Summary: Nehemiah gives us an example of what to do when we face disasters in this world and how at times God calls us to take a risk for the sake of others. Call on God then go to work!
Series: BC Justice League
Opening thoughts to the series - “BC justice league” – God’s biblical super heroes before Christ.
Over the last few weeks we have been sharing the power of the story! We have been looking at how a person’s life can make a difference in the eternal realm of God.
http://www.whatsyourstoryonline.com/: Quote: Stories are powerful. Stories give meaning to who we are and how we became who we are. Stories help us understand how life happens, and they give value to our experiences. Some of the most powerful testimonies to Christian faith come not from lists of accepted doctrinal beliefs (though they’re important) nor from recitations of biblical principles (also important), but from the enlivened re-telling of how God has acted, overtly or covertly, in each of our lives.
Sermon: Nehemiah’s Story:
Thesis: Nehemiah gives us an example of what to do when we face disasters in this world and how at times God calls us to take a risk for the sake of others. Call on God then go to work!
Scripture Texts: Nehemiah 1: 1-11
1The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa,
2Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
3They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”
4When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
5Then I said: “O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands,
6let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s house, have committed against you.
7We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
8“Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations,
9but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’
10“They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand.
11O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king.
What do you do when you are faced with a disaster that strikes home at your heart? Do you respond or do you try to blame others? Do you ignore it? Pretend it’s just a story? Nehemiah finds out how bad the city of Jerusalem is from a recent news report. It perplexes him and weighs on his heart. It was as if someone punched him in the stomach when he got the bad news about his beloved home town.
How do you feel when disaster hits close to home – how do you respond?
Do you run to God? Do you pray to Him and look to Him for support and encouragement? Do you praise Him and recall His promises in that moment or do you shut Him out and lock Him out of your heart?
Do you curse Him and blame God for the disaster?
Nehemiah did not instead he cried out to God and a divine burden was placed in his heart to go restore the city’s walls and gates.
Video Illustration: From bluefishtv.com Life of Jeremiah - “Dealing with Disaster” are you burdened by the unmet needs of others?
I. Do you have a burden for others?
a. What do you do when disaster strikes others? Turn off the news?
i. In the news:
1. Share about the two friends of Christa who went to help out in Joplin Missouri:
a. On Sunday, May 22, 2011, an EF-5 tornado hit the city of Joplin, Mo., leaving an estimated 151 people dead.
b. The Joplin tornado is the deadliest single tornado since modern recordkeeping began in 1950 and is ranked as the 7th deadliest in U.S. history.
2. Joplin, MO Tornado Relief – A Demonstration of American Perseverance Author: Family Money Values