Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: This is the 1st sermon in the series "Rebuilding". There are times when we have to start over and when we do, we need to get started right.

Series: Rebuilding [#1]


Nehemiah 1:1-11


Life can deal you things that you never thought was possible. Your children get hurt, you experience divorce, you lose your job, you have an illness, etc… There are times when it seems that we have lost everything; but I’m here to give you good news this morning- You can rebuild. Whether it’s our Church that needs rebuilding, our family that needs rebuilding, our business that needs rebuilding, etc…; you can either give up or you can start rebuilding.

When we are in the process of rebuilding, there are not just things that need to be done; there are also things that need to be undone. There are habits that need to be broken; there are hearts that need to be healed. Rebuilding is challenging, that’s why for some people it is easier to start over than to pay the price of rebuilding. When rebuilding, it is very important that we get started right and this is usually the hardest part of rebuilding. The Book of Nehemiah is about rebuilding and Nehemiah begins this book by showing us the importance of getting started right.

Nehemiah 1:1-3 (NIV)

“The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”

There are 3 approaches to rebuilding:

 The surface approach.

In this approach, you “spin” the problem so that it doesn’t look too bad. This is a political type of approach.

 The “scrap it” approach.

In this approach, you admit that there is a problem, “scrap” everything, and start completely over.

 The root approach.

In this approach, you make an honest evaluation of the situation and get to the root of the problem. Once you get to the root you will be able to solve the problem.

Nehemiah 1:4a (NIV)

“When I heard these things…”

In order to start rebuilding…

1. Recognize the need.

Nehemiah asked his brother Hanani, (who had come from Judah) what the situation was like in Jerusalem. Hanani told Nehemiah about the broken down walls and burned down gates around Jerusalem. Now we need to understand that Nehemiah was about 800 miles away from Jerusalem. He could have easily said, “Hanani, I sure hate to hear about that. I hope they can get that wall fixed. I’ll be praying for you guys.” But, this was not what he did. He listened to his brother and heard what was going on.

You must recognize what the need is. You cannot try to deny the problem. Now there is a difference between recognizing the problem and being a pessimist. Although the walls and gates were down, the Temple had been rebuilt.

Nehemiah 1:4 (NIV)

“When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.”

In order to start rebuilding…

2. Get involved.

Not only did Nehemiah hear about the problem but he got involved. Notice with me in verse 4 the 5 things he did.

 He sat down.

He didn’t just throw out ideas or pack his bags. He sat down, so he could consider what was happening.

 He wept.

He was deeply hurt and saddened about the condition of Jerusalem. When he pictured the city walls and gates in ruins it caused him to weep.

 He mourned.

He didn’t just cry for a little bit and get over it. He mourned the destruction of Jerusalem. This was just as bad as a loved one dying.

 He fasted.

He spent time praying to God and seeking God’s plan. He focused on that and did not eat. That’s what fasting is.

 He prayed.

In order to start rebuilding…

3. Take it to God first.

He didn’t consult his brother or anyone else before he went to God. This is a key element of a successful leader. God must be the first person we go to. Notice how Nehemiah went to the Lord.

Nehemiah 1:5 (NIV)

“Then I said: ‘Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments.”

 He praised God.

Nehemiah 1:6-7 (NIV)

“Let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.”

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