Summary: Series Intro for the book of Nehemiah. A message on the purpose and importance of walls, especially that we maintain walls of biblical convictions, and time reserved for God. (Sacred space).
Living Behind Broken Down Walls
PPT 1 Title Slide
Study in the book of Nehemiah part 1
PPT 2 Text
Ne 1:1 ¶ The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month Chislev, [in] the twentieth year, while I was in Susa the capitol,
Ne 1:2 that Hanani, one of my brothers, and some men from Judah came; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped [and] had survived the captivity, and about Jerusalem.
Ne 1:3 And they said to me, "The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach, and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire."
Ne 1:4 Now it came about when I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
Today we begin our series in the book of Nehemiah and we are going to talk about restoring and rebuilding and about Making Good with, Second Chance.
I'm glad I serve a God second chances.
The Prodigal Son Got a Second Chance.
David got a second chance.
Saul of Tarsus got a second chance.
Since God is in the business of giving people a second chance, so should we. Does anyone come to your mind when I say, "second chance," and your first reaction is "no!"
Perhaps God is speaking to you today. "If I had a second chance I would be home."
A second chance is a better choice than failure, judgment, condemnation.
The background to the book of Nehemiah is that 90 years earlier the Jews returned to Israel from Babylon after being there for 70 years as a judgment from God. They rebuilt the temple but their city remained in ruins, and little by little the sins that brought the first judgment were creeping back in and taking over. God sends two men, one a priest and one a layman to bring revival, to give them a second. He sent Ezra, the priest and Nehemiah the layman. Ezra arrived 13 years earlier than Nehemiah and they joined forces and their second chance was successful.
Nehemiah is the story of their second chance.
So today as an introduction to the series I want to talk about living behind broken down walls as we read about in our scripture text. I want to talk about what walls represent, and what the impact is in our life when we live behind broken walls.
Today I hope by the help of the Holy Spirit we can examine the state of our spiritual walls, and begin rebuilding where necessary.
The great thing about building is it is only 1 brick at a time. How heavy is one brick?, everyone can handle 1 brick. (illustrate with some bricks)
OK Lets talk about walls, their function and purpose, and what they spiritually symbolize.
First of all walls define space.
That is they declare what a space is about. For example a post office is a place with walls, the outside of which let us know it is a post office. Walls define the function and purpose of a thing. This is the kitchen, this is the bathroom. This is Luke's bedroom. Walls set an atmosphere. This is a Christian home. It is the walls you have in your spiritual life that define whether or not yours is a Christian home. It is the walls you have that set the atmosphere in your home.
Secondly walls, Limit access.
Walls keep things out you want kept out.
3. Walls provide protection.
From the elements for example.
4. Walls set boundaries.
They limit behavior, proscribe where and what activities can take place, give us guidelines, keep cars on roads. This will be our main focus today.
5. Walls declare Ownership
Welcome to NY. (Pay toll). New York owns this place. The McCarthy home, walls show that something is owned. It is not public space, or open space, it is owned space. Having spiritual walls show that you belong to God. Living differently than the world is one of the proofs you belong to Him.
OK so now that we have that as a basic understanding of walls what did it mean for the Jews or for us when we are living behind broken down walls.
1. It means that the enemy has had a breakthrough in our life.
Usually when we speak of a breakthrough it means we have a victory. In this case it means a defeat. Your walls have been breached, and the enemy has gotten the upper hand.
2. It means you have had a loss of identity.