for the things of God

A) No special pedigree required (V. 1)

1) Hacaliah (Who?) Wait upon the Lord

2) Chislev/20th Year

3) Susa

a) Winter Palace – Modern SW Iran

b) Political –DC, Activities – NY, Climate – Miami

c) Pretty great life

4) Cupbearer (v. 11)

B) Update on God’s City (V. 2)

1) Never been to Jerusalem, nevertheless…

C) The dangers of indifference

1) You must recognize there’s a problem

2) Seminary Village incident

3) Campolo quote

D) How different are you from the rest of the world?

1) Nehemiah was consumed with concern

2) Are you consumed by anything not self-centered?

II. …Genuine DESPAIR for the concerns of God (vs. 3-4a)

A) It’s not about the walls/gates

1) Significance of gates/walls

2) Diminished glory of God’s city

B) Everybody’s complaining, but no one’s doing anything

1) What he didn’t do

a) It must be God’s will

b) Satan must have Jerusalem’s heart

c) I sure hope someone does something about this

2) What he did do

a) Wept and Mourned (repented), prayed and fasted

b) Develops a plan and goes into action

C) Who will mourn for restoration of God’s glory?

1) For days = 4 months (Chislev{Dec.} to Nisan 2:1)

2) Joelle and Bin Laden

3) When’s the last time you mourned for something that wasn’t self-centered?

4) You want revival? – start with yourself

III. …Genuine COMMITMENT to the things of God (v. 4b)

A) Prayer as the foundation in a Christian walk

1) We’ve got to get this right, we’ve got to care enough!

2) We can do more than pray after we pray

B) Fasting and the Spiritual Disciplines of the Church

1) Scripture reading, worship, Meditation, Service, Stewardship

C) Put you faith in to action

1) Scripture reading, Worship, Meditation ,Service, Stewardship

2) Consecration

3) Are you committed to anything that isn’t self-centered

Illustration: Alexander the Great

Conclusion: God had a plan for Israel, America, You, Eastside the question is…

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In an earlier century, there lay a large boulder in the middle of the roadway. Traveler after traveler walked past the boulder, veering off the side of the road to get around it. All the while, they were shaking their head and muttering, "Can you believe that? Someone should get that big thing out of the way. What an inconvenience!"

Finally, a man came along and, seeing the boulder, took a branch from a tree and pried the boulder enough to get it rolling and rolled it off to the side of the road. Lying underneath the rock, he found a small bag with a note. The man picked up the note and read it. It read as follows:


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