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Summary: WHEN WE ARE PARTICIPATING IN BUILDING THE KINGDOM OF OUR GOD, OPPOSITION WILL COME AND WE CAN OVERCOME THE OPPOSITION!

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KINGDOM BUILDING 101: OVERCOMING THE OPPOSITION

NEHEMIAH 4: 1-23

SUPERBOWL SUNDAY FEBRUARY 1, 2004

INTRODUCTION: THOUGHTS ON SUPER BOWL SUNDAY AND OVERCOMING ALL OPPOSITION TO MAKE IT TO THIS GAME: GO PANTHERS!

There once was a not so bright fellow who saw an advertisement for a cruise. The sign in the travel agency window read “Cruise -- $100 Cash.”

I’ve got a hundred dollars, he thought. And I’d like to go on a cruise. So he entered the door and announced his desires. The fellow at the desk asked for the money, and the not-too-bright guy started counting it out. When he got to one hundred, he was whacked over the head and knocked out cold. He woke up in a barrel floating down a river. Another sucker in another barrel floated past and asked him, “Say, do they serve lunch on this cruise?”

The not-too-bright fellow answered, “They didn’t last year.”

It’s one thing not to know. It’s another to know and not learn. Contributed by: David Yarbrough

TRANSITION THOUGHT: Life is full of learning opportunities. Life is also full of all kinds of opposition. The secret to life is Learning How to overcome the opposition that comes our way. Our text for today is a model for Overcoming. We learn two distinct truths from this text: Opposition comes and Opposition can be overcome!

THESIS SENTENCE: WHEN WE ARE PARTICIPATING IN BUILDING THE KINGDOM OF OUR GOD, OPPOSITION WILL COME AND WE CAN OVERCOME THE OPPOSITION!

I. OVERCOMING THE OPPOSITION IS WORKING THROUGH THE RIDICULE VV. 1-5

A. RIDICULE IS A RESPONSE TO FEAR

1. Our text starts with an Enemy of the Kingdom hearing that someone was actually building the kingdom.

2. Sanballat’s first reaction was anger. Why would someone get angry is someone else is being productive? The reality was that Sanballat was a neighboring official that knew that if Jerusalem was rebuilt he might just lose power. 3. Fear of others and of the accomplishment of others brings ridicule.

B. RIDICULE IS A TOOL OF THE ENEMY

1. Sanballat wasn’t the only one in on the ridicule. Tobiah joined in with Sanballat. Both had a singular goal. If we ridicule these folks enough, they will stop building! 2. Hear their words of discouragement… (Verses 2b-3).

C. RIDICULE IS FACED WITH THE HELP OF GOD VV. 4

1. Nehemiah and the builders of the wall could have become discouraged and given up. Wouldn’t you?? If others mocked your work and said it was worthless, wouldn’t you quit?

2. Nehemiah knew that he could stop the mouths of those who ridiculed him and his people, but HE KNEW A GOD WHO COULD!

3. In verses 4 and 5 we learn the answer for overcoming ridicule. The real issue here is not that Nehemiah and his people were being ridiculed, but that God Himself was being Mocked! Who had called Nehemiah to this great task? Hear this prayer: (verses 4-5)! I know you have prayed one of these!!

ILLUSTRATION: Brad Paisely song: "CELEBRITY"

Someday I’m gonna be famous, Do I have talent, well, no. These days you don’t really need it, Thanks to reality shows Can’t Wait to date a supermodel, Can’t Wait to sue my dad. Can’t wait to wreck a Ferrari On my way to rehab....


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