Summary: When God brings a great burden to the heart of a godly man great things happen

The Burden God Brings

Nehemiah 1:1-11

June 17, 2001


I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And that which I can do, by the grace of God, I will do. – D.L. Moody

There can be little doubt that Dwight Moody had a great burden to do a great work for God. What is a burden? What does it do for us? Where does it come from?

I. What is a burden?

A. Webster

1. Something that is carried, a duty or responsibility

2. Something oppressive or worrisome

3. The bearing of a load or the capacity for cargo

B. Our Christian Understanding

1. A burden is what we feel for the cause of Christ. It is a driving force to carry on the work of Christ.

2. The burden we have is not oppressive but rather it brings focus and freedom in the service of Christ.

3. Our burden is our charge to live for and serve Christ each and every day of our lives

What we need more than anything in our nation and community today is godly men who have a burden for God and what He wants to accomplish. Today, instead of looking at another passage about fatherhood, I want to examine the life of a great man of God because I believe that if we are to become better fathers and husbands; we must become better men of God.

Read Nehemiah 1:1-11

Four Things a Burden will Do

I. Releases your Limited Passion

A. What is passion?

1. Some basic definitions

a.) Webster - Intense driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction. Intense emotion compelling action. Strong desire or devotion to some object, activity or concept

b.) True passion is Christian passion: Being centered in and driven by Christ in such a way that we are moved to action

2. The reality of passion

a.) Passion changes us and makes us able to do those things that we believe are impossible

b.) Jean de le Fontaine: “Man is so made that whenever anything fires his soul, impossibilities vanish.”

B. Living with unlimited passion will allow you to do great things

1. A Life filled with passion accomplishes the impossible.

a.) Heart is what separates the good from the great – Michael Jordon

b.) Nehemiah was so moved by the report about the walls of Jerusalem openly wept. Passion releases our emotions and opens our hearts for God

c.) When God measures a man, he puts the tape around his heart, not his head.

2. Why is that?

a.) Passion breaks down the barriers of life

b.) Passion propels us forward toward our goals

c.) Passion never moves in reverse

d.) Passion creates a complete enthusiasm for life

II. Requires your Lasting Prayers

A. What does prayer have to do with a burden?

1. Prayer is crucial to seeing a burden become a reality

a.) When something is beyond my ability and beyond my resources; I have one of two choices; either I give up or I go to God for help. If you have a burden from God it will drive you to Him for help.

b.) “The ‘detonator’ that churches lack today is prayer. It has the power to ignite the dynamite of the Gospel and powerfully shake the world.” – John Maxwell

c.) Prayer is what moves the heart of a man to listen to the heart of God. Prayer is one of those topics that the church seldom discusses with men but it is critical. When God moves in the life of a man it moves the man to pray

2. Nehemiah’s first actions

a.) Most men would have marched right off to the king to attempt to gain the needed supplies and permission to rebuild the wall

b.) Notice that Nehemiah when to God first and then went to the king

B. A life of prayer taps the resources of God

1. Lunch with the President – If you were given the opportunity to have lunch with the President to discuss whatever you wanted to discuss and be offered access to his resources, wouldn’t you do it?

2. God is available for us to tap His resources each and every day but we rarely take advantage of going to God. Why?

a.) We try to be self sufficient and self driven. However, when you have a great burden to do something you need all of the help you can get

b.) Prayer is the key that unlocks all the storehouses of God’s infinite grace and power. All that God is, and all that God has is at the disposal of prayer.” – R.A. Torrey

III. Refreshes your Life Purpose

A. Everyone has a purpose in life

1. Calvin and Hobbes cartoon – Calvin is standing alone with a disgruntled look on his face and he says: “God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things, right now I am so far behind I won’t be allowed to die.”

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