Summary: We must be dedicated to the church.
1. Inhabitation (11:1-12:26)
Never underestimate the importance of simply being physically present in the place where God wants you. You may not be asked to perform some dramatic ministry, but simply being there is a ministry.
Vs. 27 - At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out from where they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully the dedication with songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps and lyres.
Heb 13:15-16 - Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
Vs. 30 - When the priests and Levites had purified themselves ceremonially, they purified the people, the gates and the wall.
1 John 1:7-9 - But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
4. Declaration (Vs. 31-43)
• Joshua and the taking of Jericho
• Nehemiah’s moonlit ride around the city
“By the way, in the Old Testament this action of walking around an object or a piece of land is a way of claiming a certain thing for God. Abraham was told to walk around the land of promise and God would give it to him.”
“This raises the question, have you ever by faith walked around a situation and claimed it for God? Have you prayed your way all around every aspect of it, surrounded it in God’s name, and asked him to give it to you? This is the action today that would correspond to this event in Nehemiah.” – Ray Steadman
Hebrews 11:1 - Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Romans 4:16,17 - So that’s why faith is the key! God’s promise is given to us as a free gift. And we are certain to receive it, whether or not we follow Jewish customs, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe. 17 That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who brings into existence what didn’t exist before.
5. Action (vs. 44-47)
John 13:17 - You know these things—now do them! That is the path of blessing.
James 1:22 - And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself.