Sermons

Summary: Giving ourselves first to the Lord, we can be amazed at what god can and will do through us.

For the past two weeks we have been looking at “The Revitalization of the Lord’s House and People.” We examined in 2 Kings 12 and 2 Chronicles 24 how Joash rallied the people to give to the repair of the temple. Then Last week we look at how after the Jews return from Babylon, they got sidetracked into their own affairs and were slow to rebuild the temple. We examined in the book of Haggai, how the prophet called the people to examine their priorities. This took place around 520 BC. This week the story centers around Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. This takes place about 70-75 years later. In each of these stories, God is calling the people to much more than to rebuild the structures, whether it be the Temple or the wall around the city, He is calling the people to Himself. Calling the people to place their trust in Him and to obey Him and follow His call, and then be amazed at the great things God is able to do through them.

In my studies of these passages, one verse I keep coming back to is the one I mentioned two weeks ago and referenced it last week.. In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul was telling the church at Corinth how the poor churches in Macedonia gave more than their ability. Paul commented that they:

2 Corinthians 8:5b (NKJV) . . . but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.

God is able to do great things if we only first give ourselves to the Lord. Then to His work. Today we examine that “The People Had A Mind To Work” (sermon title). We will be looking at excepts from chapters 2 through 6 of Nehemiah. the fact was that Nehemiah was a mighty man of God. He was first a man of prayer as a well as a man of action. Our study will focus on these two verses:

Nehemiah 4:6 (NKJV) So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.

Nehemiah 6:15–16 (NKJV) 15 So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days. 16 And it happened, when all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations around us saw these things, that they were very disheartened in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work was done by our God.

ILL: The 4,000-mile-long Great Wall of China was built to keep invaders from the north. The first wall was constructed by Shi Huangdi, the first emperor of China, who lived between 259 - 210 BC.

But in AD 1644 the Manchus broke through the Great Wall and overran China. They did this not by tearing down the walls or climbing over it, but by bribing a general of the Ming dynasty to open the gates. During the reconstruction of ancient Jerusalem, Nehemiah understood the acute danger posed by those who opposed the rebuilding of the city’s ruined walls. So he commanded constant vigilance. Half of the workers were to stand watch while half rebuilt the walls. As Christians, we must be vigilant that nothing breaches our spiritual defenses. Even the most mature believer can never afford to let down his guard. [1]

Nehemiah is study in dynamic Godly Leadership and the prayers of Nehemiah is a study all by itself. God had placed on the heart of Nehemiah the intense desire, a call, to rebuild Jerusalem. So Nehemiah asked the King of Persia:

Nehemiah 2:5 (NKJV) And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.”

It was with much prayer that He made this request to the king and the king granted His request. But even being sent by the King with letters from the king to authorized material for the rebuilding. Nehemiah was met with much resistance. Our take-away from this is when ever we are busy about the Lord’s work, we can expect opposition from the enemy. Nehemiah explained the situation to the inhabitants of Jerusalem:

Nehemiah 2:17 (NKJV) Then I said to them, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.”

Nehemiah was concern about the glory to God. As long as the walls were down, they, God’s chosen people, were a reproach to nation nations and peoples in the surrounding countries. It was all about the glory to God. But the people did embraced the work to be done:

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