Sermons

Summary: We may not enjoy walking in the valley, but it is a necessary part of our Spiritual growth!

Pastor Allan Kircher

Shell Point Baptist Church

It’s about time, isn’t it? part two

Nehemiah 3

We have seen the symbolism and rich meaning behind the first 3 gates of Jerusalem's 12 gates.

• The sheep gate reminded us of Jesus, the Lamb of God.

• The fish gate speaks of soul winning, being fishers of men.

• The old gate led/new quarter

• Old message never changes, though methods may change.

The next gate to be rebuilt was the Valley Gate .

What does/valley gate mean for us today?

Why the long stretch of wall between old gate and valley gate?

I. Valleys

• word "Valley"/used symbolically/Bible/place of sorrow,

• of trials, of humbling experiences:

• "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death”

No one ever said/road walked/Christian is an easy one: "In this world you will have trouble." (John 16:33).

This must not discourage us however, for Jesus goes on to say: "But take heart! I have overcome the world." (Luke 3:5)

Because we know that suffering produces PRESEVERANCE, perseverance, CHARACTER; and character, HOPE." (Rom 5:4).

We may not enjoy walking in the valley, but it is a necessary part of our Spiritual growth!

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Time spent passing through the Valley Gate is never easy

• but remember that, in the natural

• Nothing really grows/mountain top

• The ground is stony and barren.

• The fertile ground is down in the valley.

• So it is in the spiritual.

• It’s never a happy experience to go through the valley

• but it always produces fruit.

II. Time on the Wall

Why so lengthy of a walk to the valley gate?

• When a new Christian comes to the Lord

• God often allows a "honeymoon" type period free of major trials

• God can teach us personally

• Where His presence becomes strong in our lives.

• this "honeymoon" period can go on for quite a while

• purpose/strengthen us in the Lord/our Valley experiences.

Hard times WILL come; but not until God Himself has conditioned us to be able to stand up to them!

• Remember His promise: 1 Cor. 10:13….

• God gives us the opportunities to walk with Him.

• To learn to trust Him in everything.

Take advantage of the lengthy wall sections before the valley.

• Work on a strong relationship with God.

• Build your faith and trust in Him to control you.

• Then when the Valley gate arrives/you will stand up!

• You will have a way out of the gate.

• Swing wide the Gate!

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III. Stuck in the valley?

Valley Gate led/two main valleys/defined Jerusalem geographically/historically.

• First the Hinnom Valley.

• Solomon erected high places/idol god/Molech

• children were sacrificed by fire

• Called "Gehenna" name used hell itself, the Lake of Fire.

• Second valley called Kidron Valley

• means "dim, dusky, gloomy

Valley Gate leads to these valleys/Are you stuck in them?

• Represents/dark valleys of life

• Sometimes/God’s directions

• Sometimes by the choices we make.

• It is the valley of suffering and cleansing.

• These can be very long valleys for some of us

• sometimes the trials are fiery and hot

• remember in the valley/garbage in our lives is burned away

• spiritual maturing and growth occurs

• Our hearts become fertile ground in the valley. .

Swing wide the gate>>>>

5. The Dung Gate.

• This was where the garbage was carried out.

• It led to the dump.

• It may not have a nice name but it provided a very valuable service.

• This reminds us of repentance.

• It is important to take out the trash in our lives

Heb. 12:1-2….

Again here there is a great distance to this gate.

• Indicating the valley experience can carry on for some time.

• The result is seen in this gate—the dung gate.

This/gate/used to take all the refuse/rubbish out of Jerusalem, down to the valley of Hinnom to be burned.

• This is what happens in our own life.

• Valley experiences are used/Lord to clear away the rubbish

• So that true faith, refined by the fire

• Can come forth and produce fruit.

Clearing away the rubbish in our lives is never easy

• The benefits of this experience can be seen in the next gate

• As God’s new creation

• We count the shame/ways of the old life as "dung.”

• We must clean out the trash/heart/life/dump all this refuse out at the Dung Gate.

• We begin this cleansing, or sanctification process by casting aside the sin of the old life

• putting on the new man

• And then learning to lean upon Jesus.

After a while we get to the place where living for Jesus becomes easier.

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