Summary: The final sermon in a teaching series on the Old Testament book of Nehemiah.
Good morning, and welcome to The Church @ Clayton Crossings.
When you walked in this morning, you probably noticed some of our Scouts greeting you and handing out bulletins. If you’re someone who follows the news, you likely heard a story about the financial state of Boy Scouts of America this week.
There are a couple of things you need to know: our Scout troop is part of a larger council of other regional troops that don’t receive money from Boy Scouts of America but instead contribute toward it. The council we’re a part of is financially strong simply because they’re managed well. Further, as a church, we get to set the tone for how we conduct the meetings and establish the curriculum for faith-based teaching.
Having said that, I have every confidence in the men and women who are leading our kids and am thrilled that we’re able to have a Jesus-centered Scout troop that leads children to grow in their faith and their character. Thank you for serving us today and may God continue to bless all you do to make our community a better place to live.
[AUDITORIUM HOSTS TO GIVE AWAY BIBLES]
This morning, we’re wrapping up our teaching series on the Old Testament book of Nehemiah. If you’ve missed the last 3 weeks, you can find them on Apple Podcasts or on our website, but let me give you the highlights:
The story centers around the city of Jerusalem and by the time Nehemiah gets involved, things are really bad in Jerusalem. The city walls had been destroyed and the Israelites were forcibly kicked out of their country and sent into exile. During the intervening 70 years, the once-majestic city of Jerusalem was in ruins.
Then we meet Nehemiah, who was a normal guy, he wasn’t a prophet or a priest – just a guy who was being held against his will in a foreign land far away from the city God had given his forefathers. In the very first chapter of the book, Nehemiah received some bad news about the reality of the state of Jerusalem.
No matter if you’ve been in church for 30 years or 30 minutes, all of us know the sense of dread that shows up when we’re overwhelmed with a problem that’s so big that there’s no way we’d ever be able to anything about it.
Have you been there? Are you there right now? Join the club – the realization that there’s quite a bit of life that we can neither control nor correct is what causes lots of people to walk into church for the first time. Maybe that’s you. Maybe you’re in a place where you’re really hoping there is a God. Maybe you know that God is real but in the WHATEVER IT IS YOU’RE GOING THROUGH NOW, the bigness of your problem looks bigger than your God, so you need a reminder of all of the times in the past when God showed up and did the exact right thing at the exact right time. No matter where you are today, you’ll be glad you’re here and digging into this unbelievable story.
We have evidence that Nehemiah was a guy of faith – that certainly helps when you’ve got a big problem in front of you. Immediately, in his brokenness, Nehemiah begs God to help him figure out what he’s supposed to do with this burden that he just can’t seem to shake. While he was waiting for God to fully reveal His plan, Nehemiah – since he was SURE God was going to use him as a solution to this problem – did some planning of his own.
Nehemiah took a HUGE risk and wound up talking to his boss – the king with a heretofore short temper for people with issues. But God was working, even in the life of a pagan king, and allowed Nehemiah to head to his homeland with a bunch of supplies and the promise of safe passage.
Once back home, Nehemiah made an honest appraisal of what needed to be done, rallied the people, got to work, and stayed on task even when Israel’s enemies attacked because they feared that the God of the Hebrews might actually be mighty enough to let this group of people succeed.
That’s a summary of the first 5 chapters of the book of Nehemiah, so let’s pick up in chapter 6.
Nehemiah 6:15-16 (CSB) The wall was completed in fifty-two days, on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul. When all our enemies heard this, all the surrounding nations were intimidated and lost their confidence, for they realized that this task had been accomplished by our God.
A lot of work got done in 52 days, especially considering the very real threat of danger. But God was faithful and allowed Nehemiah to do what he was created to do.