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Summary: This was a message in a series on “joy in the Christian life” based on the book and life of Nehemiah.

PLACE "CHILDREN’S CHAT CHAIR" DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF PULPIT

I have placed my "Children’s Chat Chair’ directly down in front today

- Because I know something about my message

- That I want to make sure everyone else knows

- I hope my sermon raises some challenging questions today

- I hope God uses this sermon to stir up some much needed conviction in our hearts

- But the chair is there to symbolize something I’ve said before = I AM NOT PREACHING "DOWN TO YOU"

- God has already used this message to challenge and convict me

- And since I’m getting exposed to this message more than once

- I believe God is going to confront my heart and soul with some issues again

- And I am reminded of... > [Heb. 12.4-11]

- And so if I am the only one who is Confronted / Challenged / Convicted

- I will still consider this message a success

- But I am trusting the Lord that I will not be the only one

PRAYER = Re-iterate desires above

When we last left Nehemiah we considered some of the hindrances he faced

- Along with the ways he over came those hindrances

- To draw out some principles for us to use in fulfilling our Spiritual calling

- There were a few hindrances we didn’t examine = And for the sake of time we won’t

- But you might like to study them = Briefly...

- Ch.5 = Selfish greed of the people = Firmly rebuked = Self-sacrificial example

- Ch.6 = As they near the completion of the work... = [6.1-2]

- But Nehemiah is too wise for such ruses = [6.3]

- Hope you will take time to read over Ch.5 - 6 = Prayerfully consider lessons for you

But I felt led to bring us right to the heart of the matter = [6.15]

- A couple of things interest me

- "25th day of Elul" = [geneva] Which was the sixth month and contained part of August, and part of September = Very currant

"So the wall was finished...in 52 days" = Amazing!

- Dedication... to the call of God on their lives

- Determination... to complete the work, regardless of the cost(s) or opposition(s)

- Dutiful... "WILLINGLY OBEDIENT out of a sense of duty and respect"

OBEDIENCE has been the most important point / idea / goal I’ve been trying to get across in this series

- Obedience to the Lord = His Word = His Will = His Way = His calling on your life

- "Willingly" obedient is the ONLY kind of obedience that God desires

And where the Lord your God is concerned = IF HE IS the Lord YOUR God >>> CON’T

And where the Lord your God is concerned = IF HE IS the Lord YOUR God

- Willing obedience leads to some amazing results = v.16

- AND IT CAME TO PASS, = After we have been willingly obedient

- THAT WHEN all our enemies heard thereof, = WHEN not IF

- that when ALL OUR ENEMIES heard thereof, = World / Flesh / Devil

- AND ALL THE HEATHEN THAT WERE ABOUT US = All the religious and irreligious doubters around you

- SAW THESE THINGS, = Especially God actively working in your life

- THEY WERE MUCH CAST DOWN IN THEIR OWN EYES: FOR THEY PERCEIVED THAT THIS WORK WAS WROUGHT OF OUR GOD. = Consider = [Ps. 37.23-40]

If I might be so bold as to suggest = For the "good man" as God defines him

- The righteous = Only one way to get righteousness with the Lord

- Like Abraham of old = Rom. 4, "imputed by faith"

> Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

- And then you consider here > Ps. 37 = All the blessings enumerated for the righteous man

- Sounds like the life of the righteous is one full of blessings and JOY

- And that was the ultimate motivation behind this series

- To be able to understand what Biblical joy is = How to enjoy it

- How to prevent it from being stolen

- And it all starts with our obedience to God and His Word

- And when we are successful in Christ then... = (paraphrase Neh. 6.16)

Do you know how skim milk is made?

- [aramark] Skim milk has almost no fat or cholesterol in it.

- To make skim milk, cream is allowed to float to the top of the milk, and is then "skimmed" off.

- The milk that is left contains very little fat ( the cream is what makes it "fat"), but still has the nutrients you need in it!

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