Summary: If we want a strong and healthy family, we must build our family God’s way.
THE STORY OF THE JOURNEY HOME #4: NEHEMIAH – BUILDING A STRONG FAMILY
“Of Solomon. Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.” (Psalm 127).
• If we want to have strong and healthy families, the Lord must build our homes!
BABY DEDICATION: Dymetro Robert Isaac
ILLUSTRATION: WHAT CHILDREN THINK ABOUT MARRIAGE:
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHO TO MARRY?
• Alan, age 10: You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.
• Kirsten, age 10: No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides for you, and then you get to find out later who you’re stuck with.
WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE TO GET MARRIED?
• Camille, age 10: 23 is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.
• Freddie, age 6: No age is good to get married at. You got to be a fool to get married.
1. NEHEMIAH: A MAN OF PRAYER:
“1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. It came to pass in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the citadel, 2 that Hanani one of my brethren came with men from Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said to me, "The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire." 4 So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” (Nehemiah 1:1-4).
• We are coming to the end of The Story of the Old Testament: The Journey Home.
• Nehemiah was the King’s cupbearer – a servant – who risked his life for the King.
• God gives Nehemiah favour to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls of the city.
2. REBUILDING BROKEN WALLS:
“Then I said to them, "You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach." And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king's words that he had spoken to me. So they said, "Let us rise up and build." Then they set their hands to this good work.” (Neh. 2:17-18).
• Nehemiah had a heart to rebuild what was broken.
• We need to be intentional about building our families and relationships God’s way.
3. OVERCOMING DISCOURAGEMENT:
“Sanballat was very angry when he learned that we were rebuilding the wall. He flew into a rage and mocked the Jews, saying in front of his friends and the Samarian army officers, “What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they are doing? Do they think they can build the wall in a day if they offer enough sacrifices? Look at those charred stones they are pulling out of the rubbish and using again!” (Neh. 4:1-2, NLT).
• Sanballat was their enemy who wanted to discourage the Jews and get them to fail.
“At last the wall was completed to half its original height around the entire city, for the people had worked very hard. But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs, Ammonites, and Ashdodites heard that the work was going ahead and that the gaps in the wall were being repaired, they became furious. They all made plans to come and fight against Jerusalem and to bring about confusion there.” (v. 6-8).
• When we get busy building our families, the enemy will bring discouragement.
• The good news is that we can defeat discouragement! We all get discouraged and feel like quitting – we lose our motivation, confidence and optimism.
• How do you know if discouragement is about to happen in your life?