Summary: A first year Anniversary sermon for our church.

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The Good Hand of Our God at GBC

(Anniversary Sunday 2005)

Chuck Sligh

TEXT: Nehemiah 2:8 – “And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.”

Nehemiah 2:18 – “Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.”


Nehemiah testified about the “good hand of…God” upon him in verse 8. The Lord has been good to us at Grace Baptist Church, hasn’t He? When I think of the good hand of God upon us at Grace, I think of many victories and many landmarks along the way. As I look back, I think we can thank God for “the good hand of our God upon us.”

Now there’s something about publicly expressing God’s goodness that motivates others. Nehemiah had received permission from the Persian emperor to return from captivity in Persia to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls around Jerusalem that had fallen into ruin due to past wars and subsequent neglect. When Nehemiah arrived and told the Jerusalem rulers of his mission, they were skeptical at first.

But verse 18 tells us that he told them of “the hand of my God which was good upon me.” The response was immediate and overwhelming: They said, “Let us rise up and build!”

Today I want to share some ways I have seen the good hand of God on our church, and then I want to give you some time at the end to share how God’s hand has used Grace Baptist church to be a blessing to you personally.

As I look back over the last year at Grace, I see the good hand of God over and over again.


Illus. – I remember our first Sunday morning service. It was the strangest service I’d ever been in my life. We all gathered and nobody knew anybody. The only folks we had from our mid-week Bible study to start the church with were my family, the Hazelets, the Troupes, Gail Vega and Niya Harris. Well, Susan was manning the nursery, Gail was teaching the Childrens Church, and I had Jesse and Steve tied up ushering, so there was NOBODY else to welcome a slew of first-time visitors who came. They just swooshed in just before church, and then swooshed out before I could even shake most of their hands.

And I committed the greatest faux pas of my entire ministry—I forgot to hand out visitor’s cards for all the people who came—so they ALL got away!

Almost all, that is. What happened is that the Lord brought back the next Sunday those He wanted to be a blessing to our church.

We already had gems in my wife, the Hazelets, the Troupes, Gail and Niya. But in that those first two services there were two families who have been with us ever since who have been of inestimable help in so many ways—the Crumps and the Johnsons.

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