Summary: There are times in our lives when things happen and we instinctively jump to blame God, either because of something He allowed or something He did... but we have to be honest about things and we must know the situation. Our sin is the cause of all our iss

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Sermon Brief

Date Written: January 5, 2013

Date Preached: January 6, 2013

Where Preached: OPBC (AM)

Sermon Details:

Series Title: Building with God

Sermon Title: Know Your Situation

Sermon Text: Nehemiah 1:1-4 [ESV]


Have you ever had a project SO large that you did not know how to approach it? Have you ever had a problem so big that you did not know how you were going to get thru it?

Many of us know what that feels like… but there is a saying that helps me to keep things in a bit of a perspective when it comes to large issues and difficulties! It is the question, ‘How do you eat an elephant?’ and the answer is… SAY IT WITH ME! “ONE BITE AT A TIME!”

People as a church there is a definite ELEPHANT in the room everytime we come together as a body of believers. Every Sunday morning and Wed evening that elephant is here in this room! What is that elephant? It is all those empty seats around you! That is a HUGE elephant and it is an elephant we would RATHER not see anymore!

But how do we get rid of this elepahant in the room? We attack it… we subdue it… we EAT it! But it must be done as the old saying says, “One bite at a time”, so we are not overwhelmed!

But preacher we have tried ‘everything’ and we just can’t grow… I am ready to admit this is our lot and that we are meant to stay this small! This just cannot be done… it is a job we just cannot do!

I believe this is EXACTLY what Nehemiah felt here in chapter 1 of the book of Nehemiah! Today I want us to take a look at Nehemiah and how he led the nation of Israel and how he opened their eyes to the problem… to the ‘elephant’ in the room, but also how they could begin to ‘eat that elephant’ one bite at a time and move forward as a nation!

Today we are struggling in how many come into those doors out there, and I believe we think there is something we can do… or that there is something we are NOT doing to cause us to NOT grow, especially after 7 years after the storm!

Nehemiah had an overwhelming situation come up in his life and today we are going to look at a formula that we ALL can look to… to help us begin to overcome this seemingly overwhelming situation in our church’s life… the fact that we have lost so many members and cannot seem to grow!

Let’s look at the book of Nehemiah chapter 1 this morning… we will be looking at the entire chapter today! Turn with me in your Bibles OR you can read it on the screen… this morning I will be reading from the ESV…

1The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Susa the citadel, 2that Hanani, one of my brothers, came with certain men from Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who escaped, who had survived the exile, and concerning Jerusalem. 3And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.”

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