Summary: The message describes biblical principles found in Nehemiah.
Lessons Learned From Nehemiah
1. Expect opposition - John 15:18-20
Whenever Nehemiah stepped in faith he encountered problems. The problems he faced included fear, false accusations, treason, and threats to his physical well being. Doubt was also a part of his life. Without an element of doubt there is no faith. Faith is trusting in that which is not seen. The truth we can draw from scripture is acts of great faith will be accompanied by fear and doubt. Jesus encountered all kinds of difficulty including death. If our Lord suffered then we his servants will suffer for we are not greater than Him.
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.
2. Check for truth - 2 Corinthians 13:5
Remember, it’s not libel or slander, or false accusations if it is true. We are not flawless individuals. Too often time is spent looking at others instead of our own life and we slip into sinful practices or attitudes. Before we boldly step out in faith we need to make sure we are prayed up and confessed up with our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus. It amazes me that the Holy Spirit will reveal our sins to us if we are willing to take a look. So take a look and see if what is being said is true.
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?
3. Pray boldly - Philippians 4:6-7
We who know Jesus as Lord may go before Him boldly in prayer. Through the Son wee have access to the Father. No matter what the task we need to go before the Lord in prayer seeking what we need to sustain us. In order to do His will we need His power and Spirit. Our strength and abilities are limited His are not. He is ready to open the storehouses of heaven if we but seek Him through prayer.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
4. Don’t retaliate - Romans 12:17-21
Pray for your enemies
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
5. Focus on the task - Luke 9:62
How many times have we gotten distracted from a task? Nehemiah could have stopped at any point and dealt personally with the threats and slanderous remarks. The principle is, "Don’t get distracted". There are a number of issues confronting Christianity today: outright persecution by the courts, gay rights, marriage, morality, war, immigration, etc., etc. Our purpose is not to change the world politically but by leading each person to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Great Commandment and Commission are the tasks our Lord has set before us. Render unto Caesar and vote your heart but get the Gospel message out. Only Jesus can change the world.
He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.
There will always be a problem of the poor and outcast but we don’t have the right to ignore them Even in our own church, not everyone is the same. Whether they are poor in spirit, stature, station, or simply weak, we are to respond to their needs. Nehemiah knew that the weak were vulnerable so he stepped in and aided them according to the commands of God.