Summary: We must have the courage to commit to God.
Th: Brave Hearts
Pr: WE MUST HAVE THE COURAGE TO COMMIT TO GOD.
?: How? How do we commit to God?
TS: We will find in our study of Nehemiah 1:1-11 three values we should embrace that will demonstrate our commitment to God.
The _____ value we should embrace to demonstrate our commitment to God is…
I. PURITY (28-30)
II. PULSE (31)
III. PARTICIPATION (32-39)
RMBC 23 Mar 03 AM
ILL Notebook: Promise (rain)
A store manager overheard a clerk saying to a customer, “No, ma’am, we haven’t had any for some weeks now, and it doesn’t look as if we’ll be getting any soon.”
Alarmed by what was being said, the manager rushed over to the customer who was walking out the door and said, “That isn’t true, ma’am. Of course, we’ll have some soon. In fact, we placed an order for it a couple of weeks ago.”
Then the manager drew the clerk aside and growled, “Never, never, never, never say we don’t have something. If we don’t have it, say we ordered it and it’s on its way. Now, what was it she wanted?”
Have you ever had difficulty with making a promise?
I know I wouldn’t be promising rain!
Well, we return to our study of Nehemiah today.
During the first part of Nehemiah, we focused on the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem.
It was a task that was accomplished successfully.
1. Context: After the rebuilding of the wall, the people of Jerusalem are rebuilding their faith.
We noted last week that the people of Jerusalem had broken hearts that needed to be rebuilt.
They needed to recapture their spiritual lives and rediscover the importance of confession, adoration, reflection, and commitment.
During our study of chapter 9, we saw that the body of the text was a prayer.
2. After spending time in prayer, they gained a proper perspective on who God is and their relationship to Him.
As they prayed, the people’s perception of God was enlarged.
They were seeing God as He truly was.
Not only that, they were getting the proper perspective on who they were.
The irreverence of their own lives was coming to the fore.
For God’s holiness exposed their impurity.
God’s faithfulness uncovered their betrayals.
God’s love revealed their self-centeredness.
So, in this process, the people demonstrated courage.
They had the courage to confess their sin.
They were dependent on God and wanted to get right with Him.
So, by example, they show us that…
3. When we recognize our dependent relationship, it is proper to make a new beginning (9:38).
Note the text immediately following the prayer…
“Because of all this we make a firm covenant in writing; on the sealed document are the names of our princes, our Levites, and our priests.”
The people didn’t want their prayers to be empty words that were said and then forgotten.
They were going to live a new set of priorities.
They were going to nail this thing down.
They were determined to keep these promises, even if no one else did.
ILL Notebook: Commitment (Declaration of Independence)
Pause with me for a moment and listen to this covenant promise:
“For the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”
Do you know where that came from?
If you said the “Declaration of Independence,” you are correct.
And these men that wrote it, do you know what else they did?
They signed their names.
They put their “John Hancock” right on it (and for John Hancock, who was President of the Continental Congress in 1776, he literally did it).
In the same way, the people in Jerusalem were also making the same kind of personal commitment.
And to demonstrate their sincerity, they put their names on the dotted line.
The next 27 verses are filled with names of people that put their name on the line.
It was a declaration of distinction.
They were going to live differently.
As these people, by example show us that…
4. WE MUST HAVE THE COURAGE TO COMMIT TO GOD.
You see, life change doesn’t really happen without commitment.
Without a commitment, we become vague and cloudy in our approach to life.
We don’t get ourselves pointed in a specific direction in order to make the difference.
So, you see, we need the courage to make these kinds of commitment.
But how do we do this?
How do we commit to God?
5. We will find in our study of Nehemiah 10:28-39 three values we should embrace that will demonstrate our commitment to God.