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Summary: This is the 2nd sermon in the series "Rebuilding". As you start fresh, be prepared for the challenges that come with the new beginning.

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Series: Rebuilding [#2]

GETTING READY FOR THE CHALLENGE

Nehemiah 2:1-10

Introduction:

Rebuilding has never been easy. One of the largest problems we face as we rebuild is we want everything to be rebuilt immediately and it doesn’t work that way. As we rebuild, you might as well get ready for a challenge.

Nehemiah 2:1-10 (NIV)

“In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before, so the king asked me, ‘Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.’ I was very much afraid, but I said to the king, ‘May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?’ The king said to me, ‘What is it you want?’ Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, ‘If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.’ Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, ‘How long will your journey take, and when will you get back? It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time. I also said to him, ‘If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, so that they will provide me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah? And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?’ And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests. So I went to the governors of Trans-Euphrates and gave them the king’s letters. The king had also sent army officers and cavalry with me. When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about this, they were very much disturbed that someone had come to promote the welfare of the Israelites.”

As you get ready for the challenge you need to…

1. Turn to God.

This story began in the month of Kislev and now Chapter 2 picks up in the month of Nisan. That is 4 months since Nehemiah had heard about the situation in Jerusalem and had prayed for God’s direction and help- 4 months. Prayer and waiting go hand in hand. Pray Until Something Happens (P.U.S.H.).

As you get ready for the challenge you need to…

2. Realize your limitations.

Nehemiah knew he was God’s man for the job; but he couldn’t just leave. The king was not known for his flexibility. Therefore, there was no way that the king was going to let one of his most trusted employees take a long leave of absence. We have to be reminded that we cannot change people’s hearts; but God can. We need to stop trying to change people and just let God deal with them.

As you get ready for the challenge you need to…


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