Summary: Message 15 in our exposition of Nehemiah. This message continues exploring the elements of Nehemiah's revival.
Chico Alliance Church
September 2, 1990
Revival Part Three
"The Cost of Commitment"
I. REBUILD THE WALLS
II. RESTORE THE WORSHIP
A. Rally together.
B. Read the Word and Worship
C. Rejoice together.
D. Reflect together
E. Resolve together to change
1. The signers 10:1-27
Nehemiah 10 records a list and some description of those who were serious about revival. These were those who agreed together that their sin was intolerable and the need of God's help was indispensable. They agreed together to cultivate the things necessary to kindle the spiritual fire and keep the fire going.
2. The seriousness 10:28-29
This was no light matter, no trivial formality or mere ceremonial exercise. These people realized the consequences of taking a vow before God. They were willing to enter into a curse for their disobedience. They were acknowledging the consequences for violated principles. Having recently studied the law, they had a graphic idea of what was involved in this commitment from the list of consequences listed in Deuteronomy 28. This generation knows very little of what it means to commit to anything or anyone.
The dictionary describes the act of commitment as follows:
1--An agreement or pledge to do something in the future
2--An agreement to assume as financial obligation at a future date
4--The state of being obligated or emotionally impelled
We observe commitment in our world to a whole swarm of things. Often everything but to the right things.
Committed players on a team, business man, teacher, soldiers. We observe committed and uncommitted in every profession and sport.
Common thread in each:
Maintain high ideals and goals
Invest abundant amounts of time & energy
Persist over the long haul
Care deeply about what they are doing
Convinced concerning the value of what they are doing.
Today we teach a gospel that demands nothing of my life. It has no trouble expecting optimimal blessing in spite of minimal commitment.
That is not the gospel that Christ preached.
To the Crowd
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? Mark 8:34-37
To the Rich man
"If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Mat 19
To the crowd
"I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever." He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?" Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you? The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. Joh 6:66
To the Crowd
"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Mat 10:39
He told them the Parable of the Builder who must estimate the cost.
He related the example of king who must estimate his ability to war.
In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." Luk 14:35
Again to the crowds
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Joh 12:25